"My favorite Glenn Miller charts were the same as everyone's favorites," Hoff
acknowledged.  "But, we played a lot of the Ray McKinley original book.  We even tried some of the old Eddie Sauter charts, but, they were really difficult."
    Coming just a few years after "The Glenn Miller Story" film biography, which starred Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, the public liked hearing the Miller sound in-person again.
    "The people loved the music," Hoff agreed.  "If the musicians are good, the band will sound good."
    McKinley preferred to play the drums on only the uptempo tunes, and otherwise he would conduct the band or sing.
    "He wasn't a modern drummer but he kept good time," according to Hoff.  " And, since we carried an extra drummer, it worked out fine."
    From mid-March to mid-April, 1957, the band flew to England and Europe for the first time since being resurrected.
    "Yes, I was on that European trip," Hoff recalled.  "The whole thing was a great experience, since we were in a part of the world that a short while before was fighting a war." 
    Hoff says that their audiences in Poland were the most responsive.
    "I think the Polish people were the most excited to see and hear an American dance band performing in their country," he reported.  "Without a doubt, they were the most appreciative audiences of any that we encountered, and that included England, Yugoslavia, Poland, North Africa and Germany."
    Back in the U.S., The New Glenn Miller Orchestra entered RCA Victor's recording studio in May 1957, for an album titled "The New Glenn Miller Orchestra in Hi-Fi."
    "Nothing unusual about the recording of the album," Hoff said.  "The band was good, again, good musicians make a good band."
    But not too long afterwards, Hoff left The New Glenn Miller Orchestra.  His place was taken by tenor saxophonist Lou Chev.
    Throughout the years, Hoff played with a number of other name bands, including, in alphabetical order, Ray Anthony, The Dorsey Brothers, Ralph Flanagan, Claude Thornhill, Orrin Tucker, and Tommy Tucker.
    "Generally, musicians don't get too attached to a leader.  Their egos are usually way up high," Hoff claimed.  "Also, most leaders aren't the musicians you would hope for.  The successful ones are mainly good businessmen."
    Besides McKinley, who else did Hoff prefer to work with?
    "Jimmy Dorsey was really a decent guy," he responded.  "Claude Thornhill, though very quiet, was great to work for, and I think I enjoyed his music more than any of the bands.  I did a week with Maynard Ferguson's band at Birdland, and the charts were really good.  Mostly written by Al Cohn (who I was subbing for)."
    One sidemen who Hoff mentioned was Bob Brookmeyer, best known as a valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer.  They worked together on Orrin Tucker's band in 1949 (Brookmeyer played piano).
    "We became good friends, lived together at one point," Hoff stated.  "We all knew, then, that he was a great musician and instrumentalist."
    How does Hoff view the business nowadays, since the legendary big band leaders of the '30s, '40s, and '50s are deceased and young musicians hoping to get road experience must carry on their music with the so-called "ghost bands"?
    "I never heard the term 'ghost band,'" Hoff commented,"but, no, as long as we got paid, playing other bands music wasn't a problem.  Also, since music is all about improvising, your solos were always original, unless you played for Tommy Dorsey.  I think a 'ghost band' as you call it, can work with any good musician standing in front."
    What does Hoff think of The Glenn Miller Orchestra of 2014, especially since they dusted off a couple of the old Ray McKinley song choices for their latest CD?
    "Haven't heard the band since I left," he admitted.
    Meanwhile, Hoff has continued to play his tenor sax.
    "I still try to practice every other day or so . . . still enthusiastic about music," he related.  "In fact, my son just called me last night and said he had picked up an old Link mouthpiece for me.  I'm excited to try it.  That's the one truism about all saxophone players, you never find the right mouthpiece or reed."
    In fact, Hoff's son is a musician as well.
    "He is a very good  musician, and teacher," Hoff said.  "He plays sax, along with other instruments, and is in the school system in NJ."

Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  Dec. 7-8, Leesburg, FL; Dec. 22, Sam’s
    Town Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke.  Dec. 14, Lake Charles, LA.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher.  Dec. 1-Dec. 15, completion of Japan
    tour; Dec. 17, Metropolis Performing Arts Center, Arlington Heights, IL; Dec. 19,
    Sandusky State Theatre, Sandusky, OH; Dec. 20, Chuck Mathena Center for the Arts,
    Princeton, WV; Dec. 21, Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park, MD; Dec. 22, South
    Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange, NJ; Dec. 31, The Franklin Theatre,
    Franklin, TN.
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza.  Dec. 12, Newberry Opera House,
    Newberry, SC; Dec. 13, Sara Belle November Theater, Richmond, VA; Dec. 14,
    Schwartz Center for the Arts, Dover, DE.

