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This reissue offers five stereo albums, all recorded by LeRoy Holmes for the MGM label during his tenure as house arranger and conductor. "Sophisticated Strings" contains a dozen standards, all played by the string sections, of which I particularly enjoyed Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" and Dvorak's "Humoresque" which receives a very up-tempo treatment. The focus shifts to Spain with "Spectacular Guitars and Strings: A Fiesta in Sound", which offers a mixture of home-grown and familiar tunes, including a delightful version of the Lerner & Loewe song "The Rain in Spain". "Theme Songs of the Great Big Bands" is self-explanatory, and gives the opportunity for a more varied instrumentation. The original LP, which was issued within a generation of the big band era, carried a guide, but Sam Hick's brief liner note credits only three. The other nine tunes belong as follows:
Contrasts: Jimmy Dorsey
Smoke Rings: Glen Gray & the Casa Loma Orchestra.
Cherokee: Charlie Barnet
Snowfall: Claude Thornhill
Let's Dance: Benny Goodman
I Can't Get Started: Bunny Berigan
Take the "A" Train: Duke Ellington
Nightmare: Artie Shaw
Moonlight Serenade: Glenn Miller
Being in a Hollywood music studio, Leroy Holmes recorded a great deal of theme music from the silver screen, and "Movie Themes for Teens" concentrated on those films which dealt with young love. Eight of the tracks took the title of the film, the remainder were the theme tunes. The compilation concludes with "A Musical Portrait of Ray Charles". This is a superb selection of recordings by one of the foremost studio arrangers of his day, and lovers of light orchestral recordings should snap it up without hesitation.