image courtesy of The National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
AN EVENING OF SWING & ELEGANCE
The nation's busiest name band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, appears at The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL on the 5th of this month for "An Evening of Swing & Elegance." The group has performed there on a number of occasions in the past, but this will be the first time with Nick Hilscher as Musical Director.
Hilscher lately has been calling up some lesser-played arrangements, from Jerry Gray (Oh! So Good!, Caribbean Clipper), Bill Finegan (This Time the Dream's On Me, My Blue Heaven), and Billy May (I Got Rhythm, Measure for Measure), in addition to charts made during Ray McKinley's 9-1/2 reign as star of the band (Hallelujah, I Love Her So, Anything Goes).
Other dates on their current itinerary include Feb. 9, Quinland Ford High School, Quinlan, TX; Feb. 10, Cameron ISD Performing Arts Center, Cameron, TX; Feb. 12, Northwest Oklahoma University, Alva, OK; Feb. 13, LaRita Performing Arts Center, Dalhart, TX; Feb. 14, Quartz Mountain Resort, Lone Wolf, OK; Feb. 15-16, Enid Symphony Hall, Enid, OK; Feb. 19, Germantown Performing Arts Center, Germantown, TN; Feb. 21, Church of The King, Mandeville, LA; Feb. 22, Horseshoe Casino & Hotel, Bossier City, LA; Feb. 25, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC; Feb. 27, Cultural Arts Center, Glen Allen, VA; and Feb. 28, Birdsong Theatre, Suffolk, VA .
Meanwhile, The Glenn Miller Orchestra's official website, glennmillerorchestra.com, has updated its photo galleries of former leaders, from Gary Tole on back. (I thank Charles and Maureen DeStefano for including a glimpse of me - much younger and with more hair LOL - as Lead Male Vocalist during Dick Gerhart's tenure.)
ON TOUR WITH OTHER BIG BANDS
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel: Feb. 1, Solon High School, Solon,
OH; Feb. 2, 30th Annual "Frank Montooth Jazz Festival," Winnetka, IL; Feb. 3, "A
Tribute to Ella, Joe and Basie," The Smith Center, Las Vegas, NV; Feb. 16, The
Orpheum, Witchita, KS.
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Feb. 5, "Jam, Jive, Jazz with Jimmy,"
The Castle, Chandler, AZ; Feb. 12, tea dance, The Castle, Chandler, AZ.
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Terry Myers: Feb. 9, private event,
Palm Beach, FL; Feb. 11, Tydings Auditorium, Hobbs, NM; Feb. 12, Rio Grande
Theatre, Las Cruces, NM; Feb. 13, Ector Theatre, Odessa, TX; Feb. 14, Ocotillo
Performing Arts Center, Artesia, NM; Feb. 16, Texas A&M University Performing
Arts Center, Corpus Christi, TX; Feb. 17, The Austin Club, Austin, TX; Feb. 22,
Amarillo Country Club, Amarillo, TX; Feb. 23, McSwain Theatre, Ada, OK; Feb. 25,
Oxford Civic Center, Oxford, AL; Feb. 26, Enterprise High School Performing Arts
Center, Enterprise, AL; Feb. 27, The Villages, FL.
Jan Garber Orchestra conducted by Howard Schneider: Feb. 2, Las Palmas Grand,
AZ; Feb. 8, Sundial Recreation Center, Sun City, AZ; Feb. 26, Las Palmas Grand,
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke: Feb. 7, American Queen Steamboat
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza: Feb. 23, nine-day American Queen
Steamboat Company cruise on the lower Mississippi River, roundtrip from and back
to New Orleans, LA [ends March 3 ].
LIGHT THOSE BIRTHDAY CANDLES
Sammy Nestico, b.Feb. 6, 1924. Arranger - composer with Basie '67-'84.
Elliot Lawrence, b.Feb. 14, 1925. Pianist and bandleader.
Les Brown, Jr., b.Feb. 15, 1940. Son of bandleader Les Brown. Sang with his father's
band, then, upon Les Sr.'s death, took it over.
Peggy King, b.Feb. 16, 1930. Vocalist with Spivak '50; Flanagan '51; J. Gray '55 "Stand
By for Music."
