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Jazz - Released January 2, 1996 | RCA Victor - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This double-CD set should not be confused with the similarly named mid-'90s, 47-song compilation from BMG, which was good in its time but is outclassed by this entry in Sony Music's (now Sony BMG's) Essential series. Wisely ignoring a by-release-date-order approach, producer Barry Feldman has instead opted for a track lineup that, plain and simple, sells the Glenn Miller sound to modern ears -- so the summer 1939 "In the Mood" is the first cut on the set, and "Moonlight Serenade," from four months earlier, is held back, to the last slot among the Miller commercial recordings, thus allowing the listener to meander delightfully across three years of hits -- across 1940, 1941, and the first half of 1942, zigging and zagging through various "hot" and "sweet" instrumentals and vocal numbers, alternately featuring Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton, and the Modernaires. The last seven slots on the second disc are reserved for sides that Miller recorded during the final two years of his life, leading the Army Air Force Overseas Orchestra, which show off the richer, lusher sound that he achieved as a bandleader serving the war effort during WWII. Modern listeners will probably be astounded to hear the Eberle-sung rendition of "Blueberry Hill" from 1940, so thoroughly has the song become identified with Fats Domino over the past five decades, but the real treat upon hearing this set is the sound quality -- the latest remastering brings out the internal detail of the arrangements on the Miller sides better than anyone has heard them since the day they were recorded on lacquer masters more than 60 years ago; you can actually make out the rhythm-playing, and the voicings of the reeds at the center of the Miller sound have never been more vivid. There are no surprises here, just incredibly sophisticated yet animated, and downright busy playing -- given the smoothness of the results -- that still seduces and overwhelms the listener nearly seven decades later. With his chestnuts "Little Brown Jug" and "Tuxedo Junction" at the head of the list; they're so clean and sharp here that it's refreshing to hear them once again, for the ka-gillionth time, sounding better and more rewarding than ever, and without a trace of noise; "Tuxedo Junction," in particular, on its middle section, sounds about 40 years newer than it would seem to have a right to. The liner notes are also excellent, endeavoring (and largely succeeding) at explaining an era of entertainment that is only known today from the late-'30s and early-'40s movies that are increasingly not shown on cable (and have all-but-vanished from broadcast television, except for a token presence on public TV stations). If the double-CD price is a little off-putting, it's worth the plunge anyway -- you may own 30 Miller CDs and still justify buying this set -- because no single disc can capture Miller's best. and his legacy as well -- and the box set is also a great way to become a fan, in case someone hasn't yet been sold on him, one listen to the playing -- as good as you'd find in any symphony orchestra this side of Vienna or Berlin -- and the arrangements (which were just hot enough to keep Miller relevant to jazz) will make the sale. © Bruce Eder /TiVo

Jazz - Released April 4, 1996 | RCA Victor

This CD is part of RCA Victor's extensive but erratic introduction to jazz series. Glenn Miller had so many hits that it would be impossible to fit them on just one CD. Strangely enough, three of the 15 numbers included on this release ("When You Wish Upon a Star," "Moon Love," and "King Porter Stomp") were not big sellers, making the title a bit pointless. The famous renditions of such numbers as "In the Mood," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "A String of Pearls," and "Little Brown Jug" are among this CD's highlights, but there are better organized "greatest-hits" Glenn Miller collections than this one readily available. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released November 30, 2016 | Shami Media Group 3


Jazz - Released June 27, 2019 | Nostalgic Melody Music Production


Jazz - Released September 24, 1991 | RCA Bluebird

This 13-CD set (which is enclosed in an attractive and compact black box) completely reissues the contents of the nine double-LP series of the same name, all 277 studio recordings (including 20 alternate takes placed on the 13th disc) that were made by Glenn Miller's extremely popular orchestra. In addition to all of the hits and the occasional jazz performances, the misses (and the many Ray Eberle vocals) are also on this set, so general collectors just wanting a taste of Miller's music would be better off getting a less expensive greatest-hits set. However, true Glenn Miller fans should consider this remarkable reissue to be essential; it's all here. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released June 26, 2003 | AAL - BMG Heritage

