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Swing! Here and Now!
The Music of Harry Warren

 ATOMIC AUDIO

Hear Samples of
Swing! Here and Now!

At Last
Chattanooga Choo Choo
I Only Have Eyes For You
I Gotta Gal in Kalamazoo

(Requires Windows Media)

The music of Harry who? Before this disc landed in my lap, I'd never heard of Harry Warren. But, ironically, I'd heard almost everything he ever wrote. Worthy of the status obtained by the Gershwin Brothers, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer, Warren was one of the most influential yet least recognized composers of the big band era. Some of the most well-known American popular standards, including "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "I Only Have Eyes for you," "Jeepers Creeper," "I Gotta Gal in Kalamazoo," "At Last," and "We're in the Money," are attributable to Warren. By 1950, 42 of his songs had charted in the top ten on the popular radio program Your Hit Parade, while Irving Berlin, the closest runnerup, only charted 33.

Swing! Here and Now! is an instrumental collection of the greatest Harry Warren standards, arranged, produced and performed by The George Roumanis Big Band. Created with dancers in mind, the 18 tracks on this disc offer 40 minutes of moderate tempos ideal for smooth swingin'. The musicians' skillis immediately apparent, but after the first couple of tunes, I found myself wondering what happened to the band's energy and punch, which presents itself sporadically. Hats off to Rocksmith Records for digging into the vaults and bringing some long-deserved attention to Harry Warren. The CD is a worthy addition to any swing collection. But for a project that was "not only a labor of love but joy for Roumanis and his troops," the band could have drank a few more cups of coffee before entering the recording studio.

- Chad "DJ Chops" Kincaid



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