CD Fred Astaire's Finest Hour (CD 297607),
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Fred Astaire's Finest Hour


  • 1. Steppin' Out With My Baby
    2. Let's Call the Whole Things Off
    3. They Can't Take That Away From Me
    4. Cheek to Cheek
    5. They All Laughed
    6. No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)
    7. Puttin' on the Ritz
    8. Oh, Lady Be Good!
    9. Isn't This a Lovely Day
    10. Continental, The
    11. 'S Wonderful
    12. Something's Gotta Give
    13. Fascinating Rhythm
    14. Night and Day
    15. Dancing in the Dark
    16. Top Hat, White Coat and Tails
    17. Afterbeat, The
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 0000524

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    Personnel includes: Fred Astaire (vocals); Flip Phillips (tenor saxophone); Charlie Shaver (trumpet); Barney Kessel (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Alvin Stoller (drums).
    Producer: Norman Granz.
    Compilation producer: Ken Druker.
    Recorded between 1952 & 1959. Includes liner notes by Fred Cohn.
    It's obvious from a moment's thought that Fred Astaire's finest hour occurred in the movie studio, not the recording studio. And while Astaire's musical career was fine indeed, his best performances date from the '30s, when "Night and Day" or "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" weren't pop standards but a pair of magical, effervescent songs just unleashed on the public. Fred Astaire's Finest Hour, the Verve collection, consists of recordings from a pair of '50s dates that have been packaged and repackaged many times over the years. Surprisingly, although he suffered from a thinner voice two decades after his prime, Astaire's sense of melodious fluidity had diminished not a whit. The 1952 LP The Astaire Story, which furnished most of the tracks for this compilation, featured a stately swinging band -- the JATP backbone of Oscar Peterson, Charlie Shavers, Barney Kessel, and Ray Brown -- that fit Astaire's light, airy performances perfectly. They recorded nearly all of Astaire's most famous movie hits, and though his voice had degraded slightly, he also showed he'd learned much since his '30s heyday. Five other tracks date from the 1959 LP Now, which also earns notices for its arrangements (by Marty Paich). ~ John Bush

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