    On the evening of the 11th of this month at the "Gala 2013" for The Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York, Dan Morgenstern and Quincy Jones will be honored for their dedicated work promoting the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong.
    Morgenstern is one of the most respected scholars in the history of jazz.  He was the first full-time Director of The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University from 1976 to 2012, has authored several books, won eight Grammy Awards for "Best Album Notes," and was a former Editor for Metronome and Down Beat magazines.   Armstrong was one of his personal favorites.
    Jones, who played trumpet for Lionel Hampton from 1951-53, Dizzy Gillespie in 1956, and composed for Count Basie in 1958, has had an impressive, varied career since then.  He is known as a musician, composer, record producer, and entrepreneur.  He has received an Emmy Award, seven Academy Award nominations, 27 Grammy Awards, and is the all-time most-nominated Grammy artists with a total of 79 nominations.
    The Louis Armstrong House Museum, which was tgnhe longtime home of Louis and his wife, Lucille, is a National Historic Landmark in Corona, Queens.  Since its opening in 2003, more than 100,000 people from all over the world have visited.

George H. Buck, 84, d. Dec. 11,2013.  Owner of various CD and record labels including
    Circle and Audiophile.
Rocky Rockwell, 90, d.Dec. 15, 2013.  Trumpeter with Welk '51-'62.
Herb Geller, 85, d.Dec. 19, 2013, pneumonia.  Saxophonist with Thornhill '50-'51; Wald
Trigger Alpert, 97, d.Dec. 21, 2013.  Bassist with Rey '40; Miller '40-'42 / Miller AAF
    '43-'45; McKinley '46 / '55; Shaw '50 / '52 / '53; Miller Orch-McKinley 3/18/59 RCA
    Victor session; Miller Orch-DeFranco "Columbia House" New York City.
Yusef Lateef, 93, d.Dec. 23, 2013, prostate cancer.  Saxophonist with Gillespie '49.
Al Porcino, 88, d.Dec. 31, 2013.  Trumpeter with Prima '44; Auld '45-'46; Herman
    '46 / '49-'50 / '54; Krupa '46-'47; Basie '51; Lawrence '52.
Don Sebesky, b.Dec. 10, 1937.  Trombonist with Covington '56; Ferguson '58-'59; and
    Kenton '59.  Arranger for DeFranco- Miller Orch '67 [ In the Mod, Shangri-La, Gone
    with the Wind, A Stranger in Town, Release Me, 'Round Midnight ]. 
Clark Terry, b.Dec. 14, 1920.  Trumpeter with Hampton '45; Barnet '47-'48 / '58 Everest
    "Cherokee" LP / '66-'67; Basie '48-'51 / '76 Pablo "Basie Jam" LP; and Ellington
Abbe Lane, b.Dec. 16, 1932.  Singer with Cugat '50s and actress.  One of Cugat's
Chuck Cecil, b. Dec. 26, 1922.  Host / producer of the radio show "The Swingin' Years"
    since 1956.

