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on 22 May 2014
Red Norvo does not always get the recognition due to him as an instrumentalist and arranger. This 2 disc set is a varied selection from the fifties where he plays small group sessions and with larger combos with a variety of "West coast2 musicians and the estimable vocalist, Helen humes also features prominently. There are some stellar names in the various groups including Tal Farlow, jimmy Raney, Shelley Manne, and 3 tracks featuring Harry Edison and Ben Webster. well worth the modest price tag !!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 February 2014
The oldest of the four albums here is "Dancing on the Ceiling" which was recorded for Decca over four sessions between July 1952 and April 1953. To begin with the trio comprised Red Mitchell on bass and Tal Farlow on guitar, but the latter was replaced midway by Jimmy Raney. "Music to Listen to Red Norvo by" was recorded in early 1957, with a sextet that included Buddy Collette on flute, Bill Smith on clarinet, Barney Kessel on guitar, Red Mitchell, and Shelly Manne on drums. "Red Plays the Blues" was the product of two sessions; the first in January 1957, the second twelve months later, and "Red Norvo in Stereo" was recorded in March 1958. with a 13-piece orchestra.

My preference is for the two earlier albums, particularly "Dancing on the Ceiling", where the accompaniment provides the perfect setting for his vibes, which he deploys to good effect in a set of standards. The sextet album is ostensibly under Norvo's leadership, but composer/clarinettist Bill Smith is much to the fore, and the album concludes with his complex four-movement Divertimento. I suspect that for some this will be the main attraction. "Red Plays the Blues" offers four tracks from the earlier session by a sextet including Harry Edison and Ben Webster, and three by a 13-piece orchestra, with vocals on two by singer Helen Humes. Finally "Red Norvo in Stereo" offers 12 standards by a 14-piece orchestra, featuring Helen Humes on 8 tracks. Her vocals have a throaty quality in the middle register, but acquire a harsher tone as she ascends the scale, and it's that stridency which holds me back from a five-star rating.
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on 13 August 2015
A longtime fan of Red this didn't disapoint I saw him live in concert with Tad Farlow many years ago and that triggered my enthusiasm.There are some big band tracks which are excellent. I must confess I've not heard of Helen Humes but I thought she had a stunning voiceand shall be lokking into other of her recordings.Finaaly if your also a Frank Sinatra fan may I recommend Live in Australia 1959 with Red backing him.
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on 21 June 2014
very high quality in every respect. Sound, selection and performance. Helen Humes voice a lttle harsh but acceptable. Norvo in top form
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on 31 July 2014
A first class selection of tracks with good sound and lots of interesting music
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on 26 June 2014
fairly average easy listening good price
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on 2 June 2015
i found it rather boring
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