Hoagy Carmichael

Stardust Melody


Barbara Lea, vocals; Bob Dorough, piano, vocals; Jim Ferguson, bass, vocals; Dick Sudhalter, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Levinson, clarinet, C-melody and tenor saxophones; Tom Artin, trombone; Ben Aronov, piano; Howard Alden, guitar; Joe Cocuzzo, drums;

Sy Johnson/Keith Nichols, arrangements

These beloved and rare songs of Hoagy Carmichael are not, of course, played by the man himself. We are offered a stroll through a largely Jazz-inflected selection of Hoagy's work, much of which will be unknown to most of us, by a bunch of seasoned pros. There is a general honky-tonk, bar-Jazz period feel, frankly sentimental and often enchanting. This is a CD for fans who love the old songs and a lot of melody to take them back to when Garrison Keillor was doing radio and the mail-order catalog gave folks out West a reason to be. The musicians and singers involved here treat the material with obvious affection, and the inimitable Bob Dorough remains as humorously hip as ever. Dick Sudhalter is beautifully succinct on trumpet and flugelhorn and writes exceedingly well in his liner notes. The rest romp, stomp wail and chug in exemplary fashion. There is sufficient Jazz here to make this selection worthwhile to any fan; but I would rate this as an essential item on the racks because it was tunes like this that made the ongoing development of Jazz possible. Take away those songwriters and there would be a gaping hole in our collections. No need to fret, of course they do Star Dust. Very highly recommended.

by Lawrence Brazier

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