Composer, librettist, playwright, actor, singer and director – Noel Coward was all of these. He was also quintessentially English, patriotic and proud of it. This classic collection features 23 different recordings ranging from 1928 to 1950. Past Perfect is proud to present a tribute to the versatility and brilliance of this multi-faceted talent.
“I’m a Noel Coward fan so absolutely delighted with this very clever medley of his songs, sung with charm by other artists as well as Noel … Review brief but then brevity is the soul of wit – Noel Coward would agree. Thank you.” J Andrews, Kent
Composer, librettist, playwright, actor, singer and director – Noel Coward was all of these, and he remains one of the most famous figures in twentieth century British theatre. Quintessentially English he was too, and patriotic, and proud of it. In this collection of twenty-three different recordings ranging from 1928 to 1950, we are proud to present a tribute to the versatility and brilliance of this multi-faceted major talent.
From the time of his first published recording in 1928 into the 1940s Coward frequently used Carroll Gibbons as his accompanist or orchestral conductor – a wise choice as the American-born (but confirmed Anglophile) was a first-rate musician. At the keyboard he was matchless, with his own immediately identifiable style which we can enjoy on the sides where he accompanies Coward and, more specifically, in our opener, Something To Do With Spring. By this time, Carroll had sole leadership of The Savoy Hotel Orpheans as co-leader Howard Jacobs had left in June 1932 to direct the band at the Berkeley Hotel. Words And Music also gives us four more numbers or selections which first saw the light of day in this revue. Light years away from Gertrude Lawrence’s 1932 recording is the delectable Dinah Shore, from Tennessee, who gives us her caressing rendition of Mad About The Boy. This firmly points the way to Dinah Washington’s classic version sixteen years later. By 1939, the seven year-old The Younger Generation was in need of a little dusting off. This is certainly gets with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s breathtakingly dazzling improvisations at a time when the soloists and The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France were at their cohesive best. The outbreak of war found them in England; Reinhardt risked life and limb to leg it back to France while Grappelli stayed in the UK for the duration of the hostilities.