Pete Christlieb, b.Feb. 16, 1945. Tenor saxophonist with J. Gray '63-'64; Zentner '65;
Bellson '67; Severinsen / Tonight Show '72-'92.
Buddy DeFranco, b.Feb. 17, 1923. Clarinetist with Fio Rito '42; Barnet '43-'44; T. Dorsey
'44-'45 / '45-'46 / '47; Basie '50. Bandleader '51; Miller Orch. '66-'74.
Joe Wilder, b.Feb. 22, 1922. Trumpeter with Hampton '46; Lunceford '47; Basie '53-'54.
Joe LaBarbera, b.Feb. 22, 1948. Drummer with Herman '72 "The Raven Speaks."
Michael Berkowitz, b.Feb. 23, 1949. Drummer and leader of Krupa Orch '03- .
Dave Pell, b.Feb. 26, 1925. Tenor saxophonist with Brown '48-'55.
Paul Tanner, 95, d.Feb. 5, 2013, pneumonia. Trombonist with Miller '38-'42; Spivak
'42-'43; Beneke-GMO '46-'51; Beneke '61 / '69 / et al.
Sonny Russo, d. Feb. 23, 2013. Trombonist with Shaw '49-'50; Sauter-Finegan '53-'58 /
'60 / '61; Dorsey Brothers '54-'56; Goodman '61/ '65.
Tricky Sam Nanton, b.Feb. 1, 1904. Trombonist with Ellington.
Stan Getz, b.Feb. 2, 1927. Tenor saxophonist with Kenton, Herman, Goodman.
Tony Gottuso, b.Feb. 2, 1917. Guitarist with Whiteman, Shaw.
Joe Mondragon, b.Feb. 2, 1920. Bassist with Herman, Rey.
Sonny Stitt, b.Feb. 2, 1924. Saxophonist with Gillespie, Eldridge.
Chico Alvarez, b.Feb. 3, 1920. Trumpeter with Kenton, Norvo.
Snookie Young, b.Feb. 3, 1919. Trumpeter with Lunceford, Hampton, Basie.
Gil Bernal, b.Feb. 4, 1931. Tenor saxophonist with Hampton, Jones.
Artie Bernstein, b.Feb. 4, 1909. Bassist with Nichols, Goodman.
Manny Klein, b.Feb. 4, 1908. Trumpeter with Whiteman, J. Dorsey, T. Dorsey, Goodman,
Don Goldie, b.Feb. 5, 1930. Trumpeter with Hefti, Teagarden.
Don Fagerquist, b.Feb. 6, 1927. Trumpeter with Krupa, Shaw, Brown.
Bernie Glow, b.Feb. 6, 1926. Trumpeter with Shaw, Raeburn, Herman.
Conrad Gozzo, b.Feb. 6, 1922. Trumpeter with Chester, Thornhill, Shaw, Herman, Crosby.
Howard McGhee, b.Feb. 6, 1918. Trumpeter with Kirk, Barnet, Auld.
Joe Maini, b.Feb. 8, 1930. Saxophonist with Rey, Thornhill.
Buddy Morrow, b.Feb. 8, 1919. Trombonist with Whiteman, Shaw, T. Dorsey, Crosby,
J. Dorsey, own band.
Peanuts Holland, b.Feb. 9, 1910. Trumpeter with Barnet, Redman.
Walter Page, b.Feb. 9, 1900. Bassist with Basie, Eldridge.
Foots Thomas, b.Feb. 10, 1907. Saxophonist with Calloway, Redman.
Chick Webb, b.Feb. 10, 1909. Drummer with own band.
Tex Beneke, b.Feb. 12, 1914. Tenor saxophonist / vocalist with Miller, own band.
Buddy Childers, b.Feb. 12, 1926. Trumpeter with Kenton, T. Dorsey.
Mel Powell, b.Feb. 12, 1923. Pianist / composer with Goodman, Miller.
Bernie Privin, b.Feb. 12, 1919. Trumpeter with T. Dorsey, Shaw, Goodman, Barnet,
Lennie Hayton, b.Feb. 13, 1908. Pianist / arranger with Nichols, Whiteman, Shaw.
Jack Lesberg, b.Feb. 14, 1920. Bassist with Spanier, McKinley, Teagarden.
