1997, Music

The Best of Tommy Dorsey and His Clambake Seven (1997 Retrieval)

Dorsey – along with his brother – was often accused of not playing “jazz”, something of a hurtful accusation to someone who felt he was a jazz musician. This was actually a fairly common thing in the ’30s when jazz and popular dance music were pretty tough to distinguish. (To this day, many people will tell you Glenn Miller played jazz.)

Maybe I’m looking to hard for motive, but it sure seems to me like this band was at least an attempt to prove those people wrong. This band definitely played jazz, and so if his big band was indeed just playing pop music – and I don’t know, having heard little of it – this is one way he could escape the charge.

The issue is that this band played jazz from a different decade. Very little of this is anything but dixieland revivalism. There’s the odd touch of swing here and there – mostly in the vocals – but for the most part this is music that could have been recorded in the ’20s – though the recordings obviously sound better than sides recorded in the ’20s. And so it’s hard to really celebrate this stuff, even if the music is indeed good. Why not just listen to the genuine article instead?


  1. At The Codfish Ball, 3:12
  2. The Milkman’s Matinee, 3:21
  3. Twilight In Turkey, 3:24
  4. He’s A Gypsy From Poughkeepsie, 2:54
  5. Alibi Baby, 3:05
  6. Is This Gonna Be My Lucky Summer?, 3:11
  7. Who’ll Be The One This Summer?, 2:39
  8. Posin’, 2:37
  9. All You Want To Do Is Dance, 2:40
  10. Having Wonderful Time (Wish You Were Here)2:35
  11. After You, 3:24
  12. Stardust On The Moon, 2:38
  13. The Big Apple, 2:44
  14. The Lady Is A Tramp, 2:57
  15. Tears In My Heart, 2:58
  16. Josephine, 2:29
  17. If The Man In The Moon, 2:46
  18. Nice Work If You Can Get It, 2:24
  19. You’re A Sweetheart, 3:07
  20. When The Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam’, 3:14
  21. Everybody’s Doing It

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