April 23, 2002
Bluebird RCA
Jazz, Tin Pan Alley Pop, Traditional Pop, American Popular Song, Torch Songs, Standards, Early Jazz

Album Review

Stardust Melody, RCA's first document of Hoagy Carmichael's rich, folksy songwriting and gentle vocal artistry in over ten years, does near-perfect work of balancing great performances by Carmichael the endearing vocalist with several outside versions familiar to those who know his pop songbook. First, it leads off with an expressive solo performance of "Star Dust" from 1933, then collects a pair of early (and unreleased) Carmichael performances ("Rockin' Chair," "March of the Hoodlums"). Bix Beiderbecke, an early friend (and the inspiration for "Star Dust"), appears with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra on one of his earliest compositions, "Washboard Blues." Other guests include Mildred Bailey singing "Rockin' Chair" (a song more associated with her than with Carmichael) and "Georgia on My Mind," Earl Hines & His Orchestra polishing "Skylark" with a refined reading from Billy Eckstine, Ethel Waters on "Old Man Harlem," and close to the top, Hot Lips Page on an ebullient version of "Small Fry" from 1938. Compiler Dick Sudhalter -- author of the Carmichael biography and recorder of an album tribute -- did an authoritative job bringing the diverse talents of an individual jazz voice (both vocal and compositional) to the fore in this excellent compilation.
John Bush, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Stardust
  2. Rockin' Chair [#]
  3. March of the Hoodlums [#]
  4. Washboard Blues
  5. Cosmics
  6. Lazy River
  7. Daybreak
  8. Come Easy, Go Easy Love
  9. Sing It Way Down Low
  10. Riverboat Shuffle
  11. Sing Me a Swing Song (And Let Me Dance)
  12. Georgia on My Mind
  13. Rockin' Chair
  14. Skylark
  15. Bread and Gravy
  16. Moon Country
  17. Judy
  18. Rockin' Chair
  19. Lazy Bones
  20. Small Fry
  21. Old Man Harlem
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