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I Had the Craziest Dream

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Album Review

Harry Warren is probably the most significant unknown songwriter in the history of the American popular song. Dozens of his songs have become standards, yet while George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, and Irving Berlin are household names, relatively few listeners have heard of Harry Warren. Because Warren primarily wrote for movie musicals of the 1930s and '40s, he never gained the recognition that he deserved, despite his ability to write catchy melodies, original chord changes, and tunes that held together very well. Many of his songs have been played by jazz musicians for decades. David Berger's arrangements of 11 Harry Warren tunes plus Johnny Mercer's "I'm an Old Cowhand" (on which Warren originally helped fix the melody even though his name is never listed as composer) are at times reminiscent of the Dave Pell Octet of the mid- to late '50s, closer to West Coast jazz than to swing. While tenor saxophonist Harry Allen and baritonist Joe Temperley are the biggest names, each of the musicians in Berger's octet has their opportunity to solo. The performances are concise and melodic, there are a few surprises in the tempos (including a fast version of "Summer Night"), and the music is fun. Warren would have enjoyed it.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As a young student of jazz composing and arranging, David Berger initially attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, subsequently going on to study at Ithaca College, Eastman School of Music, and Manhattan School of Music, where he was one of the leading members of the jazz composition and arranging faculty until 1999. In 1988, Berger took up post as the conductor and arranger for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which he held until 1994, transcribing and arranging countless scores of Duke Ellington...
Full Bio
I Had the Craziest Dream, David Berger
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jul 14, 2008

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