A portrait of pianist Jason Moran and Moran wearing his Fats Waller mask.
Images by Clay Patrick McBride. 

  Speaking of “All Rise,” his new CD which celebrates legendary pianist-bandleader-entertainer Fats Waller, pianist Jason Moran says, “I think of this as a resurrection in a certain way . . . That’s what this record is supposed to do. It’s supposed to bring him back into the conversation.”
  The tunes include such Waller classics as Ain’t Misbehavin’Honeysuckle RoseJitterbug Waltz, and Yacht Club Swing.
  In fact, a sample of Waller’s actual voice, saying “Put your hands on it,” opens Moran’s album and, as Moran remarks in the latest issue of Jazziz magazine, “You have to touch it. You have to get muddy and you might scrape your hands, meaning somebody might be like, ‘Yo, that’s some bullshit. Fats Waller don’t need those kinds of beats; the music is good enough by itself. I’d rather go listen to the original.’ I’d rather go listen to the original too,” he laughs, “but that’s a part of jostling it, just to make sure it’s still living and not set in stone. You just shift the foundation a little bit to knock away the stuff that needs to be knocked away so you can reveal its roots and replant it again and let it do what it’s going to do.”
  Moran points out that in Waller’s day, jazz was dance music, so it’s possible that his new take on Waller may get people to dance again. When Moran performs the music live, he even puts on an oversized mask of Waller to make things more visual.
  “The mask gives some of that feeling of putting him back in the public’s view,” Moran explains. “If I play his music without the mask then people have no idea of what he looks like or what he feels like, and the mask is this bobble-headed thing that gets at some of that feeling.”

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart. Dec 6-7, Venetian Macao Resort
  Hotel, Macau, China; Dec 20, “Jazz Festival for the King,” Suan Rachinee National
  Park, Bangkok, China; Dec 22-25, BlueNote Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Terry Myers. Dec 2, Salle Pierre Legault,
  Rosemere, Canada; Dec 3, L’Etoile Banque Nationale, Brossard, Canada; Dec 4,
  Centre culturel de Riviere-du-Loop, Riviere-du-Loop, Canada; Dec 5, Theatre des
  Deux-Rives, St-Jean-sur-Richilieu, Canada; Dec 6, Theatre de la Ville, Longueuil,
  Canada; Dec 31, The Franklin Theatre, Franklin, TN. 
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey. Dec 2, private, Chambrel Club Hill,
  Garland, TX.
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Al Pierson.  Dec 31, "Dick Clark's American
  Bandstand Tribute," Weirsdale, FL.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher. Dec 2, Passavant Center, Greenville,
  PA; Dec 4, Pritchard Laughlin Center, Cambridge, OH; Dec 5, Shipshewana Event
  Center, Shipshewana, IN; Dec 6, Lexington Village Theatre, Lexington, MI; Dec 8,
  Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ; Dec 9, Broadway Theatre, Elmsford, NY;
  Dec 11, Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD; Dec 12, South Orange Performing Arts Center,
  South Orange, NJ; Dec 13, Weston Auditorium, Fitchburg, MA; Dec 14, The Warner
  Theatre, Torrington, CT; Dec 15, OMNI Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods,

Don Sebesky, b.Dec. 10, 1937. Trombonist with Covington '56; Ferguson '58-'59; and
  Kenton '59. Arranger for DeFranco- Miller Orch '67 [ In the ModShangri-LaGone 
  with the WindA Stranger in TownRelease 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.

Paul Ferrara, 76, d.Dec. 3, 2014, lung cancer.  Drummer with Prima '58.
Lois Wilber Johnson, d.Dec. 15, 2014.  One of The Moonmaids vocal group with Monroe
Buddy DeFranco, 91, d.Dec. 24, 2014.  Clarinetist with Barnet '43-'44; Krupa '44
   (V-Disc session 5/4/44); T Dorsey '44-'46 / '47-'48?; Raeburn '47; Basie '50-'51.  
   Leader of Miller Orch '66-'74.
Steve Steck, 92, d.Dec. 28, 2014.  Trumpeter with Thornhill '42; Goodman '42-'43;
   trumpeter and member of The Crew Chiefs vocal group with Miller AAF band '43-'45; 
   Beneke-Miller Orch '46.