John Bunch, b.Dec. 1, 1921.  Pianist with Herman ’56-’57; Goodman ’57-’58;
    Ferguson ’58.
Dick Johnson, b.Dec. 1, 1925.  Clarinetist – alto saxophonist with Morrow ’55. 
    Leader of Shaw Orch ’83-’06.
Eddie Sauter, b.Dec. 2, 1914.  Arranger – composer for Norvo ’35-’39; Goodman
    ’39-’42 (including Benny Rides Again; Clarinet a La King; Superman); Shaw ’45
    (including The Maid with the Flaccid Air; Summertime); McKinley ’46-’47 (including
    Borderline; Hangover Square; Tumblebug).  Co-leader of Sauter-Finegan Orch
    ’52-’58 / ’60 / ’61.
Charlie Ventura, b.Dec. 2, 1916.  Tenor saxophonist with Krupa ’42-’43 / ’44-’46;
    Powell ’43-’44.  Leader of own band.
Gene Allen, b.Dec. 5, 1928.  Saxophonist with Prima ’44-’47; Thornhill ’48-’50;
    Beneke ’51-’53; Sauter-Finegan ’53-’55; T Dorsey ’56; Goodman ’58.
Kay Davis, b.Dec. 5, 1920.  Vocalist with Ellington ’44-’50.
Marshall Royal, b.Dec. 5, 1912.  Alto saxophonist with Hampton ’40-’42; Basie ’51-70.
Bob Cooper, b.Dec. 6, 1925.  Tenor saxophonist with Kenton ’45-’51; J Gray ’53.
Teddy Hill, b.Dec. 7, 1909.  Tenor saxophonist with Russell ’29-’31.  Leader of own band.
Louis Prima, b.Dec. 7, 1912.  Leader of own band.
Irving Fazola, b.Dec. 10, 1912.  Clarinetist with Pollack ’35; Arnheim ’36; Miller ’37-’38;
    Crosby ’38-’40; Spanier ’41-’42.
Matty Malneck, b.Dec. 10, 1904.  Violinist – composer with Whiteman '26-'37. 
    Songwriter (including Goody Goody; I’ll Never Be the Same; I’m Through with Love).
Ray Nance, b.Dec. 10, 1913.  Trumpeter with Hines ’38; H Henderson ’39; Ellington
    ’40-’44 / ’44-63.
Eddie Barefield, b.Dec. 12, 1909.  Clarinetist - saxophonist – arranger with Moten ’33;
    Calloway ’33-'36 / ‘39 / ’51 / ‘58; F Henderson ’38; Redman ’38; Carter ’41; Oliver ’50;
    Eldridge ‘56.
Dodo Marmarosa, b.Dec. 12, 1925.  Pianist with Barnet ’43-’44; Shaw ’44-’45 / ’49.
Frank Sinatra, b.Dec. 12, 1915.  Vocalist with James ’39; T Dorsey ’40-’42; Basie ’66
    (“Live At the Sands”).
Joe Williams, b.Dec. 12, 1918.  Vocalist with C Hawkins ’41; Hampton ’43; Basie ’50 /
Sonny Greer, b.Dec. 13, 1903.  Drummer with Ellington ’20-’51.
Chuck Gentry, b.Dec. 14, 1911.  Saxophonist with James ’40-’41; Goodman ’41-’42;
    J Dorsey ’42-’43; Miller AAF ’43-’44; Shaw ’44-’45; Savitt ’45-’46.
Budd Johnson, b.Dec. 14, 1910.  Tenor saxophonist with Armstrong ’33; Hines ’34-’42 /
    ’65; Goodman ’56-’57.
Jimmy Nottingham, b.Dec. 15, 1925.  Trumpeter with Hampton ’45-’47; Barnet ’47 / ’58
    (Everest); Millinder ’47 / ‘50; Basie ’48-’50.
Gene Quill, b.Dec. 15, 1927.  Alto saxophonist – clarinetist with Thornhill ’53?.
Cub Teagarden, b.Dec. 16, 1915.  Brother of Jack Teagarden.  Drummer with
    Teagarden ’39-’40.
Sy Oliver, b.Dec. 17, 1910.  Trumpeter - singer- arranger – composer with Lunceford
    ’33-’39 (including Ain’t She Sweet; Annie Laurie; By the River Ste. Marie; Cheatin’
    On Me; Dream of You; For Dancers Only; Four Or Five Times; Le Jazz Hot; Linger
    Awhile; Margie; Me and the Moon; My Blue Heaven; My Last Affair; On the Beach
    At Bali Bali; Organ Grinder’s Swing; Posin’; Raggin’ the Scale; Stomp It Off; Swanee
    River; Sweet Sue; ‘Tain’t Whatcha Do); T Dorsey ’39-’43 / ’45-46 (Easy Does It;
    Opus 1; Opus Two; Swanee River; Swing High; Well, Git It).  Leader of own band.
Barry Galbraith, b.Dec. 18, 1919.  Guitarist with Thornhill ’42-’42 / ’46-‘47’ McIntyre ’42;
    Beneke ’56 (Camden).
Fletcher Henderson, b.Dec. 18, 1898.  Pianist – arranger – composer with Goodman
    ’35-’39 (including Blue Skies; Down South Camp Meeting; King Porter Stomp;
    Sometimes I’m Happy; When Buddha Smiles; Wrappin’ It Up) / ’46-’47.  Leader
    of own band.
Anita O’Day, b.Dec. 18, 1919.  Vocalist with Krupa ’41-’44 / ’45-'46; Kenton ’44-’45;
    Goodman ’59.
Bob Brookmeyer, b.Dec. 19, 1929.  Pianist with O Tucker '49; Beneke ’51-’52?.
Panama Francis, b.Dec. 21, 1918.  Drummer with Eldridge ’39; Millinder ’40;
    Calloway ’47-’52.
Henry Cuesta, b.Dec. 23, 1931.  Clarinetist with Teagarden ’59-63; Welk ’72-’82. 
    Leader of J Dorsey Orch (1991 Columbia Artists tour).
Cab Calloway, b.Dec. 24, 1907.  Leader of own band.
Ralph Marterie, b.Dec. 24, 1914.  Leader of own band.
Pete Rugolo, b.Dec. 25, 1915.  Arranger – composer for Grier ’41; Kenton ’45-’49.
Eddie Safranski, b.Dec. 25, 1918.  Bassist with McIntyre ’41-’45; Kenton ’45-’48;
    Barnet ’48-’49; J Gray ’51 / '54.
John Frigo, b.Nov. 27, 1916.  Bassist with Marx ’43-’45; J Dorsey ’45-’47.
Earl Hines, b.Dec. 28, 1905.  Pianist with Armstrong ’27 / ’48-’51.  Leader of own
Al Klink, b.Dec. 28, 1915.  Tenor saxophonist with Miller ’39-’42; Goodman '42-'44;
    T Dorsey '43 / '44-’45; Sauter-Finegan '52-'53.
Ed Thigpen, b.Dec. 28, 1930.  Drummer with C Williams ’51-’52.
Irving Ashby, b.Dec. 29, 1920.  Guitarist with Hampton ’40-’42.
Cutty Cutshall, b.Dec. 29, 1911.  Trombonist with Savitt ’39; Goodman ’40 / ’46;
    Butterfield ’47.
Jack Montrose, b.Dec. 30, 1928.  Tenor saxophonist with J Gray ’53; Norvo.
Jonah Jones, b.Dec.31, 1909.  Trumpeter with H Henderson ’29; Lunceford ’31;
    F Henderson ’40; Carter ’40-’41; Calloway ’41-’52; Hines ’52-’53.
John Kirby, b.Dec. 31, 1908.  Bassist with F Henderson ’30-’33 / ’35-’36; Webb
    ’33-’35; Millinder ’36.  Leader of own band.

