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Victor Young "The Best Of..." (Collector's Choice, 1998)
Delicious "sweet bands" oldies from the orchestra of the Brunswick label's well-known behind-the-scenes performer-arrangers, who also did a considerable amount of work in Hollywood. Young seldom led his "own" band, but rather lent his orchestra's considerable ooompf to singles by numerous other artists, ranging from the most obscure, most whimsically named outfits to headliners like Bing Crosby, Ruth Etting, Ethel Waters and others. Among his top-line sidemen were Bunny Berigan, Joe Venuti and the omnipresent Dorsey Brothers -- with talent like that, how could you go wrong? This is fine stuff, exuding self-assurance and professionalism, but still with a lot of soulfulness and bounce. It's sweet and corny, but also a notch or two above many of the contemporary bands of the 1920s and '30s.

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