Hal Kemp & His Orchestra
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As the 21st century dawned, an unprecedented number of Depression-era dance band recordings began to appear in the compact disc format, hinting perhaps that humanity ought to lighten up a bit, even (or especially) in the face of widespread hardship and calamity. Hal Kemp's orchestra is splendidly featured on Jasmine's Remember Me, a 24-title collection released in 2001. On these pleasant sides dating from 1932-1940, Kemp's sweet dance band is heard performing pop tunes of the day like "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "Lullaby of Broadway," and "The Music Goes 'Round and Around," along with mischievous delights by Cole Porter such as "Let's Do It," "You're the Top," and "Love for Sale." What's more, "Hey! Young Fella," a silly number by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, had been conjured by Joe Venuti's band a few years earlier as a giddy instrumental jam tune. Here at last is a golden opportunity to savor the lyrics, for what they're worth.