Tag: swingandbeyond.com

“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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“Une Lettre de Jean” (1997) The Morpheus Trio

“Une Letter de Jean” Composed by Jean-Paul Monsche’ Recorded by the Morpheus Trio for Lucid in 1997 in Los Angeles. The Morpheus Trio: Jean-Paul Monsche’, piano; Stephen Heidtmann, bass; Willie McNeil, drums. The Story: This recording is truly rare, in many ways the ultimate sleeper. I have never encountered it anywhere in the last two […]

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“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? Adjectives like magnificent, incredible and amazing are inadequate.Tatum was better than that.What exactly did Tatum do when he played the piano? […]

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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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