    Even though there already have been at least a dozen books on the topics of Duke Ellington and / or his music, Terry Teachout's Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington (New York City: Gotham Books, 2013) is a good read, making a fresh attempt at understanding Ellington the man.  That isn't an easy task, for Duke himself routinely tried to keep his private life separate from his public one.  During his career of five decades, he typically hid behind a mask of flowery language and charm, using evasion and deception as shields... so no one (not even, for example, his son, Mercer) got too close.
     "He rarely told anyone - even his friends - what he thought about something," Teachout comments.  "Everyone knows him-yet no one knows him."
     The drama critic for The Wall Street Journal and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), Teachout consulted the previously-published books about Ellington, but he has also gathered more-recently-discovered unpublished private papers, transcriptions of forgotten interviews, scrapbooks, and even music manuscripts to fashion a "narrative biography" which has both the basic facts and some surprises about Ellington.
    While Teachout reinforces what Ellington's fans know of him as a largely self-taught musician, a stylish dresser, and an imaginative and resourceful composer, Teachout adds in new details that show Ellington as a "procrastinator" who struggled to finish a project unless he had a firm deadline given to him.  He was, according to Teachout, "protective but controlling" to his musical collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, who sometimes toiled with lesser or little recognition while Ellington got the glory.  Teachout also presents Ellington as a "self-centered hedonist" who married a hopeful music teacher, Edna Thompson, in 1918, but left her about a decade later for a dancer, Mildred Dixon, who, in turn, stepped aside for a Cotton Club showgirl, Beatrice "Evie" Ellis, from 1939 on, and Fernanda de Castro Monte, known as "the Countess," a second mistress from 1960 on. 
     "He went out of his way to shape his public image to his liking-and to keep his private life out of the papers," Teachout observes.
     These qualities, of course, don't diminish Ellington's legacy in American music, but they do make him just as human as the next person.  It's interesting to know more about Ellington off the stage, his creative process, and jazz culture, for it expands what we can already know of him from listening to his music.
    Read Teachout's book and enjoy it, including his extensive source notes; list of 50 "key" Ellington recordings; interesting photographs; collage of record labels; and index.
Big Band Library rating: WORTHWHILE

