Tag: swingandbeyond.com

“Star Dust” (1940) Artie Shaw

The story: It is always challenging to write objectively and accurately about Artie Shaw’s music and personality. On the one hand, much of the music Shaw made during the swing era was wonderful, indeed great. On the other, when exploring Shaw’s music, one usually encounters a good many myths and distortions surrounding the man, and […]

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“Tenderly” (1953) Art Tatum

“Tenderly” Composed by Walter Gross. Recorded on December 28-29, 1953 by Art Tatum for Clef in Los Angeles. Art Tatum, solo piano. The story: How does one begin to discuss the piano artistry of Art Tatum? Superlatives like magnificent, incredible and amazing are inadequate.Tatum was better than that.What exactly did Tatum do when he played the […]

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The Smell of Money: George Shearing and Nat “King” Cole

“It Never Entered My Mind” Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Recorded by George Shearing for Concord Jazz in San Francisco, California in May of 1985. George Shearing, solo piano. The story: Two of the most talented pianists in the history of jazz were George Shearing (1919-2011), and Nat “King” Cole (1919-1965). Cole is […]

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The Mancini Touch: “Robbins’ Nest” (1959)

“Robbins’ Nest” Composed by Illinois Jacquet and Sir Charles Thompson; arranged by Henry Mancini. Recorded by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra for RCA Victor on August 11, 1959 in Hollywood, California. Henry Mancini, directing: Dick Nash, first trombone; Jimmy Priddy, John Halliburton and Karl De Karske, trombones; Vince DeRosa, John Cave, John Graas, Dick Perissi; […]

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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-Go-Lucky Local” (1975) Mercer Ellington

“Happy-Go-Lucky Local” Composed and arranged by Duke Ellington, with probable revisions in Duke’s original arrangement by Mercer Ellington. Recorded by Mercer Ellington with The Duke Ellington Orchestra for Fantasy on May 12, 1975 in New York City. Mercer Ellington, directing: James “Buddy” Bolden, Barry Lee Hall, Willie Singleton and Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams, trumpets; Chuck […]

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Reads and re-reads: “Straight Ahead..The Story of Stan Kenton” by Carol Easton

“Wagon” Composed and arranged by Johnny Richards. Recorded by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra for Capitol on September 26, 1960 in Los Angeles. Stan Kenton, piano, directing: John Audino, Bud Brisbois, Dalton Smith, Sam Noto, Steve Huffstetter, trumpets; Dick Hyde and Ray Sikora, tenor trombones; Jim Amlotte and Bob Knight, bass trombones; Albert Pollan, tuba; […]

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