The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA   
    Even if Mosaic has chosen to leave out many vocals by Helen Forrest and others, it has, however, gathered all of Shaw's instrumental sides (the big band and the Gramercy 5) and sprinkled in a number of alternate takes, for a thoroughly musical offering.
    The packaging will be attractive, too, with a large booklet containing interesting notes by DownBeat contributor John McDonough and rare photos of Shaw at his peak.

    Michael Highton of England, a long-time member of The [ International ] Glenn Miller Society, continues to compile CDs for Sounds of Yester Year, a label distributed in the United Kingdom by Submarine Records.  His latest selection, "The Glenn Miller Orchestra: The Jerome Kern and George Gershwin Songbook" (DSOY 790), is the eleventh one since 2006 to feature Tex Beneke, Highton's personal favorite. 
    Besides original Glenn Miller performances of Dearly Beloved, I'm Old Fashioned, and Long Ago (And Far Away), Highton has included such Beneke renditions as The Man I Love, They Can't Take That Away From Me, and Look for the Silver Lining.  While this release offers nothing new to veteran Beneke or Miller fans, it is a fresh collection and Highton is to be applauded for helping to bring so much Beneke material to CD.
    Previous titles have been "Midnight Serenade" (DSOY 701), "Beyond the Sea" (DSOY 725), "Garry Stevens Sings" (DSOY 727), "Stardust" (DSOY 740), "Tex Swings, Eydie Sings" (DSOY 758), "Glenn Miller's AAF Sound Without Strings" (DSOY 771), "The Young Ginny and Henry Mancini" (DSOY 780), "The Glenn Miller Singers: Reunions in 1948-1954-1959" (DSOY 783), and "Tex Beneke and Ralph Flanagan: Duel of the Dance Bands" (DSOY 789). 
    In 2006 Highton also suggested a very good all-Beneke CD, "'s Wonderful: Rare Recordings of the 1950s," to Sepia Records (no.1081), just prior to starting the series for Sounds of Yester Year.
    At first, I assumed that another Beneke CD on Sounds of Yester Year, "One Night Stands 1947/8" (DSOY765), had been done by Michael, until he corrected me.  In fact, it was Michael's Welsh friend, Alan Price, who compiled it and wrote the liner notes.  
    P.S.: Bert Whyatt, who reviewed DSOY 740 in the May 2009 Jazz Journal International, called some of the music "harmless," then asked, "Do I hear a hint of Diz in the trumpet solo during Palladium Patrol?"  And in the June 2009 Jazz Journal (no longer with the word "International" in the title), most of Alan Luff's review of DSOY 765 was spent cracking jokes about Glenn Miller.  Never mind them!

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes, "Salutes the Jazz Masters: Swinging,
    Singing, Playing," Mack Avenue Records MAC 1048 [ all-new arrangements by Dennis
    Wilson; with Butch Miles, Frank Wess, others ].
Larry Clinton in Hi-Fi, Flare ( UK ) ROYCD297.
Benny Goodman, "One Night Stands," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK ) DSOY 791 [ incl. AFRS
    "One Night Stand" No.1722 from June 3, 1948 and AFRS "One Night Stand" No.1946
    from March 22, 1949 ].
Ralph Marterie, "College Dance Favorite, Dance Party, with Jumpin' Trumpet Highlights,"
    Vocalion ( UK ) CDNJT 5310 [ = Mercury LPs "Dance Party" (SR 60004) + "College
    Dance Favorite" (SR 60035) + 6 of 12 songs from "Jumpin' Trumpet" (MG 20294) +
    Rain and Somebody Loves Me ].
Paul Whiteman, "Volume 3: 'Happy Feet,'" Vocalion ( UK ) CDEA 6158 [ recorded
    between 1926-33 ].
various artists, "The Big 18: The Legendary Swing Sessions: Echoes of the Big Bands,"
    Jasmine ( UK ) 525 [ = the RCA Victor LPs "The Big 18: Live Echoes of the Swinging
    Bands" (LSP-1921) and "The Big 18 with More Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands"
    (LSP-1983) minus Quaker City Jazz; NOTE: both were on CD in full in 1993 as RCA
    ( G ) 13032 and 13033 ].
various artists, "An Evening with Lerner & Loewe," Flare ( UK ) ROYCD 294 [ = RCA
    Victor LSP-6005; includes Phil Harris singing With a Little Bit of Luck, Get Me to the
    Church On Time, Thank Heaven for Little Girls, and I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore ].
various artists, "The Lamplighter All-Stars Broadcasts 1945," Hep ( UK ) CD 87 [ Corky
    Corcoran gets top billing with a jazz group which includes Count Basie and Willie Smith ].
various artists, "When Radio Was King: The Big Band Years," Fuel 2000 [ 2-CD set which
    mixes perennial selections like Woodchopper's Ball (Woody Herman) and Flying Home
    (Lionel Hampton) with odd picks such as Davenport Blues (Bix Beiderbecke) and By the
    Light of the Silvery Moon (Sammy Kaye) ].

Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians directed by Al Pierson: Aug. 23, Stoneham Theatre,
    Stoneham, MA.
Hal McIntyre Orchestra directed by Don Pentleton: Aug. 8, Music Mountain, Falls Village,

    The tour bus carrying The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien continues to leave almost all other groups in the dust, as they complete a typically busy schedule of appearances this month. 
    Several gigs are at high-profile venues, beginning with a 7:00 pm dance at the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown, PA on August 1st.  According to Thomas Sephakis, Chairman and President of The Sunnybrook Foundation, Sunnybrook hosted hundreds of big bands from 1931 to 1969, and the Miller Orchestra is making its first return there since the 1970s. 
    Other stops on the band's current itinerary are: Aug. 2, Princeton High School Performing Arts Center, Princeton, NJ; Aug. 3, Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City, NJ; Aug. 4, Middle Township Performing Arts Center - Cape May Court House, Cape May, NJ; Aug. 7, Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, Peachtree City, GA; Aug. 8, The Langdale Theatre, Valley, AL; Aug. 11, Hilton Garden Inn, Kitty Hawk, NC; Aug. 13, The Fair Barn, Pinehurst, NC; Aug. 15, Annapolis Recreation Center, Annapolis, MD; Aug. 18, Holland Theatre, Bellefontaine, OH; Aug. 19, Heartland Hall, Bedford, PA; Aug. 20, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Johnstown, PA; Aug. 22, Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI; Aug. 23, PZAZZ! Entertainment Complex, Burlington, IA; Aug. 26, St. Cecilia Music Center, Grand Rapids, MI; Aug. 27, Round Barn Theater, Nappanee, IN; Aug. 28, Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis, IN [ 11:00 am ] and Conner Prairie, Fishers, IN [ 8:00 pm ]; Aug. 29, Conner Prairie, Fisher, IN; Aug. 30, Munster High School, Munster, IN.
    O'Brien told Bob Kostanczuk of the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana that "This is a particular kind of music that most people in the music business don't play today . . . So we have to educate the players as to articulations and stylistic nuances that are inherent in this band that are not in most of the other popular music of today.
    As to the members of today's Glenn Miller Orchestra, he said, "Our youngest player is 20 years old; our oldest is me - I'm 76 . . . We're mostly young people . . . It's a young man's business."

    Between their line-up of shows and a very special day which occurs during the first week of this month, The Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan will also be active. 
    Their schedule shows an evening performance at the Hudson Music Festival in Hudson, OH on August 2nd; two concerts at Bear Creek Farms in Bryant, IN on August 6th; a public dance at the Lafayette Motor Hotel in Marietta, OH on August 7th; and the National Ballroom Operators Convention dance at the Col Ballroom in Davenport, IA on August 9th.
    On the 4th of this month, Jack Morgan, who has been carrying on his dad's music for 40 years, will turn 69.  Happy birthday, Jack!

Herb Ellis, guitarist (G. Gray '44, J. Dorsey '45-'47; Carter '54), b.Aug. 4, 1921.
Buddy Collette, saxophonist - clarinetist (Les Hite '42; Hayes '47; Carter '48-'49), b.Aug. 6, 1921.
Urbie Green, trombonist - leader (Savitt; Carle '45; Krupa '47 / '50; T. Dorsey Orch. '66-'67), b.Aug. 8, 1926.
Frank Capp, drummer (Kenton '51; Hefti '52), b.Aug. 20, 1931.
Peter Appleyard, vibraphonist (Goodman '71-'77), b.Aug. 26, 1928.
Med Flory, saxophonist (Thornhill '50; Mooney; Herman '53 / '59), b.Aug. 27, 1926.
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophonist (Carter '55; Goodman '59-'60 / '61 / '62), b.Aug. 29, 1932.

