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Ambrose & His Orchestra: When Day Is Done - His 51 Finest 1928-1944



Here is well over two and a half hours of the best of Britain’s finest dance band: Ambrose, on a great double CD set. Warsaw-born Benjamin Baruch Berofski (1896-1971) aka “Bert Ambrose” led what was considered to be the very best British dance band of that golden era, playing dance music with a strong Ellington-inspired jazz flavour.

When Day Is Done, the band’s signature tune, is the title of Retrospective’s distillation of the best from Ambrose’ prolific discography. The sequence carefully balances vocal and instrumental items, many of which benefit from the terrific arrangements of Sid Phillips (no fewer than nine of his are featured, including the wonderful Cotton Pickers’ Congregation). Ambrose employed many of the best musicians around: Danny Polo, Bert Amstell, Ted Heath, Stanley Black, George Chisholm – and it shows!

For the vocal numbers Ambrose again chose the best. His regular singer was Sam Browne (heard on 17 tracks: The Sun Has Got His Hat On), second only to Al Bowlly as Britain’s favourite male dance band singer, but the collection also features the young Vera Lynn, Anne Shelton, Elsie Carlisle, Denny Dennis and even a visiting Connee Boswell (I’ll Never Say “Never Again” Again). This is British dance music of the 30s at its finest.

Ambrose & His Orchestra: When Day Is Done - His 51 Finest 1928-1944