From the Record Shelves #164

Embraceable You

LP Epic EE 22004

In the end of the 1930s, the commercial possibilities of the jazz music were used to great advantage. Outstanding instrumentalists with good looks and musical personality joined the big band craze and toured all over the US and competed for radio contracts.

Bobby Hackett who started with playing guitar but had switched to cornet made a try which didn’t last more than six months. But his band made two recording sessions that are witness to a high artistic level.

This wonderful tune by George Gershwin recorded in 1939 became a Hackett specialty. He has a flair for exploring the harmonic possibilities that a tune, especially a ballad, can offer and use it in a lyrical manner, and this led him to a career later where he made records in a sentimental mood with strings.

But as a pure jazzman Bobby Hackett’s best achievement is that he was employed to play concerts with Louis Armstrong’s All Stars in the 1940s and 50s with great success.