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Re-Stringing the Pearls

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Album Review

Jerry Gray had as much claim on "the Glenn Miller sound" as anyone this side of Miller himself, having arranged a good deal of Miller's music and been a key member of the band (as well as its leader in the wake of Miller's death). He'd kept a band of his own going into the late '40s, when the growing visibility of various artists — include Ralph Flanagan and Ray Anthony — possessed him and Decca Records to reestablish the stylistic connection with his late employer. The result was a revival of the authentic Glenn Miller sound at the turn of the 1940s into the 1950s, which was sufficiently appealing to yield a brace of commercial recordings by Gray. And it also resulted in the 25 radio transcriptions cut by his band between 1949 and 1952, which are assembled here. The playing, as one would expect, is first-rate, as is the sound — the 16" transcription disc sources have been transferred with exceptional fidelity. And the sound is pure Miller, even when Gray and company make the leap into new compositions. Singer Tommy Traynor contributes three vocal numbers, but the vast bulk of this CD is instrumental, and it swings throughout. And the result is perhaps the finest extant showcase for his talent that Gray ever had, as well as a bracing reprise and update of the Miller sound into the postwar era. Highly recommended to fans of Glenn Miller or Jerry Gray, or good swing (or sweet) band music.


Genre: Jazz

b. 3 July 1915, East Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 10 August 1976, Dallas, Texas, USA. As a child Gray first studied violin and later composing and arranging. At the age of 12 he played in the Boston Junior Symphony Orchestra. In the mid-30s he was hired by Artie Shaw, for whom he wrote several charts, including ‘Any Old Time’, which featured Billie Holiday, ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’ and ‘Begin The Beguine’, one of Shaw’s most popular recordings. In 1939 he left Shaw for the Glenn Miller...
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Re-Stringing the Pearls, Jerry Gray And His Orchestra
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