Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra were one of the top dance swing bands in North America in the late 30's and into the 40's. This collection of their best includes his biggest hits "No Name Jive", "Maniac's Ball" and "Casa Loma Stomp".
Casa Loma Orchestra: George Van Eps (guitar); Gus Bivona (clarinet, saxophone, alto saxophone); Skeets Herfurt (saxophone, alto saxophone); Ted Nash (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Chuck Gentry (saxophone, baritone saxophone); Murray McEachern (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trombone); Babe Russin (tenor saxophone); Manny Klein, Conrad Gozzo , Shorty Sherock (trumpet); Joe Howard, Si Zentner, Walter Benson (trombone); Ray Sherman (piano); Mike Rubin (bass instrument); Nick Fatool (drums, drum).
Personnel: Kenny Sargent (vocals); Francis Howard (trombone).
Recording information: 06/18/1956-06/21/1956.
Glen Gray broke up his Casa Loma Orchestra in 1950. Six years later he was persuaded by Capitol to gather together alumni along with some studio musicians to recreate some of his more famous recordings for an LP. This album was a surprise hit, leading to Gray recording a series of records recreating the "sounds of the big bands." In reality these performances are quite predictable and are more nostalgic than creative. With trumpeters Manny Klein and Shorty Sherock, Murray McEachern on trombone and alto, tenor saxophonist Babe Russin, clarinetist Gus Bivona and pianist Ray Sherman contributing solos, the renditions of such songs as "No Name Jive," "Memories of You," "Maniac's Ball," "Casa Loma Stomp" and "Smoke Rings" are not without interest, but are generally not quite as exciting as the original versions. ~ Scott Yanow