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For over 60 years Les Brown & His Band of Renown enjoyed unprecedented success as a top-flight jazz-oriented dance band. Doris Day first found fame with the band, Tony Bennett first performed with Brown, and the band backed comedian Bob Hope on radio, stage, and TV for almost 50 years. This 1975 release presents Brown’s band in full flush, with outstanding soloists and compositions that include classic standards as well as contemporary popular hits. From the hit Broadway show and movie of the same name, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever features impressive clarinet and piano solos, whereas Jim Croce’s Bad Bad Leroy Brown is given the appropriate pop treatment behind Butch Stone’s husky vocals. The instrumental My Kind of Girl is followed by Neal Diamond’s pop hit Song Sung Blue, with long-time band vocalist Jo Ann Greer painting the blue bright. The movie theme from Airport 75 takes off in minor key, Everybody Loves Somebody features a swinging tenor sax solo, Stone sings A Good Man is Hard to find with sassy panache, and saxophonist Louis Ciotti sinks his teeth into the medium tempo Juicy Fruit. Made famous by The Carpenters, Sing is given a pop-rock feel behind trombonist Stumpy Brown’s vocals. The band’s 1945 smash hit, Sentimental Journey, catapulted Doris Day to fame. Greer’s vocals does the original version proud. Another band standard, Bob Hope’s theme song Thanks for the Memories, is taken at a brisk medium tempo with the piano given solo honors. There’s a bit of nostalgia here, and it’s ‘easy listening’ music in the best sense – music to sit down to with your favorite drink, relax, and enjoy!

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