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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5 star selections, problematic transfers.
on 22 November 2011
In a nutshell, This 2010 CD has very good selections but the "remastering" of the transfers has drawbacks.
"Remastering" is of course a misnomer, because there is no multi-track tape source from which to make a new master. The source is the metal master prepared during the recording session. These can sound a bit dull at first, for instance on Sony's 2008 three disc set RCA Original Masters The Best Of Glenn Miller (1938-1942) (one reviewer says they became dull because Glenn kept playing them) but turn up the treble and I think they are not so bad. (Those metal transfers were made by Bernardo Cosachow).
Sony have done two things on this album. First of all, they have made everything artificially bright. I find that the brass is a tiny bit harsh, and tiring. If you are going to be listening to this on a bookshelf system during a party, you won't notice - and this is probably the CD for you - but listen on a Hi-Fi or with headphones and the problems are clear. Secondly, Sony have added fake stereo processing. This is less subtle than that done by Robert Parker on the wonderful album Glenn Miller: Swing Legends. I think Sony have over-done it. Parker also worked from Australian masters that seem to be in better condition. Overall, the sound quality on his CD is much much better - it's an amazing achievement.
Turning to the selections, they are very good. Only Anvil Chorus is missing, and there aren't too many of the vocal numbers, which looking back were not Miller's strong point. In particular, the style of the vocal chorus group "The Modernaires" has not stood the test of time, but they are only to be heard on the classic "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", which was the first record to sell 1 million copies. Ray Eberle sings on "On a little street in Singapore" and "Blueberry Hill", and Al Hirt on "Fools rush in".
In summary: very good selections, and the transfers are bright but listen closely and you may find they are too bright. I recommend that you get the Robert Parker CD, even though the selections are not as good. The double album Platinum Glenn Miller, transferred by Doug Pomeroy, sounds a lot better than this. I've yet to hear Sony's 2005 album The Essential Glenn Miller which has mono masters, it may well be good too.