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Live Jazz From Club 15 by Glenn Miller Orchestra/Si Zentner Orchestra

Glenn Miller and Si Zentner, with their orchestras, share billing on Live Jazz From Club 15, part of a series of CDs made from re-discovered tapes of live broadcasts by Las Vegas station KLUC. Recorded in 1966 by disc jockey Mike Gold, they were found by his grandchildren in 2004, restored and released last year.

Four decades ago, the lounges of Vegas casinos regularly booked jazz artists. Luckily evidence of their performances have been captured here. In all, six CDs have been released in this series, featuring such greats as Stan Getz, George Shearing and Woody Herman.

As might be expected, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, fronted at this time by noted clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, offers little real jazz but affords afficionados a chance to hear Miller standards such as "Moonlight Serenade," "St. Louis Blues March," and "String of Pearls." De Franco is well accounted for in his frequent solos.

Pop singer Bobby Rydell joins the band for three songs, including "Enjoy Joy, Love Love" in his overly affected Sinatra-influenced style. He certainly comes off lame in comparison to Mel Torme who sings with Zentner's group.

In fact, Zentner redeems the disc, starting out with a hard-charging "Mission to Moscow" which will startle anyone awake who might have been dozing off during the Miller section. This is followed by the band’s Basie-like rendition of "Japanese Sandman." No band personnel is listed on the CD, but leader Si contributes a warm solo on this behind the lush sax section.

Torme, one of jazz’s most respected vocalists, was in his prime in the ‘60s, often sharing the bill with bands in Vegas. On this, he delivers his usual swinging version of "Riding High," followed by his lyrical treatment of "A Foggy Day in London Town."

Back then, Zentner’s band was celebrating its recent hit, "Up A Lazy River," and the recording concludes with a crowd-pleasing version of this number.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Glenn Miller Orchestra/Si Zentner Orchestra
  • CD Title: Live Jazz From Club 15
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Request Records
  • Tracks: Moonlight Serenade, Speak Low, Rhapsody in Blue, St. Louis Blues March, Medley (Brotherhood of Man, If I Had a Hammer),Somebody Loves Me, String of Pearls, Mission to Moscow, Japanese Sandman, Watermelon Man, Riding High, Foggy Day in London Town, Up a Lazy River
  • Musicians: Glenn Miller Orchestra (personnel not listed) with guest vocalist Bobby Rydell; Si Zentner Orchestra (personnel not listed) with guest vocalist Mel Torme
  • Rating: Two Stars
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