Sunday, 13 March 2016

Adventures In Vinyl: American Rhapsody by Glenn Miller and The Army Air Force Band


American Rhapsody (Swing World, SWS-11, 1979) consists of ten live tracks recorded by Major Glenn Miller and his Army Air Force band between October 1943 and October 1945.

Up until 1979, none of these recordings (I assume taken from 1940s live radio broadcasts) had ever been issued.  The majority of which were recorded in Vanderhilt Theatre, New York City although there is also a rare (in places scratchy) recording of Red Cavalry March made at France’s Paris Olympia made under “extremely adverse conditions” which still wins through in the end on performance.

I became aware of Glenn Miller’s music very early on in life and although have always enjoyed it actually own very few of his recordings. There is of course more to Miller than In The Mood, Chatanooga Choo Choo and Moonlight Serenade as this collection proves.

Familiar tunes such as Rhapsody In Blue and Deep Purple all get the lively Glenn Miller treatment and there's a  renditions of  Moonlight Serenade popping up in a medley with Wabash Blues, I’ve Got A Heart Filled With Love and Kilarney. The recordings themselves seem to defy the primitive recording techniques of the era coming through as both warm and vibrant.

This LP sits as a document of how the Glenn Miller Band performed live during its classic era and particularly how they maintained the quality of their performances even when their bandleader was cruelly taken from them at the end of 1944. A fine example of how Miller’s sound blurred personality into a definitive sound.

Found: Charity Shop, Newport, Gwent, March 2016.
Price: 10p
Cover Condition: Very Good
Vinyl Condition: Good (A few pops and crackles, one skip)

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