"This generously-filled disc contains recordings that are of crucial importance to the Gershwin legacy; the good transfer quality, together with its wide selection of repertoire merits a strong recommendation."
–John Kersey in Hi Fi News
There was a period in the 1920's when Paul Whiteman was much better-known than the up-and-coming George Gershwin. Whiteman's band leading career began after World War I: within a short period of time he had some major hit records on the charts and he was being billed as "The King of Jazz" although "King of Jazz Age" would have been more accurate. For about a decade, he was the most famous bandleader in the world, heading a huge variety of orchestra which played, in addition to viable jazz, show tunes, novelties, vocal ballads, symphonic jazz and the compositions of George Gershwin.
Whiteman commissioned and premiered Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue as well as the Concerto in F and remained a lifelong advocate of Gershwin's music, even using the main melody from Rhapsody in Blue as his theme song.
One day short of the one-year anniversary of George Gershwin's death, Paul Whiteman performed a concert in tribute to his friend in Hollywood; the first half of this CD is drawn from that radio broadcast. The second half includes other rare and authoritative renditions of Gershwin's music by musicians closely associated with his times. Not to be confused with a recent collection of Paul Whiteman's commercial recordings, also produced (like this set) by the eminent Canadian transfer engineer David Lennick (Efrem Productions, Toronto), this CD features exclusively rare, non-commercial broadcast transcriptions by Whiteman. Liner notes by Scott Yanow, editor, All Music Guide to Jazz.
CD-1042 PAUL WHITEMAN CONDUCTS GEORGE GERSHWIN. Live performances from New York and Los Angeles, covering the period 1934-1948; including 2 performances of Rhapsody in Blue (with Roy Bargy and Earl Wild, pianists); Dawn of a New Day; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Love Walked In; Second Rhapsody (with Roy Bargy, piano); Clap Your Hands; Do It Again; I Got Rhythm; Somebody Loves Me: Mischa, Jascha, Toscha, Sascha; An American In Paris; Cuban Overture; and others. AAD. Total time: 79 minutes. UPC # 0-17685-10422-0