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Swing High, Swing Low

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All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Although extensive use of pseudonyms prevented him from ever achieving fame comparable to that of Bert Ambrose, Jack Hylton, or Roy Fox, Bert Firman (born Herbert Feuerman in 1906) was one of the busiest British bandleaders of the 1920s and '30s. Three years after his death in 1999, Living Era released Swing High, Swing Low, a sampling of his work from the years 1924-1937. Inexplicably, its time line tapers off several months short of September 1937 when Bert Firman's Quintuplets of Swing cut four instrumentals for Parlophone. As these were almost certainly the best real jazz records he ever presided over, it is a puzzling and grievous omission. What did make it onto this...
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2002-01-22 Audio CD New YOU are BUYING a NEW and SEALED CD. ALL CD orders sent via FIRST CLASS MAIL Services arriving in 3 to 5 business days in the United States Only. ... Overseas Orders may take up to 4 weeks! Buy it NOW! ! ! ! Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Although extensive use of pseudonyms prevented him from ever achieving fame comparable to that of Bert Ambrose, Jack Hylton, or Roy Fox, Bert Firman (born Herbert Feuerman in 1906) was one of the busiest British bandleaders of the 1920s and '30s. Three years after his death in 1999, Living Era released Swing High, Swing Low, a sampling of his work from the years 1924-1937. Inexplicably, its time line tapers off several months short of September 1937 when Bert Firman's Quintuplets of Swing cut four instrumentals for Parlophone. As these were almost certainly the best real jazz records he ever presided over, it is a puzzling and grievous omission. What did make it onto this set adds up to an impressive smattering of vintage English jazz and dance band records by various ensembles under Firman's leadership. In addition to juggling the ensemble designations (as in the Arcadians Dance Orchestra, the Ariel Dance Orchestra, the Carlton Hotel Orchestra, and the Midnight Follies Orchestra), the leader also masqueraded under imaginary monikers like Newton Carlisle, Eugene Brockman, and Hal Christa. Yet Firman by any other name was always Firman. During his day he had the good sense to employ some of the best jazzmen active in England. Instrumentalists heard on this set include trombonist Ted Heath as well as trumpeters Frank Guarente and Chelsea Quealey. There is some fine blowing by reedman Freddy Gardner, Carroll Gibbons is heard at the piano, and multi-percussionist Rudy Starita handles drums, vibraphone, and xylophone. Although this is the most widely distributed Firman retrospective, it is a far cry from the extensively reissued recordings of Firman's contemporaries. According to Brian Rust, the jazz-worthy entries in Firman's discography amount to more than 250 titles, mostly by Firman's scaled-down swing group that was billed on Zonophone Records as the Rhythmic Eight. Seeing as Firman served as musical director at Zonophone from 1924-1928, and taking all of the evidence into consideration, the number of recordings that took place under his direct supervision must have been truly enormous. In light of this, Living Era's offering seems like a nice little prelude, as the bulk of Firman's considerable legacy awaits systematic reissuing and rediscovery by 21st century audiences.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/22/2002
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625540727
  • Catalog Number: 5407

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Jig Walk - Bert Firman & the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band (2:48)
  2. 2 Oo La - Bert Firman & the Midnight Follies Orchestra (2:49)
  3. 3 Charleston Charley - Bert Firman & the Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra (2:32)
  4. 4 Valencia - Bert Firman & the Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra (2:59)
  5. 5 Always - Bert Firman Dance Orchestra (3:36)
  6. 6 While the Sahara Sleeps - Hal Christa Dance Orchestra (3:09)
  7. 7 Spanish Shawl - Bert Firman & the Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra (3:08)
  8. 8 Shepherd of the Hills - Eugene Brockman Dance Orchestra (3:04)
  9. 9 That Certain Feeling - Newton Carlisle Dance Orchestra (3:05)
  10. 10 Oh! Monah - Bert Firman's Rhythmic Eight (3:17)
  11. 11 The Stampede - Bert Firman Dance Orchestra (3:13)
  12. 12 Short N' Sweet - Bert Firman & the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band (3:00)
  13. 13 Does She Love Me? Positively, Absolutely - Bert Firman Dance Orchestra (3:02)
  14. 14 I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Bert Firman & the Ariel Dance Orchestra (2:36)
  15. 15 Sax Appeal - Bert Firman & the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band (2:32)
  16. 16 Medley: She Didn't Say "Yes"/A New Love Is Old - Bert Firman & the London Orchestra (2:45)
  17. 17 Sugar Foot Stomp - Bert Firman & the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band (2:44)
  18. 18 My Pet - Bert Firman Dance Orchestra (3:21)
  19. 19 Rhapsody in Blue - Bert Firman & His Orchestra (9:23)
  20. 20 My Little Buckaroo - Bert Firman & His Orchestra (3:13)
  21. 21 Don't Play with Fire - Bert Firman & His Orchestra (3:12)
  22. 22 The Sweetheart Waltz - Bert Firman & His Orchestra (3:09)
  23. 23 Swing High, Swing Low - Bert Firman & His Orchestra (3:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bert Firman Primary Artist
Ted Heath Trombone
Carroll Gibbons Piano
Freddy Gardner Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
George Elliott Guitar
John Firman Piano
Frank Guarente Trumpet
Chelsea Quealey Trumpet
Bob Manning Drums
E.O. Pogson Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Bill Barton Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Brannelly Banjo
Perley Breed Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Vernon Ferry Trumpet
Herb Finney Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Cyril Hellier Viola
Max Lewin Drums
Rudy Starita Drums, Xylophone, Vibes
Sylvester Ahola Trumpet
Max Goldberg Trumpet
Bert Read Piano, Celeste
Cecil Norman Piano, Celeste
Maurice Elwin Vocals
Sam Costa Vocals
Billy Bell Brass Baritone
Cavan O'Connor Vocals
Arthur Lally Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Harry Chapman Harp
Patrick Whelan Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Jack Trebble Drums
Charles Rocco Trumpet
Billy Ball and the Upsetters Brass Baritone
Bert Firman's Rhythmic Eight Track Performer
Alec Avery Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Eugene Brockman Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Newton Carlisle Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Hal Christa Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Bert Firman & the Midnight Follies Orchestra Track Performer
Bert Firman & the Ariel Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Bert Firman & the Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Bert Firman & the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band Band, Track Performer
Bert Firman Dance Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Track Performer
Bert Firman & the London Orchestra Track Performer
Andrew Richardson Trumpet
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Milton Ager Composer
Louis Armstrong Composer
Jack Yellen Composer
John Firman Director
Martin Haskell Remastering
Mark Ranshaw Cover Illustration
Tim O'Hara Composer
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