Here and Now!
The Music of Harry Warren
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.
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