Thursday, September 23, 2010
Yessiree, Yessiree... Neither a Dud Nor a Stick in the Mud: The Mills Brothers- London Sessions (1934-39)
The fabulous Mills Brothers. (Look 'em up.) This collection rounds up some choice recordings made during their stint in London after being moved to Decca in 1932. With the golden throats of blessed angels, these brother men render up some essential versions of classic songs: Hoagy Carmichael's eternally welcome "Lazybones", the ecstatically delightful "F.D.R. Jones", "Jeepers Creepers", "Organ Grinder's Swing", and an all killer-no filler lineup of popular songs of the 20's and 30's, delivered in an unmistakably unique fashion.
It can be hard to tell when they are actually being accompanied by a real instrument and when it's their magical mouths making orchestra movements (which is indeed the case, more often than not), but the effect is thrilling, and not just for fans of vintage acapella and/or scatting (oh, the scatting!). It sounds so good... Nowhere is that "just-the-mouth-sounds" ethos more fabulous or effective than on "Caravan", the Brothers' version of that marvellous Duke Ellington masterpiece. All the orchestra parts are performed by the Brothers (except the acoustic guitar), and the horn sounds are so warm and right and good... brother you got to swing to it your own self. Believe.
MILLS IN LONDON