Month: January 2017

“John Silver” grows up — Jimmy Dorsey 1938/1944

James Francis Dorsey was the older of the Dorsey brothers, and the smaller, in terms of both physical stature and ego. He was a master musician whose virtuosity on both clarinet and alto saxophone was a source of fascination and inspiration for reed players far and wide, including jazz titans Lester Young and Charlie Parker. […]

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“Song of the Wanderer” (1940) Erskine Hawkins

“Song of the Wanderer” Words and music by Neil Moret; arrangement by William Johnson. Recorded for RCA Bluebird on April 26, 1940 in New York. Erskine Hawkins, trumpet, directing: Sammy Lowe, first trumpet; Wilbur “Dud” Bascomb, Marcellus Green, trumpets; Bob Range and “Captain” Edward Sims, trombones; William “Bill” Johnson, first alto saxophone; Jimmy Mitchelle, alto […]

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“Let’s Walk” (1945) Artie Shaw

The story: The summer and fall of 1945 were challenging times for Artie Shaw, the bandleader. After an extensive cross-country tour with his band that lasted from late 1944 until March 15, 1945, he and his band returned to Hollywood, their base of operations. Shaw noticed that there was a marked decrease in demand for […]

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Reads and Re-reads-Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert

“Benny Goodman’s Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert” by Catherine Tackley I recently finished reading this wonderful book, which was published in 2012 as a part of Oxford University Press’s “Studies in Recorded Jazz” series. For those who have a serious interest in the music of the late-1930s Benny Goodman band, this book will be […]

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