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I'm Beginning to See the Light - Dance Hits from the Second World War
     

I'm Beginning to See the Light - Dance Hits from the Second World War

5.0 1
 
There's no subtlety about I'm Beginning To See the Light: Dance Hits from World War II, the second in the series of CDs associated with Ken Burns's seven-hour epic The War. It's about getting bodies in motion, and is a sheer delight from the git-go. Opening with Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra's shuffling "C Jam Blues"

Overview

There's no subtlety about I'm Beginning To See the Light: Dance Hits from World War II, the second in the series of CDs associated with Ken Burns's seven-hour epic The War. It's about getting bodies in motion, and is a sheer delight from the git-go. Opening with Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra's shuffling "C Jam Blues" (which features a most unexpected outburst of country fiddle less than a minute into it), the disc goes on to chronicle an astonishing variety of music that fell under the rubric of Big Band -- from the jubilant "In the Mood" courtesy Glenn Miller & Hs Orchestra; to the country swing of Al Dexter's signature tune, "Pistol Packin' Mama"; to the loping grace of Erskine Hawkins's "Tuxedo Junction." Artie Shaw's great orchestra of the time is understandably represented twice, with the lush, jittery arrangement of "Frenesi" that features terrific clarinet soloing from Shaw over a lovely string arrangement, and a lighter-than-air string passage buttressing Shaw's keening clarinet soloing on "I'm Confessin'." And it's heartening to see Jimmie Lunceford and Charlie Barnett and their orchestras included, as they boasted two of the hottest lineups of the day, but usually lose out to the household names when these sort of retrospectives are assembled.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
I'm Beginning to See the Light is a companion to, but not the soundtrack for, The War, the 2007 PBS miniseries on World War II produced and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Whereas the soundtrack features a mix of new and old recordings intended to serve the purpose of the miniseries itself ("[to explore] the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective..."), I'm Beginning to See the Light features only recordings from the WWII era and keeps the mood buoyant and the rhythm upbeat (befitting its subtitle, "Dance Hits from the Second World War"). Disc producers Steve Berkowitz and Duncan Allardyee selected plenty of popular hits to evoke the era -- "Let Me Off Uptown" by Gene Krupa, "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo" by Glenn Miller, "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman -- but fortunately kept the focus on great music no matter what the chart position. The best orchestra of them all during the '40s, Duke Ellington's, leads off with the wonderful "C Jam Blues," and prime contenders like Count Basie, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey each get a pair of features. Also, the disc includes two songs whose direct theme is the war effort itself -- Basie's "For the Good of Your Country" and Miller's "American Patrol." And, instead of sticking with jazz throughout, the original honky tonk standard "Pistol Packin' Mama" comes early on. (Al Dexter's Western swing sounds just fine sandwiched between Coleman Hawkins and Glenn Miller.) Whether it's taken as a sampler of excellent, timeless music or as a soundtrack to the times that the documentary illuminates, I'm Beginning to See the Light is a very good set.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/11/2007
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0886971453928
catalogNumber:
714539

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Henry "Red" Allen   Trumpet
Charlie Barnet   Tenor Saxophone
Count Basie   Piano
Charlie Christian   Electric Guitar
Buck Clayton   Trumpet
Buddy DeFranco   Clarinet
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet,Vocals
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Lionel Hampton   Vibes
Erskine Hawkins   Trumpet
Harry James   Trumpet
Jo Jones   Drums
Gene Krupa   Drums
Billy May   Trumpet
Ray Nance   Violin
Buddy Rich   Drums
Jimmy Rushing   Vocals
Artie Shaw   Clarinet
Willie Smith   Alto Saxophone
Rex Stewart   Cornet
Buddy Tate   Tenor Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Lester Young   Tenor Saxophone
Klink   Tenor Saxophone
Vido Musso   Tenor Saxophone
Gene Rodgers   Piano
Howard Smith   Piano
Modernaires   Vocals
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Kitty Kallen   Vocals
Dexter   Vocals
Anita O'Day   Vocals
Trummy Young   Vocals
Walter Page   Bass
Tex Beneke   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Benny Carter   Trumpet,Alto Saxophone
Artie Bernstein   Bass
Barney Bigard   Clarinet
Don Byas   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Crawford   Drums
Tommy Dorsey   Trombone
Duke Ellington   Piano
Nick Fatool   Drums
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Bruce Golden   Piano
Haywood Henry   Clarinet
J.C. Higginbotham   Trombone
Clyde Hurley   Trumpet
Manny Klein   Trumpet
Lawrence Lucie   Guitar
Glenn Miller   Trombone
Jimmy Mitchelle   Alto Saxophone
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton   Trombone
Danny Polo   Clarinet
Moe Purtill   Drums
Allan Reuss   Guitar
George Thow   Trumpet
Dicky Wells   Trombone
Stanley Wrightsman   Piano
Corky Corcoran   Tenor Saxophone
Walter Johnson   Drums
Johnny Williams   Bass
Dick Clark   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Louis Prima   Composer
Sy Oliver   Arranger
Steven Berkowitz   Producer
Ken Burns   Producer
Jerry Gray   Arranger
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Lynn Novick   Producer
Duncan Allardyce   Producer
Sarah Botstein   Producer

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I'm Beginning to See the Light - Dance Hits from the Second World War 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it! Play it often and never tire of it.