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 AgainClarinet a La KingSuperman); Shaw ’45 
  (including The Maid with the Flaccid AirSummertime); McKinley ’46-’47 (including
   BorderlineHangover SquareTumblebug). 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 GoodyI’ll Never Be the SameI’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 SweetAnnie LaurieBy the River Ste. MarieCheatin’
  On MeDream of YouFor Dancers OnlyFour Or Five TimesLe Jazz HotLinger 
  AwhileMargieMe and the MoonMy Blue HeavenMy Last AffairOn the Beach
  At Bali BaliOrgan Grinder’s SwingPosin’Raggin’ the Scale; Stomp It OffSwanee
  RiverSweet Sue; ‘Tain’t Whatcha Do); T Dorsey ’39-’43 / ’45-46 (Easy Does It
   Opus 1Opus TwoSwanee RiverSwing HighWell, 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 SkiesDown South Camp MeetingKing Porter Stomp
   Sometimes I’m HappyWhen Buddha SmilesWrappin’ 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.

Lou Kohnen and Claire Schwartz.  "Vaughn's Valve Trombone," Vaughn Monroe
   Appreciation Society Newsletter, Dec 2014.

Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
“That’s My Desire: Newly-Discovered Air Checks: 1947-1948”
Doctor Jazz Magazine (Neth) DJO12
  Big band collectors should delight in learning that just one of the 22 tracks on this CD has ever been released before! They were part of a stash of several boxes of acetates located in 2013, when a building contractor was working on an old, abandoned house in the Hollywood Hills and discovered them in a walled-off storage area.
  The selections capture Hampton playing swing, jazz, bop, and rhythm and blues at two different points in time - some selections were broadcast live from the Meadowbrook in Culver City, CA during November 1947, while the others are from Fairmont, WV on June 29, 1948. 
  My favorite here is Adam Blew His Hat, one of the band’s best instrumentals. By coincidence, there are two versions of the tune on the CD and both are enjoyable, as well as two renditions each of Red Top and Goldwyn Stomp. Other pieces include Mingus Fingers, named for bassist Charlie Mingus; I’m Telling You Sam, which Hampton wrote and sings; and Muchachos Azul (Blue Boy).
  The sound quality is very good to excellent (with some very, very slight noise on the quieter moments, like Midnight Sun), and the total playing time is generous at 79:07.
  Lengthy liner notes by Ben Kragting Jr., the Editor of Doctor Jazz Magazine, provide much meaningful information about Hampton’s career, certain band members, and each tune. 
  Mr. Kragting tells me that they have additional, little-heard music which they hope to eventually release on CD, including some Count Basie broadcast selections in 2015. I hope they do!

