Category: Swingscapes

“Rattle and Roll” (1945) Benny Goodman

“Rattle and Roll” Composed and arranged by Wilbur “Buck” Clayton. Recorded by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra for Columbia on December 19, 1945 in New York. Benny Goodman, clarinet, directing: Conrad Gozzo, first trumpet; John Best, Bernie Privin, Billy Butterfield, trumpets; Kai Winding, Chauncey Welsch, Dick LaFave, trombones; Bill Shine, first alto saxophone; Gerald Sanfino, […]

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“Manha de Carnaval” (1962) Vince Guaraldi

“Manha de Carnaval” Music composed by Luiz Bonfa’. Recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio in February, 1962 for Fantasy Records in San Francisco. Vince Guaraldi, piano; Monty Budwig, bass; Colin Bailey, drums. The story: As we approach Shrove Tuesday, my thoughts turn to various traditional and decidedly non-religious festivals that occur just before the beginning […]

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“The Christmas Song” and Nat “King” Cole

The story: Try to rewind your mind to the summer of 1945, in the San Fernando Valley district of Los Angeles, California. I quote singer Mel Torme’ to fill in the rest of the details: “One excessively hot afternoon, I drove out to Bob Wells’s house in Toluca Lake for a work session. The San Fernando […]

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“Tuxedo Junction” Erskine Hawkins (1939) and Glenn Miller (1940)

“Tuxedo Junction” Composed by Erskine Hawkins, William Johnson and Julian Dash; head arrangement organized by William Johnson. Recorded by Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra for RCA-Bluebird on July 18, 1939 in New York. Erskine Hawkins, trumpet, directing: Sammy Lowe, first trumpet; Marcellus Green, Wilbur “Dud” Bascomb, trumpets; Bob Range and Edward Sims, trombones; William Johnson, […]

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In Finegan’s Wake: a Salute to Master Arranger Bill Finegan – Part 1.

The story: This post is not about James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Rather, it is a look back at the musical heritage that master swing era (and later) arranger Bill Finegan has left us. William James Finegan (1917-2008), lived a long and musically productive life.Indeed, he was writing music professionally for over seventy years. Aficionados of his […]

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The “Birth” of the Swing Era–Part 1-“I Got Rhythm” (1935) Benny Goodman

“I Got Rhythm” Composed by George Gershwin; arranged by Fletcher Henderson. Recorded by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra live from the NBC “Let’s Dance” radio show of May 4, 1935. Benny Goodman, clarinet, directing: George “Pee Wee” Erwin, Ralph Muzzillo, Jerry Neary, trumpets; Jack Lacey and Sterling “Red” Ballard, trombones; Nuncio “Toots” Mondello, Hymie Shertzer, […]

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