Recording information: New York, NY (07/16/1928-01/13/1928).
Though it concludes with an alternate take of the orchestral arrangement of "Was It a Dream?" recorded July 16, 1928 (the issued take having been on Volume 1), the second volume of Canadian label Jazz Oracle's series of CD reissues of early Dorsey Brothers OKeh and ARC recordings otherwise covers a one-year period from January 1929 to January 1930, beginning with the most successful session in the bunch, a three-song set featuring Bing Crosby. The band's performance of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It," propelled by a lively Crosby vocal, was the brothers' only hit of this period, when they were doing fewer recordings under their own name while spending most of their time working as sidemen. When they did their own recordings, they still leaned to pop music -- most of the songs are Tin Pan Alley or show tunes; 17 of the 24 tracks here have vocals (the other singers including Smith Ballew, Irving Kaufman, and Scrappy Lambert); and the solos are short, given the time restrictions. Still, the Glenn Miller arrangements on six tracks are attractive, and, moreso than Volume 1, the overall style looks forward to the brothers' successful bands of the later 1930s and 1940s. ~ William Ruhlmann