The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher
(D&P Music, LLC / Nick Hilscher Productions)
  This CD comes with an appropriate title, for Glenn Miller’s music is certainly timeless, still in demand for people all around the world 70 years after his death. In fact, he had so many songs associated with him that it must be difficult for the Orchestra’s handsome and energetic Musical Director and Featured Male Vocalist, Nick Hilscher, to choose what to play at each performance and, in this case, what to record on a new CD. 
  There are 15 tracks here and half of them are some of the biggest hits for the band (Chattanooga Choo ChooTuxedo JunctionDon’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, etc) which, no doubt, its concert and dance audiences are familiar with, but which are likely to cause hardcore Miller aficionados like myself to say “Gee, not those songs again!”  
  I’m happy that there is still a Miller Orchestra and glad that they made this CD (I’ve bought them all immediately without hesitation), but none of these mostly pedestrian renditions will make me forget Miller’s actual performances or Ray McKinley’s post-war albums, which are still easily available one way or another.  
  To my ears, among the best musical moments of this new CD are the ensemble portions of Mission to Moscow and Sun Valley Jump; Dean Schweiger’s drum work on American Patrol; Cody Leavel’s impersonation of Tex Beneke’s solo on Star Dust; and the sax soli interlude and Joe Young IV’s muted trumpet solo between the vocal portions of The Humming-Bird.  
  But just when certain, specific bars of an arrangement seem pretty good, other ones sound weak or flat-out wrong.
  Curiously, on this album something is really flawed with Moonlight Serenade, which, arguably, this band should be able to play better than any other group in the world today. Evidently, the recording balance of the saxophone section was way out of whack and the beautiful Miller reed sound is missing ( ! ), reduced to, mostly, Kevin Sheehan’s clarinet vibrato, which, truthfully, I’ve never cared for, and what sounds like one alto. (Homework assignment to the reeds: listen to Tex Beneke and The Glenn Miller Orchestra’s 1947 RCA Victor recording of Moonlight Serenade, or Ray McKinley directing The New Glenn Miller Orchestra doing Moonlight Serenade on RCA Victor in 1960.)  
  Several online reports of recent appearances by Nick and The GMO have offered them high praise, so I trust that the musicians can do better!
  Because the “Timeless” CD was recorded in February 2014, shortly before Natalie Angst, the band’s pretty and talented Featured Female Vocalist, joined, she is not heard at all. That she’s doing a fine job is shown by a number of videos, presumably taped surreptitiously and loaded to YouTube, so I look forward to her official recording debut. 
  The disc’s tri-fold packaging is in an attractive color and the cover design, incorporating Glenn Miller’s name, written in a font similar to the GMO bandstands used by Jimmy Henderson and Buddy Morrow (and reminiscent of the famous RCA Victor “Limited Edition” album), is a nice touch.  
  There are no liner notes, other than tune titles, recording data, and credits for composers, arrangers, soloists, and publishers. 
  Sorry, any fleeting positives hardly merit recommending the purchase of the CD over many other alternatives already available, even including “In the Mood,” the other album by The Glenn Miller Orchestra under Nick Hilscher’s leadership. I feel compelled to repeat what I wrote when I reviewed it, that perhaps Nick should just record quality, newer songs and instrumentals that were never done by Miller, to avoid comparison with the originals; I’m sure that there are a sufficient number of pieces in the band’s music library to do so.

Count Basie. “Count Basie And His Orchestra: Basic Basie,” MPS / Edel (G).
  NOTE: the material, including IdahoM – SquadAs Long As I Live, and I’ve Got the
  World On a String, has already issued a couple times on CD.
Duke Ellington. “Highlights Of The Great 1940-1942 Band,” Avid (E) AMSC1143.
  2-CD set including such classic Ellington Victor recordings as Ko-KoFlamingo,
  and Take the “A” Train.
Lionel Hampton. “Lionel Hampton With Milt Buckner And The All-Stars: Alive &
  Jumping,” MPS / Edel (G). A newer tune, Funky Mama, takes its place along
  longtime Hampton favorites including Flying HomeMidnight Sun, and Hamp’s
  Boogie Woogie (mis-spelled Hamp’s Boggie Woogie on the back).
Stan Kenton. “Kenton Roars! At The Golden Lion,” Tantara TCD-1131. Taped live on
  October 26, 1969. The 11 selections include Tico TicoMalaguena, and Granada.
  Last month I asked Bill Lichtenauer, the owner of Tantara, whether he would consider
  issuing CDs of other legendary Swing Era orchestras. He responded, “No interest in
  producing the works of other bands, Stan is special to me and therefore Tantara is a
  labor of love.”
Guy Lombardo. “Guy Lombardo Plays,” Music Boutique CD-R. The songs from RCA
  Camden CAL-255, such as Russian LullabyRidin’ High, and Whistle While You
---. “the band played on: Guy Lombardo,” Music Boutique CD-R. The songs from
  Decca DL 8208, such as For Me and My GalYou Made Me Love You, and By the
  Light of the Silvery Moon, with vocals by Kenny Gardner.
Ray Noble. “Ray Noble in the USA Volume Three,” Crystal Stream Audio (Aus)
  IDCD291. A selection of Columbia and Victor recordings from 1947 to 1952, including
  The Treasure of Sierra MadreCome Dance with MeIt’s Delightful Down in Chile,
  and I Hear the Bluebells Sing.
Tony Pastor. “Gale Storm: Let’s go to Town: Tony Pastor & His Orchestra,” Music
  Boutique CD-R. Pastor’s selections include Indian Love CallSunday in Savannah,
  and Robin Hood.
Various artists. “Ethel Waters ‘live’ On the Air,” Mr Music MMCD-7039. Twenty live
  selections from 1941-53 with backing by Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and

  In next month’s “News,” start off the New Year with details of forthcoming CDs containing the music of Barnet, Beneke, Ellington, Kenton, Miller, Spivak, and others.

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