    Congratulations to pianist Hank Jones (Kirk '45; Shaw '53-'54; Goodman '56-'58), who, at age 91, has been inducted into the DownBeat magazine "Hall of Fame," following the 57th annual Critics Poll.
    "I want the listener to understand what I'm doing," Jones explained to writer Howard Mandel.  "I try to stay pretty much right down the middle and yet keep it interesting."
    Other nominations this year for the "Hall of Fame" included drummer - bandleader Louie Bellson (Fio Rito '42; Goodman '42 and '46; T. Dorsey '47-'49; James '51; Ellington '51-'53; Dorsey Bros. '55-'56) and arranger - composer Tadd Dameron (Leonard '40; Shaw '49; Goodman '62).
    Kudos also to saxophonist Lee Konitz (Thornhill '47-48; Kenton '52-'53), who won the "Alto Saxophone" category.
    And congratulations to all of the other musicians nominated in the Poll, including bandleader Gerald Wilson, trombonist Slide Hampton, clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Ken Peplowski, soprano saxophonist Bob Wilber, baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley, and vibist Terry Gibbs.

Van Alexander with Stephen Fratallone, From Harlem to Hollywood: My Life in Music
    (Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2009) [ 216-pg. paperback ].
Clyde "Stumpy" Brown, "Final Notes: Geoff Clarkson (1915 - 2009)," Overture, Aug. 2009,
    p.13 [ a personal remembrance of one member of Les Brown's Band of Renown from another ].
Carla Capizzi, "Jazz Historians Discover Hidden Gems as They Sift Through Archives of
    Benny Carter, Benny Goodman at Rutgers Jazz Institute in Newark,",
    Aug. 12, 2009 [ including an unissued studio tape of Carter with Sarah Vaughan; Louis Armstrong rehearsing a song which
      Carter wrote for him to perform on "The Flip Wilson Show"; broadcasts of Goodman in the 1930s; and a recording of Goodman's
      very last concert performance, in 1986 at Wolftrap ].
Dizzy Gillespie with Al Fraser, To Be, or Not ... to Bop (Minneapolis, MN: University of
    Minnesota Press, 2009) [ re-print of Gillespie's 1979 Doubleday memoir ].
Richard Palmer, "Woody Herman: The Final 20 Years," Jazz Journal, Vol.62 No.6 /
    Aug. 2009 [ the concluding portion of an appraisal of the recorded work of Herman from
    1962 to 1982 ].

Lawrence Lucie, 101, guitarist (Carter '33-'34; Mills Blue Rhythm Band '34-'36; Henderson '34 / '36-'39; Armstrong
      '41-'43), d.Aug. 14, 2009.
Berle Adams, 92, personal manager (Jordan '41-'50) and co-founder of Mercury Records,
    d.Aug. 25, 2009.
Chris Connor, vocalist (Thornhill '49-'52 [ mostly as a member of The Snowflakes vocal group ] ; Wald '52; Kenton '53),
    d.Aug. 29, 2009, cancer.

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    Mosaic's 7-CD boxed set, "Classic Artie Shaw Bluebird and Victor Sessions" (MD7-244), scheduled to be released soon, collects some of the best studio recordings of Shaw's career as a bandleader.
    Though not a "complete" accounting of everything Shaw did for the labels, it is sure to be an essential acquisition for swing and jazz aficionados, and gathers some of the same time-honored performances once available on such prized multi-disc LP albums as "The Swingin' Mr. Shaw" (RCA Victor LPM-6701, 1960), "Swing with Artie Shaw" (Reader's Digest RD-89, 1969), and the various volumes of "The Complete Artie Shaw" (RCA Bluebird AXM2-5517 / 5533 / 5556 / 5572 / 5576 / 5579 / 5580, 1975-1981), but promised in better sound.