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I Had the Craziest Dream: The Music of Harry Warren

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Audio CD, July 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

David Berger celebrates the music of composer Harry Warren with joy, insight, and wit comparable to that of his Ellington celebration, The Harlem Nutcracker. His octet features two of today's great saxophonists, Harry Allen and Joe Temperley, along with six members of his critically acclaimed Sultans of Swing big band. The octet format allows Berger to celebrate Warren melodies both as ensemble pieces and as vehicles for his soloists - Harry Allen's tour de force on I Only Have Eyes For You, Joe Temperley's mordant, erudite The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, trombonist Marshall Gilkes on the haunting, seldom heard Summer Night and nine more tracks including: Jeepers Creepers, You'll Never Know, I Had The Craziest Dream and Serenade In Blue.

Review

David Berger is a composer and arranger best known for his work with big bands, like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which he conducted for a handful of years, and the Sultans of Swing, which he now leads at Birdland on Tuesday nights. He pares down to eight pieces on I Had the Craziest Dream: The Music of Harry Warren (Such Sweet Thunder) but applies the same principles of savvy orchestration, often achieving a sound reminiscent of the smaller-scale collaborations between Miles Davis and Gil Evans.

The album's honoree, Harry Warren, was a prolific Hollywood composer whose songs always got around more than he did. Mr. Berger mounts a worthy and engaging tribute, with the notable help of his crew. The baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley gently essays the melody of a foxtrot-like Boulevard of Broken Dreams, while the alto saxophonist Matt Hong sweet-talks his way through September in the Rain. And the tenor saxophonist Harry Allen solos gallantly throughout, especially at loping tempos, on a song like You'll Never Know. -- Nate Chinen, NY Times, 7/20/08



Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Such Sweet Thunder
  • ASIN: B0018YIVOY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey L. Turner on July 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is terrific music for people who enjoy albums, not just songs or samples. Elegantly recorded and mastered, the album is a reminder about how great music can sound when done right. These guys really know how to play. Young bassist Yasushi Nakamura helps keep the old masters grooving to a solid, deeply lyrical beat. Harry Allen contributes not one, but two "Body and Soul" tenor experiences (on You'll Never Know and Old Cowhand). The album builds towards a grand finale of richly textured music.

As a CD, it sounds great. Let's hope they bring it to market as an LP. For folks with a high-end stereo system, it will be a really spectacular listening experience. And when it happens, be sure to crank it up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John C. Whitney on November 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Berger supplies another great CD with creative scoring and wonderful players. The improvisation is especially superior. With the many close voicings, I found the intonation to be somewhat lacking in a few spots, but it was wonderful to hear Warren's music treated with such respect and creativity.
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By JayJee66 on September 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very enjoyable recording of standards by a composer most people, even jazz fans, probably didn't realize is behind some of the best tunes in the American songbook. The David Berger Octet is tight and nimble in this well-engineered collection and puts something special into each track. Let's hope for a follow-up release with more Harry Warren.
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