The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way
    Thank goodness for overseas CD labels which keep big band fans supplied with new releases!  There are five must-buys this month, including an interesting "concept" title, some unreleased Ellington, Flanagan favorites, another volume of a long series, and some lesser-heard late 1950s and early 1960s recordings.

Tex Beneke and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.  "Letter to a Dream Girl,” Sounds of
    YesterYear (E) DSOY 921.  Featuring vocals by Garry Stevens with The Moonlight
    Serenaders and The Mello Larks.  Producer Michael Highton has imagined that
    romantic balladeer Stevens receives a "Dear John" letter from his "dream girl."  He
    responds in song, moving with each selection through disbelief, heartache, loss, and
    memories.  At the end of his letter to the "dream girl," he bids for a reconciliation.
    The 26 tracks include Through (How Can You Say We Are Through?), (How I'll Miss
    You) When the Summer Is Gone, and Star Dust.
Duke Ellington.  “Live At the Cave,” Squatty Roo Records 184.  Ellington and his famous
    orchestra live at the Cave Theatre Restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    in 1970.  Besides many of the usual Ellington hits, tunes include Black Power, Fife, and
    Stone Soul Jones.
Ralph Flanagan.  “The Big Band Sound Of…,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 925.
    28 of Flanagan's RCA Victor recordings, such as Swing to 45, Smoke Dreams,
    and It All Depends On You.
Benny Goodman.  “AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 17,” Sounds of YesterYear
    (E) DSOY 926.  Another volume in the series of BG's 1946-47 radio shows.  Goodman
    plays How High the Moon, Puttin' On the Ritz, Lonesome Road, and others.
Richard Maltby.  “Swingin’ Chimes,” Montpellier (E) MONTCD92.  Maltby's 1958 "A Bow
    to the Big Name Bands" album (RCA Camden CAS-526) and the 1961 "Swings
    Folk Songs" (Roulette SR 25178).

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel.  May 5, Majestic Ventura Theater,
    Ventura, CA; May 7, 19 Broadway, Fairfax, CA; May 8, Center for the Arts, Grass
    Valley, CA; May 10, Salle des Fetes, Munster, France; May 12, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz
    Club, London, England; May 14, Sala Palatalui, Bucharest, Romania; May 15-16, Blue
    Note Jazz Club, Milan, Italy; May 17, KKL Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland; May 18,
    Palazzo Dei Congressi, Lugano, Switzerland; May 20, Music Theatre, Krasnodar,
    Russia; May 22 Festivalny (open air concert), Sochi, Russia; May 23, Moscow
    International House of Music, Moscow, Russia; May 24, St. Petersburg State
    Philharmonia, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey.  May 10, Association of Professional
    Orchestra Leaders, Chicago, IL.
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Terry Myers.  May 1-2, Jim Thorpe, PA; May 19,
    Long Beach, CA.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher.  May 2, Bear Creek Farms, Bryant, IN
    May 4, Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, IL; May 5, Warren Performing Arts Center,
    Indianapolis, IN; May 7, Montpelier Exempted Village Schools, Montpelier, OH; May 8,
    Cooper Creek Event Center, Cincinnati, OH; May 9, Brecksville-Broadview Heights
    High School, Broadview Heights, OH; May 11, Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center,
    York, PA; May 12, Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts, Newport News, VA; May
    13, Bohemia Manor Middle/High School, Chesapeake City, MD; May 14, Blues Alley,
    Washington, DC; May 17, Community Performance Center, Rock Hill, SC; May 18,
    Princess Theatre, Harriman, TN; May 19, Hiwassee College, Madisonville, TN.

Van Alexander, b.May 2, 1915.  Arranger with Webb '36-'38 and bandleader '39-'43 /
    Capitol LPs '59-'62.
Buddy Catlett, b.May 13, 1933.  Bassist with Basie '62-'64.
Al Porcino, b.May 15, 1925.  Trumpeter with Herman '49 / '54 / '59; Kenton '55 / '60 / '65; J.
    Gray '56-'60?.
Lorry Peters, b.May 20, 1932.  Vocalist with McKinley-Miller '57-'59.
Gene DiNovi, b.May 26, 1928.  Pianist with Shaw '49; Goodman '48 / '59.

Ollie Mitchell, 86, d.May 11, 2013.  Trumpeter with Barnet '56-'57 / '59; James '57-'59;
    Beneke '61 (Santa Monica, CA concert 5/26).
Frank Comstock, 90, d.May 21, 2013.  Trombonist-arranger for Dunham '42; Brown '43-'47.
    Continued to arrange for Brown '48-'01.
Ed Shaughnessy, 84, d.May 24, 2013, heart attack.  Drummer with Millinder '52; Tonight
    Show band '63-'92.

