Brandenburg Productions, Inc.
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The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, December 31, 1997

 

 

Jerry Krupnick on TV

 

What to watch while waiting for the ball to drop

 

Big Band New Year’s Eve

 

(11 p.m., WLIW Ch. 21) Cincinnati Pops swings in the New Year with classics of the ‘40's and ‘50's. Guest performers include Doc Severinsen, Ed Shaughnessy and Patti Page. Rated TV-G.

 

       .... If that IS your generation gap, your better bet for tonight’s celebration might be Doc Severinsen and the Cincinnati Pops with their “Big Band New Year’s Eve.”  This annual PBS special, oddly enough, WILL NOT BE SEEN on Channel 13, as you would expect. Not to worry, however, it still will be readily available on WLIW, Channel 21.

      With the youngsters of today suddenly discovering that the swingtimes of their parents will always be the thing, this may be just what many of them will welcome when it’s time for “Auld Lang Syne.”

      At least you can slow dance or Lindy to this great outpouring of music, conducted by an exuberant Erich Kunzel and his Cincy Swingers.

      The downbeat begins with Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and the 90 minutes finishes with Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”  In between, we get everything from Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine” to Duke Ellington’s “A Train” to Harry James’ “You Made Me Love You” to Les Brown’s “Sentimental Journey.”  And that’s just the overture!

      Doc, who offers a splendiferous array of wild new jackets to go with his smokin’ trumpet solos, has also brought along drummer Ed Shaughnessy from his old “Tonight Show” band, and they are joined by fluid clarinetist Eddie Daniels and superb trombonist Paul Piller in these timeless original arrangements with a Cincinnati Pops touch.  Wait until you hear Count Basie’s “One O’Clock Jump” with violins.  Honest, it works.

     Also helping to set the nostalgic mood of the ‘40's and ‘50's is that singing rage, Miss Patti Page, who doesn’t quite get around to “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window,” but still holds the franchise on “The Tennessee Waltz.”

     This is truly memorable music, no matter what your demographic.