Category: Swing 101

Baby Bird–“Swingmatism” (1941) Charlie Parker with Jay McShann

“Swingmatism” Composed by Jay McShann; probable “head” arrangement. Recorded by Jay McShann and His Orchestra for Decca on April 30, 1941 in Dallas,Texas.(*) Jay McShann, piano, directing: Harold Bruce,Orville Minor and Bernard Anderson, trumpets; Joe Baird, trombone; Charles Christopher “Bird” Parker, Jr. lead alto saxophone; John Jackson, alto saxophone; Bob Mabane and Harry Ferguson, tenor […]

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“Happy as the Day Is Long” (1934) Fletcher Henderson

“Happy as the Day is Long” Composed by Harold Arlen; arranged by Benny Carter. Recorded by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra for Decca on September 11, 1934. Fletcher Henderson directing: Russell Smith, first trumpet; Irving “Mouse” Randolph and Henry “Red” Allen, trumpets; Claude Jones and Keg Johnson, trombones; Hilton Jefferson, first alto saxophone; Russell Procope, […]

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“Smoke Rings” (1937) Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra.

“Smoke Rings” Composed and arranged by H. Eugene Gifford. Recorded by Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra for Decca on July 23, 1937 in New York. Glen Gray, saxophone and B-flat clarinet, directing: Walter Smith, Frankie Zullo and Grady Watts, trumpets; Billy Rauch, Fritz Hummel and Pee Wee Hunt, trombones; Art Ralston, Danny D’Andrea, […]

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“Eager Beaver” (1943) Stan Kenton

“Eager Beaver” Composed and arranged by Stan Kenton. Recorded on November 19, 1943 for Capitol in Hollywood, California. Stanley N. Kenton, piano, leading: Marion “Buddy” Childers, Karl George, Ray Borden, John Carroll, Dick Morse, trumpets; Harry Forbes, George Faye, tenor trombones; Bart Varsalona, bass trombone; Eddie Meyers, Art Pepper, alto saxophones;  Red Dorris, Maurice Beeson, […]

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“The Jitterbug Waltz” (1942) Fats Waller

“The Jitterbug Waltz” Composed by Fats Waller. Recorded by Fats Waller and His Rhythm for Victor on March 16, 1942 in New York. Thomas “Fats” Waller, Hammond organ, directing: John “Bugs” Hamilton, Courtney Williams, Joe Thomas, trumpets; George Wilson, Herb Flemming, trombones; Gene “Honeybear” Cedric, clarinet and tenor saxophone; George James, Lawrence Fields, alto saxophones; […]

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“Is That Religion?” (1933) Mildred Bailey and the Dorsey Brothers

“Is That Religion?” Composed by Maceo Pinkard (music) and Mitchell Parish (lyric); arranged by Glenn Miller. Mildred Bailey accompanied by the Dorsey Brothers. Recorded for Brunswick on April 8, 1933 in New York City. Mildred Bailey, vocal; Tommy Dorsey, trombone,directing: Bunny Berigan, trumpet; Jimmy Dorsey, clarinet and alto saxophone; unknown tenor saxophonist; Fulton McGrath, piano; […]

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“High Society” (1938) Bunny Berigan

“High Society” Composed by Porter Steele and Walter Melrose; arranged by Joe Lippman. Recorded on September 13, 1938 by Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra for Victor in New York City. Roland B. “Bunny” Berigan, solo trumpet; directing: Steve Lipkins, first trumpet, Irving Goodman, trumpet; Nat Lobovsky, first trombone, Ray Conniff, trombone; George “Gigi” Bohn, first […]

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“Dream of You” (1934) Jimmie Lunceford

“Dream of You” Composer, lyricist and arranger, Sy Oliver. Recorded by Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra for Decca on October 29, 1934. Jimmie Lunceford, directing: Eddie Tompkins, Sy Oliver and Tommy Stevenson, trumpets; Henry Wells and Russell Bowles, trombones; Willie Smith, La Forest Dent, Joe Thomas and Earl Caruthers, saxophones; Eddie Wilcox, piano; Al Norris, […]

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“It Don’t Mean a Thing…If It Ain’t Got That Swing” (1932) Duke Ellington

  “It Don’t Mean a Thing…If It Ain’t Got That Swing” music, lyric and arrangement by Duke Ellington. Recorded by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra on February 2, 1932 for Brunswick Records in New York. Duke Ellington, piano, directing: Arthur Whetsel, Freddy Jenkins, Charles M. “Cootie” Williams, trumpets; Lawrence Brown, Joseph “Tricky Sam” Nanton, trombones; […]

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The Birth Of Swing

Louis Armstrong and “West End Blues,” Bix Beiderbecke and “Clementine,” and the “Birth” of Swing An introduction to the music, musicians and singers of the swing era. Big bands were the major purveyors of swing music, but by no means the only ones.  Many small groups also played great swing. For this introduction to swing […]

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