The Mills Brothers: The 1930s Recordings. Long before the Mills Brothers were a middle-of-the-road quartet known for their close-harmony ballads, they were a smooth-toned, hipper-than-hip vocal group billed as “four boys and a guitar” that Lester Young once wittily described as “the best saxophone section I ever heard.” Their first 116 recordings, pristinely remastered by John R.T. Davies, have been collected in this low-priced five-CD set that abounds with musical riches, including guest appearances by Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby. The listening is easy, but the swinging is hard (TT).
Archives for January 6, 2008
The Trip to Bountiful. Peter Masterson’s 1985 film of Horton Foote’s 1953 TV play isn’t quite as good as the stage version–Geraldine Page’s Oscar-winning star turn is a bit too fluttery and flirtatious–but it still captures the essence of Foote’s deeply moving tale of an old woman trapped in a Houston apartment who longs to see her home town once more before she dies. If you’re anywhere near Chicago when the Goodman Theatre’s revival opens in March, make every effort to see it. Otherwise, you won’t go far wrong by renting this DVD (TT).