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90 Hits Ray Noble

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Album Review

Most of bandleader Ray Noble's records are not all that interesting from a jazz standpoint, for he generally led dance (rather than swing) orchestras. However, when Noble moved to the United States in 1935, for a time he headed an orchestra put together by Glenn Miller that included such fine soloists as trumpeter Pee Wee Erwin, clarinetist Johnny Mince, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, trombonist Will Bradley and pianist Claude Thornhill. This 1967 LP from the legendary RCA Vintage Series mixes together some good swing performances with more typical vocal numbers featuring Al Bowlly. The four instrumentals ("Way Down Yonder In New Orleans," "Dinah," "Bugle Call Rag" and "Chinatown My Chinatown") are easily the high points, since the other dozen selections are generally much more routine. Ray Noble's Orchestra of 1935-36 had potential, but it did not last long.


Born: 17 December 1903 in Brighton, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Ray Noble had an odd career. Most notable as the composer of "The Very Thought of You," "I Hadn't Anyone Till You," "The Touch of Your Lips," "Goodnight Sweetheart" and "Cherokee" (as well as leader of the orchestra which backed the popular radio show of Edgar Bergen), Noble was an important bandleader in the 1930s but he never seemed to reach his potential. Classically-trained as a pianist, Noble was more interested in dance music and he won a big band arranging contest sponsored by Melody Maker...
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