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Listen to My Music Vol. III '47-'48

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Album Review

One of at least seven Ted Heath compilations sharing the title Listen to My Music, this third volume in the Hep label's intensive Ted Heath reissue series contains British big-band swing recordings made between April 21, 1947 and December 16, 1948. Heath successfully navigated the stylistic riptides of swing and bop, his well-oiled ensemble always sounding fresh and contemporary yet snugly rooted in the tradition of accessible jazz and dance music. The repertoire on this disc includes Fats Waller's "London Suite" (a marvelous work revisited by Heath in 1954), old time melodies by Stephen Foster and Rudolf Friml, a visitation from Robert Burns, and an assortment of melodies traceable to Tin Pan Alley, Dixieland, mainstream jazz and bebop. The odd tune out is an unpleasant attempt at "Feudin' and Fightin'," a gruesome novelty tune that was only funny when premiered by Dorothy Shay, that glamorous U.S. comedienne who was billed as "The Park Avenue Hillbilly". Although the stupid and vulgar rendition heard here is a low point in the Ted Heath discography, the other 25 tracks more than compensate for this unfortunate lapse in taste.


Born: March 30, 1900 in London, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Ted Heath was one of the most famous big-band leaders in Great Britain of the 1950s. His bands played modernized swing music that was always danceable but occasionally had worthwhile solos played in the tradition. Heath started out playing tenor horn before he switched to trombone when he was 14. He spent a period playing as a street musician and then was discovered by Jack Hylton, who hired him for his band. Heath had long stints as a sideman with a variety of top dance bands, including ensembles...
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Listen to My Music Vol. III '47-'48, Ted Heath
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