Category: Swingscapes

“Cherry” (1937 and 1941) Benny Goodman

The Ripening of “Cherry” “Cherry” Composed by Don Redman; arranged by Jimmy Mundy. Recorded by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra from a CBS radio sustaining broadcast October 27,1937, Madhattan Room, Hotel Pennsylvania, New York City. Benny Goodman, clarinet, directing: Harry James, first trumpet; Ziggy Elian, Chris Griffin, trumpets; Red Ballard and Vernon Brown, trombones; Hymie Shertzer, […]

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“Manhattan” (1950) Lee Wiley

(This is the second installment in the ongoing Rodgers and Hart celebration here at swingandbeyond.com.) The story: Lee Wiley, born October 9, 1908 in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, and died December 11, 1975 in New York City, was a pioneering American jazz singer. After short period of study in Tulsa, Oklahoma she went to New York City to begin a career […]

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“Chelsea Bridge” Billy and Billy (Strayhorn and May)

They both grew up in Pittsburgh at the same time, the 1920s and 1930s, and knew each other. They were about the same age. But they were very different people. One was big and boisterous; the other was small and quiet. One spoke the rough argot of a Pittsburgh steelworker; the other was soft-spoken, articulate, […]

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“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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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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Swing and Swing Redux…”Dawn on the Desert”

  “Dawn on the Desert” Composed and arranged by Charlie Shavers Recorded by the John Kirby Sextet for Vocalion on January 9, 1939 in New York. John Kirby, bass, directing: Charlie Shavers, trumpet; William “Buster” Bailey, clarinet; Russell Procope, alto saxophone; Billy Kyle, piano; William “O’Neill” Spencer, drums. The story: One of the most interesting […]

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Reads and re-reads…Clark Terry and Larry Elgart

Some Thoughts on the Autobiography of Clark Terry, and Recollections of Larry Elgart. I have recently read two books about notable musicians, an autobiography by the great jazz trumpeter Clark Terry (1920-2015), and the other, a book of recollections by the leader of many excellent dance bands, saxophonist Larry Elgart (b.1922). Both men had successful […]

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