Charles Fleming.  "For radio host, big bands' allure endures," Los Angeles Times,
    Dec. 19, 2013.  Chuck Cecil, who turns 91 the day after Christmas, continues to
    produce his radio program of big band music which he calls "The Swingin' Years."
    Cecil has been doing the show since 1956, and it now airs on only two stations:
    KKJZ in Long Beach, CA and WPPB in Long Island, NY.

Benny Goodman.  "Volume Twenty Of The Complete  AFRS Benny Goodman Shows:
    Shows 46 and 47," Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 948.
---.  "Three Classic Albums Plus," Avid ( E ) AMSC1105.  2-CD set including "Benny
    Goodman in Moscow," "Happy Session," and four selections from "Benny Goodman
    Swings Again."  NOTE: Contents previously issued on CD by other labels.
Harry James.  "The Harry James Sessions: 1976 & 1979," Sheffield Lab.  2-CD set
    mastered from "Analogue Disc Originals."  29 selections, all available before on CDs.
Stan Kenton.  "Road Shows: Stan Kenton and His Orchestra with Ann Richards plus
    The Four Freshmen backed by a top Dutch jazz trio," Tantara Productions.  The
    Kenton portion is from 1955 and 1958, The Four Freshmen 1994.  Never before
Teddy Powell.  "Body And Soul," Sounds of YesterYear ( E ) DSOY 947.  Live
    performances from the band's appearances at the Hollywood Palladium, the Hotel
    Sherman in Chicago, and the Trocadero Ballroom in Denver during 1944.  Sidemen
    include Pete Candoli, Milt Bernhart, Boots Mussulli, Charlie Ventura, and Gus
    Bivona.  Featured vocalists are Peggy Mann, Skip Nelson, Jack Palmer, and Mary
    Ann McCall.
Buddy Rich.  "North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts," North Sea Jazz / Bob City. 
    CD with DVD.  Instrumentals include Ya Gotta Try, Channel 1 Suite, Big Swing Face.
Raymond Scott.  "Suite for Violin and Piano: Composed by Raymond Scott," Basta
    Records 3093 172.  Two versions of the title piece, one from 1950 and the other
    from 2004.
Paul Whiteman.  "Volume 6: 'Jamboree Jones': The 1930s Brunswick Recordings,"
    Vocalion ( E ) CDEA 6225.   Twenty-six recordings made in 1938-39, featuring Jack
    Teagarden, The Four Modernaires, and others.  NOTE: Ten of the songs were
    already issued on CD by Hep in 2005 [ on "The Paul Whiteman Swing Wing & The
    Modernaires: Hooray For Spinach! (CD 1082) ].

    In next month's "News," word of a book about a beloved musician and a great big band CD that are finally on their way in 2014.

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the big bands are back
in a new and exciting way
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA

   In the spring of 1956, The Glenn Miller Estate invited talented drummer-vocalist Ray McKinley [ l. courtesy of Down Beat magazine ] to organize a new edition of The Glenn Miller Orchestra.   
    The band was very successful from the start, toured across the entire United States and enjoyed an extended residency at the Cafe Rouge of The Hotel Statler (formerly the Hotel Pennsylvania) in New York City, broadcast on radio and TV including the "NBC Bandstand" program, and recorded a series of albums for RCA Victor.
    Tenor saxophonist Cliff Hoff, now age 86, was a member of The New Glenn Miller Orchestra then; he joined the band on January 3, 1957, taking Phil Manning's former chair. 
    Well over 50 years later, Hoff still holds McKinley in high regard.
    "Ray was great to work for.  He would treat you as an equal," Hoff told me.  "If you had a complaint or suggestion, he would listen."
    Naturally, the band featured the old Glenn Miller music library, as well as some newer tunes done in the traditional Miller style.