Tommy Dorsey – The Sentimental Gentleman Of Swing: Centennial Collection [BOX SET] (2005)

Tommy Dorsey - The Sentimental Gentleman Of Swing: Centennial CollectionThe term band has changed much from the “Big Band” days of jazz and swing, and no “Big Band” was bigger than Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. Tommy Dorsey and his brother Jimmy were pushed by their father, Thomas F. Dorsey, to play music in order to keep them from working the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Both his dad, who had taught himself to play five instruments, and Jack Teagarden were big influences on Tommy.

Listening to The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing: Centennial Collection brings to mind images from film and television of giant dance halls filled with people dancing to the music of the orchestra playing on stage. I feel partly regretful for not being alive during the swing era and never getting a chance to see a “Big Band” perform live. Listening to “Liebestraum” or “Dusting The Donkey (Aka ‘The Pay-Off’)” brings instant admiration to an orchestra’s workmanship. The dedication is almost unparalleled in today’s music industry, and maybe even today’s society. Where could you find such devoted people that are focused to bringing something so beautiful?

My personal favorites are “Ten Little Miles From Town” with its remarkable trumpets, and “I Got Rhythm” with its infectious melody. What swing music brought to the world was an extension of innocence and carefree living. That extension might have turned into nostalgia, but the feelings are still real. This collection showcases a multitude of songs, each empathizing different emotions, feelings and states of mind: happiness (“Cinderella Brown”), love (“Marie”), desire (“After You”) and dreariness (“Blues”).

Tommy Dorsey’s music amazed even the great musicians of his time. Everyone wanted to be a part of the Tommy experience from Bing Crosby (“How Deep Is The Ocean?”) to Duke Ellington (“Minor Goes Muggin'”) to Elvis Presley (“Heartbreak Hotel”) to even one of Tommy’s idols Frank Sinatra (“Daybreak”).

Tommy’s leadership skills are unmatched, but those around him — his orchestra and the dozens of musicians that have played with him — must be praised as well. “Pussy Willow” is a great example of how integrated musician and every instrument must be in the song from the trombones to the trumpets to the reeds to the guitars to the piano to the bass and to even the arranger. Usually the magic happens only when everything can align perfectly, and this collection is a testament to what kind of a sorcerer Tommy Dorsey was.

“The entire personalities of Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich came out of Tommy Dorsey.” — Buddy DeFranco

Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra

[photo via Tuxedo Junction]

Track list:


    1. Dusting The Donkey (AKA The Pay-Off)
    2. Ten Little Miles From Town
    3. It Won’t Be Long Now
    4. Add A Little Wiggle
    5. Cherry
    6. It’s Right Here For You
    7. My Melancholy Baby
    8. Mean To Me
    9. Bugle Call Rag
    10. Breakaway
    11. Hallelujah
    12. Dust
    13. My Kind Of Man
    14. I Got Rhythm
    15. Cinderella Brown
    16. Bend Down Sister
    17. Who Stole The Lock On The Hen-House Door?
    18. Goodbye Blues
    19. Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
    20. Lullaby Of The Leaves
    21. Bugle Call Rag
    22. How Deep Is The Ocean?
    23. Shoutin’ In That Amen Corner
    24. Moon Country
    25. Sing (It’s Good For You)


    1. I’m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You
    2. One Night In Monte Carlo
    3. Marie
    4. Head Over Heels In Love
    5. Song Of India
    6. After You
    7. Twilight In Turkey
    8. Melody In F Major
    9. Stop, Look And Listen
    10. Blues
    11. Boogie Woogie
    12. Hawaiian War Chant
    13. Vol Vistu Gaily Star
    14. Imagination
    15. Yes, Indeed!
    16. Opus No.1
    17. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
    18. At The Fat Man’s
    19. Tonight I Shall Sleep
    20. The Minor Goes Muggin’
    21. Trombonology
    22. Pussy Willow
    23. Flagler Drive
    24. Dippermouth Blues


    1. March Of The Toys
    2. Our Love Affair
    3. Easy Does It
    4. I Could Make You Care
    5. Rhumboogie
    6. Star Dust
    7. Liebestraum
    8. East Of The Sun
    9. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
    10. Every Night About This Time
    11. Oh! Look At Me Now
    12. Jimtown Blues
    13. I’ll Never Smile Again
    14. Do I Worry?
    15. Goin’ Home
    16. The Song Is You
    17. Daybreak
    18. There’s Good Blues Tonight
    19. Manhattan Serenade
    20. Take The ‘A’ Train
    21. Heartbreak Hotel

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