Past Perfect, recent release CD

PPCD78133Great Dance Bands... play hits of the Thirties

this page first published by John Wright, 12 Feb 2003
last update 2 February 2012

This month's special feature CD is Past Perfect PPCD78133

Great Dance Bands Play... Hits of the Thirties
(to order, click the image)

title list :-

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A quick glance down the list of tracks and I was immediately impressed by the choice of song titles. About half are well known songs, and some of the others I had never heard at all,and there is a wide selection of dance bands, some rarely seen on CD issues - I knew this was going to be an interesting 77 minutes of music! I was pleased to see also that the track listing was in a near-chronolgical order, I always like this as you can study the development of music and tastes over the years.
A great start with This Is The Missus from Sydney Kyte, a band usually overlooked by me at 78rpm record fairs. Here the band is in fine form as are the ever-reliable vocal trio Three Ginx. Then we have The Younger Generation a very fine Noble/Bowlly number, and now it's apparent that Past perfect have made great efforts in their re-mastering process. They have found mint originals and have created a clarity of sound that is breathtaking to my shellac ears! Al Bowlly's voice is as fresh as a spring breeze. In fact all the vocals on this superb CD come out with a new depth and clarity, especially Pat O'Malley in They All Fall In Love, Denny Dennis in I've Got An Invitation To A Dance and Elsie Carlisle in It's The Talk Of The Town. I can understand why her voice made men weak at the knees! I very much enjoyed too the singing of George Barclay and Sam Costa who have joined my group of favourite vocalists.
The choice or records allows us the opportunity to hear the Ambrose and Lew Stone bands at their very best as well as a chance to reassess other bands like Mario 'Harp' Lorenzi, Orlando, Charlie Kunz and Billy Merrin.
Only one or two tracks disappointed me. I'd hoped for hot jazz in Henry Hall's Eccentric but it just sounds like a clarinet novelty to me. I thought the Merrin and Lawrance numbers were poor choices but I suppose they help to give a breadth to the CD, offering the chance to hear the wide tastes in music during that era.
The surprise was Sydney Lipton's band playing a Raymond Scott composition. Not a dance band tune, and hardly a 'hit', but it was an impressive performance worthy of re-issue, and I congratulate Past Perfect for it's inclusion. Another Scott composition was featured on the reverse of the original 78, one wonders how rare this disc is.
Full marks to Past Perfect for the accurate discographcal data, with studio matrix numbers, dates and identities of vocalists
On this CD the quality and clarity of sound are superb, so good in fact that I found myself turning up the volume, listening for every instrument and every breath of the vocalists, and I forgot for an hour that this music came from 78's! The CD is an absolute pleasure to play.

John Wright

Past Perfect

digitalised re-issues of British Dance bands and entertainers
available by Tel: 01869 325052, Fax: 01869 325072,
Check out Past Perfect website or return to my Past Perfect page