Personnel: Glenn Miller (conductor, trombone), Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle (vocals), Jimmy Abato, Al Klink, Wilbur Schwartz, Hal McIntyre, Tex Beneke (saxophone), John Best, R.D. McMickle, Clyde Hurley, Lee Knowles (trumpet), Tommy Mack, Al Mastren, Paul Tanner (trombone), J.C. MacGregor (piano), Rowland Bundock (bass), Maruice Purtill (drums).
Recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York on October 6, 1939. Includes liner notes by Gene Kalbacher.
Digitally remastered by Joe Lopes (November 9, 1992, BMG Recording Studios, New York).
Personnel: Glenn Miller (trombone); Richard Fisher (guitar); Hal McIntyre, Jimmy Abato, Tex Beneke, Al Klink, Wilbur Schwartz (saxophone); Clyde Hurley, R.D. McMickle, Legh Knowles (trumpet); Tommy Mack, Al Mastren, Paul Tanner (trombone); J.C. MacGregor (piano); Moe Purtill (drums).
It took RCA-BMG until 1993 to get this performance out on CD, but the wait was worth it. Apart from its brief 35 minutes (Miller was sharing a program with Benny Goodman, Fred Waring, and Paul Whiteman, the self-proclaimed "King of Jazz" who introduces him), this is a choice release, capturing Miller and his orchestra in the midst of their first big flush of success -- it was only a few months earlier that their gig at the Glen Island Casino and the resulting radio broadcasts transformed Miller into a household name. He had a reputation for stuffiness that has outlived him -- he did, indeed, hold the jazzier impulses of his bandmembers in check -- but here the performance really jumps. The core of Miller's repertory is featured, including a swinging version of "Little Brown Jug," a bracing "Running Wild," a rocking "Bugle Call Rag," and a bouncing, soaring "One O'Clock Jump" (complete with a male chorus that works), all culminating in a cooking version of "In the Mood" (Miller's latest recording at the time of the show). The pop elements are restrained here, in contrast to many of Miller's most familiar recordings, with only one vocal number by Ray Eberle and three by Marion Hutton, one of which, "Jim Jam Jump," is pretty hot -- one can even forgive the instrumental digression of "Danny Boy." The sound is surprisingly good given the age of the performance, and the digital remastering works wonders. ~ Bruce Eder