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Monday, August 30, 2021

So In Love - Joe Rene


Speak Low

So In Love
Joe Rene and His Orchestra
RKO Records SLP-1001

From the back cover: All the world loves a lover, and all lovers love the proper mood music so necessary for that perfect evening. Joe Rene and his orchestra provide just the right touch your looking for in this album. SO IN LOVE.

Each selection is a musical gem, arranged, performed and recorded with great care in order to achieve maximum perfection. On side 1, the vibrant warmth of the string work captures all the beauty of such lovely numbers as "I'm Old Fashioned" and "Speak Low." All of the violin solos are by George Ockner who really knows how to make his instrument sing, sweetly and caressingly as a lover's kiss. The lush treatment given "Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe" features a melancholic flute solo giving just the right interpretation to this number.

If the evening calls for dancing, Joe Rene and his orchestra handle each of the danceable numbers with the same consistent perfection, whether a beguine such as "So In Love," a waltz or a bright fox-trot spiced with a Dixieland beat such as "Thou Swell."

Joe Rene, the versatile orchestra leader and trumpet player is responsible for the unusual arrangement of "Like Chopsticks" which blend the frustration of a would-be piano player through a variety of soothing tempos. Not only did he arrange all the other selections in this album, but also wrote the "Theme From Claudette." While in Hollywood between 1952 and 1954 Joe composed this theme as background music for the movie "Claudette" which was, unfortunately never released. The music is so beautiful, however, that it was the consensus of opinion to bring it to the public's attention. Another original from Joe's hand in the "Vals de Montmartre," done in the typical French manner utilizing an enchanting solo for the musette accordion.

Holland born, Joe came to the U.S. in 1948 and his services were immediately in great demand. This was due to the invaluable musical education he had received at the Paris Conservatory and the experience he garnered conducting and playing publicly while still attending school, plus his own musical talent and sensitivity.

The musicians are all experienced, expert technicians who are able to perform in any style and the mutual respect found in this group would be hard to duplicate.  Bill Stanley, on bass, has worked with both the Radio City Music Hall orchestra and many symphony orchestras. Julie Schwartz, who switches from clarinet to sax to flute with no difficulty; Tony Rongo on drums. Mill Sines on trombone and Tommy Lucas, guitar.

From Billboard - March 9, 1959: A package of mood music, romantic and danceable. Some feature lush violin with violin solos by George Ockler, others are sprightly, as the Dixieland treatment of "Thou Swell" and the novelty version of "Chopsticks."

Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
Like Chopsticks
Theme From Claudette
I'm Old Fashioned
Speak Low
Vals De Montmartre
But Beautiful
Shadow Waltz
Thou Swell
So In Love

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