Taft Jordan, b.Feb. 15, 1915. Trumpeter with Webb, Ellington, Oliver, Goodman.
Charlie Fowlkes, b.Feb. 16, 1916. Baritone saxophonist with Hampton, Basie.
Tadd Dameron, b.Feb. 21, 1917. Pianist / arranger for Leonard, Shaw.
Rex Stewart, b.Feb. 22, 1907. Cornetist with Henderson, Ellington.
John Carisi, b.Feb. 23, 1922. Trumpeter with McKinley.
Flip Phillips, b.Feb. 26, 1915. Tenor saxophonist with Herman, Krupa, Goodman.
Mildred Bailey, b.Feb. 27, 1907. Vocalist with Whiteman, Norvo.
Abe Most, b.Feb. 27, 1920. Clarinetist / saxophonist with Brown, T. Dorsey.
Leo Watson, b.Feb. 27, 1898. Vocalist with Krupa, Shaw.
Ben Webster, b.Feb. 27, 1909. Tenor saxophonist with Carter, F. Henderson, Calloway,
Lee Castle, b.Feb. 28, 1915. Trumpeter with Shaw, T. Dorsey, Bradley, Dorsey Brothers.
Jimmy Dorsey, b.Feb. 29, 1904. Alto saxophonist / clarinetist with Dorsey Brothers,
NEW COMPACT DISCS
Duke Ellington. "Duke Ellington Meets John Coltrane & Coleman Hawkins," Fresh
Sound (Sp) FSRCD 749. From the Impulse albums AS-26 and AS-30, with a bonus
track from Impulse AS-99.
Dizzy Gillespie. "Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet," Timeless Jazz Legacy
74513. Recorded in Holland in 1986.
Bobby Hackett. "More Ingredients: His 27 Finest," Retrospective RTR 4208. Music
performed between 1938-60 with his own bands and others.
Coleman Hawkins. "Coleman Hawkins Alive!: At the Village Gate 1962," Fresh Sound
(Sp) FSRCD 756. Taped at The Village Gate in New York City in August 1962.
With alternate versions of songs not found on original Verve albums (V6-8504,
Glenn Miller. "Glenn Miller And His Orchestra: How Glenn Found His Sound," Sounds of
YesterYear (E) DSOY 918. A "musical documentary, showing how the Glenn Miller
sound came into being." Employs examples of his band in the recording studios,
on the air, and in films, even spoken excerpts of "The Glenn Miller Story."
Various artists. "The Best Years of Our Lives - The Most Popular Songs of 1938,"
Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 916. Another in their series of music from a
specific year. This volume includes Noble, Miller, Kemp, Goodman, Webb, T.
Dorsey, Shaw, Crosby.
---. "Johnny Mercer's Music Shop V," Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 920. With Paul
Weston and His Orchestra; and guest Rudy Vallee.
---. "The Modernaires: So It Goes: Singles From the '50s," Jasmine (E) JASCD 727.
2-CD set of 58 tracks recorded for Coral. With the orchestras of Beneke, Brown
Hefti, and others.
---. "The Vocal Touch of Ronnie Deauville," Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 917.
Deauville sings ballads with Anthony, Beneke, and others.
NEW IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE
Lakendra Lewis. "Tommy Dorsey Orchestra brings magic of big band, swing to
Performing Arts Center," Corpus Christi, TX Caller / caller.com, Feb. 15, 2013.
KENNY ON FATS AND CHICO
In this month's issue of Jazz Times, pianist - composer Kenny Werner, 61, offers thoughts about a number of musicians, including pianist and bandleader Fats Waller.
"He was funky," Werner commented. "He was one of the first and only guys I listened to until I got out of my house and started to check out other stuff."
Werner also expressed admiration for Chico Marx, famously one of The Marx Brothers but also, at one time, a pianist and leader of a big band.
"I don't know what else he could do, but what he did I call effortless mastery," Werner said. "He could make a cartoon out of his hands. I think that's so important. In some ways it's more important than the most sophisticated jazz there is, because it brings it all the way to the human element. I guess Harpo did the same thing with the harp. . . . You talk about new things, but what has ever happened that's any better than [the Marx Brothers]?"