Although Glenn Miller & His Orchestra get first billing on this two-CD set, 25 of the 35 selections are features for the Andrews Sisters. The music is taken from the earliest Glenn Miller Chesterfield Broadcasts, shows that had the always-cheerful Andrews Sisters as the regular guests. After March 1940, it was decided that Miller (whose band had become the most popular in the country) was too much of a big name to have to share his show with anyone. But before that happened, Miller's band often accompanied the Andrews Sisters, who are heard in prime form on such numbers as "Begin the Beguine," "Bei Mir Bust Du Schon," "Beer Barrel Polka," "Say 'Si Si,'" and "South of the Border." Of the ten Miller songs, four have vocals by Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke, and/or Marion Hutton, with the only instrumentals being "In the Mood," "Tuxedo Junction," "One O'Clock Jump," "Little Brown Jug," "Runnin' Wild," and "Farewell Blues." Clyde Hurley has some hot trumpet solos along the way, but this set is primarily recommended to fans of the Andrews Sisters. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released July 26, 2019 | Old Nostalgic Gramophone Music Publishing


Pop - Released August 29, 2019 | Nostalgic Melody Music Production


Jazz - Released October 19, 1992 | RCA Bluebird


Jazz - Released April 19, 2019 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah


Jazz - Released February 4, 2003 | RCA Bluebird

After a long period of neglect, in 2001 RCA began doing right by Glenn Miller (via its rejuvenated jazz and swing arm Bluebird) with a four-disc set of 1943-44 performances by Glenn Miller & the Army Air Force Band. The 2002 compilation America's Bandleader was short and idiosyncratic but the following year, Platinum Glenn Miller offered the perfect summation of the war era's number one bandleader. With 40 tracks spread over two CDs, it's slightly shorter than 1995's The Essential Glenn Miller, but excellent sound and thoughtful compiling make up for any shortcomings. The Miller Orchestra was a perennial on the charts from 1939 until 1943, not only soundtracking the war years but exerting a sizable influence on pop music until the '50s via its heavy reed sound, feature soloists like Bobby Hackett and Tex Beneke, and the arrangements of Bill Finegan and Jerry Gray. They were bright and bouncy (as on "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "[I've Got a Gal In] Kalamazoo," "Pennsylvania 6-5000"), or calm and reflective ("Stairway to the Stars," "In the Mood," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"), and always clear, melodic, and unabashedly emotional (none of which made them any friends with jazz crowds). Yes, the mellow Miller did have plenty to offer his pop audience, but as Platinum Glenn Miller illustrates, his was one of the most talented groups of the '40s. © John Bush /TiVo

Jazz - Released February 8, 2018 | Remastered Classics


Traditional Jazz & New Orleans - Released December 1, 2017 | Bofm Ltd


Jazz - Released February 26, 2019 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah


World - Released December 20, 2019 | MP Digital


Jazz - Released August 1, 1996 | RCA Victor

The Lost Recordings is two-CD set which has Glenn Miller's legendary final recordings, six propaganda broadcasts recorded in England with his Army Air Force Band and aired in Nazi Germany and throughout Europe. A female announcer speaks (mostly in German); Miller alternates between German and English, and Johnny Desmond sings quite effectively in German. The big band (which also included a full string section) is heard in prime form on swing tunes and some mood music. All of the performances plus additional announcements and versions of Miller's theme "Moonlight Serenade" are included on the English Avid label's Glenn Miller double-CD The Complete Abbey Road Recordings (in addition to four selections from an earlier session), so that two-fer will be preferred by completists. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Traditional Jazz & New Orleans - Released October 23, 2019 | Golden Bridge Records


Jazz - Released September 16, 2017 | Millennium Digital Remaster


Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Legacy Recordings

The Glenn Miller Orchestra's appearance at Carnegie Hall does not contain any unusual material, sticking to the band's regular repertoire. However this was an auspicious occasion (showing that after years of struggle Miller had finally arrived) and there are plenty of highlights. Excellent versions of such songs as "Running Wild," "Little Brown Jug," "One O'Clock Jump" and "In the Mood" are the highlights and there are also two vocals by Ray Eberle and three from Marion Hutton. A good all-around showcase for the band, it is surprising that the music on this LP has yet to be reissued on CD. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 5, 1998 | RCA Victor

Released to coincide with the arrival of Memorial Day, Operation: Build Morale is a worthwhile compilation of many of Glenn Miller's most popular and enduring wartime favorites. Among the selections: "In the Mood," "Pennsylvania 6-5000," "American Patrol," "The Squadron Song," "The Army Air Corp/A Fellow on a Furlough" and "(There'll Be a) Hot Time in the Town of Berlin (When the Yanks Go Marching In)." © Jason Ankeny /TiVo