Glenn Miller was America's most-loved big band leader and continues to be the best known name with the most recognizable sound of that era. He was a pop idol during the '40s and continues to perform like one when it comes to big sales...so much so that Gold Record status (500,000 copies sold) was originally invented to account for his huge success in the marketplace. This 2-CD set is a fantastic collection of his greatest recordings and includes his top hits "Moonlight Serenade," "In The Mood," and "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
Personnel: Glenn Miller (trombone); Murray Kane, Johnny Desmond (vocals); Al Klink (tenor saxophone); Dale McMickle (trumpet); Tex Beneke (vocals, tenor saxophone); Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle, The Modernaires (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Mike Plaskett.
Recording information: 04/04/1939-04/29/1944.
Arrangers: Ralph Wilkinson; Jerry Gray; Bill Finegan; Mel Powell; Billy May.
While there's no shortage of Glenn Miller collections, there aren't many that rival Bluebird/Legacy's THE ESSENTIAL GLENN MILLER. This two-disc, 38-track compilation covers the peak years of the iconic bandleader/trombonist's career, and includes a welcome handful of numbers recorded with his Army Air Force Band in 1943 and '44 , shortly before his death.
Though it's difficult for modern-day listeners to grasp Miller's massive stardom during the 1930s and '40s, undeniably catchy big-band tunes such as "In the Mood" and "Little Brown Jug" easily give a sense of the swing giant's wide appeal. This set skillfully mixes Miller's instrumentals (a dynamic take on "A String of Pearls") with numerous vocal tracks (most notably "Over the Rainbow," featuring the butter-smooth voice of Ray Eberle), all of which boast stunning interplay between the rhythm and horn sections. THE ESSENTIAL GLENN MILLER rivals 2003's PLATINUM GLENN MILLER and covers most of the selections featured on 2004's THE CENTENNIAL COLLECTION, making it one of the best Miller retrospectives on the market.