Billy Byers, b.May 1, 1927.  Trombonist with Auld, Rich, Goodman, Ventura.
Henderson Chambers, b.May 1, 1908.  Trombonist with Armstrong, Redman, Millinder,
    Calloway, Ellington.
Bing Crosby, b.May 2, 1904.  Vocalist with Whiteman, recorded with Dorsey Bros,
    Ellington, Redman, Armstrong, Teagarden, Bob Crosby, Jordan.
Yank Lawson, b.May 3, 1911.  Trumpeter with Pollack, Crosby, T Dorsey, Byrne.
Maynard Ferguson, b.May 4, 1928.  Trumpeter with J Dorsey, Barnet, Kenton.  Leader of
    own band.
Mary Ann McCall, b.May 4, 1919.  Vocalist with Herman, Barnet, Shaw, Ventura.
Sonny Payne, b.May 4, 1926.  Drummer with E Hawkins, Basie, James.
Moe Purtill, b.May 4, 1916.  Drummer with Norvo, T Dorsey, Miller, Kyser.
Paul Barbarin, b.May 5, 1901.  Drummer with Armstrong.
Frankie Carlson, b.May 5, 1914.  Drummer with Herman, Miller, Burke.
Paul Quinichette, b.May 7, 1921.  Tenor saxophonist with Basie, Herman.
Herbie Steward, b.May 7, 1926.  Saxophonist with Shaw, Rey, Herman, E Lawrence,
Red Nichols, b.May 8, 1905.  Leader of own band.
Mary Lou Williams, b.May 8, 1910.  Pianist / composer for Kirk.  Arranger for Goodman,
Bob Zurke, b.May 9, 1910.  Pianist with Crosby.  Leader of own band.
Al Hendrickson, b.May 10, 1920.  Guitarist with Shaw, Slack, Goodman, May.
Pee Wee Hunt, b.May 10, 1907.  Trombonist / vocalist with G Gray.
Mel Lewis, b.May 10, 1929.  Drummer for Raeburn, Rey, Anthony, Beneke, Kenton.
Jay C. Higginbotham, b.May 11, 1906.  Trombonist with Millinder (Mills Blue Rhythm
    Band), Armstrong, Hampton, Shaw.
Jack Jenney, b.May 12, 1910.  Trombonist with Norvo, Shaw.  Leader of own band.
Bobby Plater, b.May 13, 1914.  Saxophonist for Hampton.
Skip Martin, b.May 14, 1916.  Saxophonist or composer / arranger for Goodman, Miller,
    Basie, Brown.
Al Porcino, b.May 14, 1925.  Trumpeter with Herman, Kenton.
Zutty Singleton, b.May 14, 1898.  Drummer with Armstrong, Eldridge.
Dud Bascomb, b.May 16, 1916.  Trumpeter with E Hawkins, Ellington.
Eddie Bert, b.May 16, 1922.  Trombonist with Norvo, Herman, McKinley, Goodman, E
Woody Herman, b.May 16, 1913.  Clarinetist with I Jones.  Leader of own band.
Joe Roland, b.May 17, 1920.  Vibraphonist with Shaw.
Kai Winding b.May 18, 1922.  Trombonist with Goodman, Kenton, Herman.
Georgie Auld, b.May 19, 1919.  Saxophonist with Berigan, Shaw, Goodman.  Leader of
    own band.
Fats Waller, b.May 22, 1904.  Pianist / vocalist with own band.
Roger Segure, b.May 22, 1905.  Composer / arranger for Armstrong, Kirk, Lunceford,
Artie Shaw, b.May 23, 1910.  Leader of own band.
Milt Bernhart, b.May 25, , 1926.  Trombonist with Powell, Kenton, Goodman, Ferguson.
Edgar Hayes, b.May 25, 1904.  Pianist with Millinder (Mills Blue Rhythm Band).
    Leader of own band.
Gene Di Novi, b.May 26, 1928.  Pianist with Rich, Goodman.
Ziggy Elman, b.May 26, 1914.  Trumpeter with Goodman, T Dorsey.  Leader of own band.
Peggy Lee, b.May 26, 1922.  Vocalist with Goodman.
Bud Shank, b.May 27, 1926.  Saxophonist with Barnet, Kenton.
Dave Barbour, b.May 28, 1912.  Guitarist  with Norvo, Shaw, Goodman, Teagarden.
Andy Kirk, b.May 28, 1898.  Leader of own band.
Dick Hafer, b.May 29, 1927.  Saxophonist with Barnet, Herman, Hackett.
Benny Goodman, b.May 30, 1909.  Clarinetist with Pollack, Lewis.  Leader of own band.
Dave McKenna, b.May 30, 1930.  Pianist with Ventura, Herman.
Bobby Sherwood, b.May 30, 1914.  Guitarist with Shaw.  Leader of own band.
Gene Gifford, b.May 31, 1908.  Composer / arranger for G Gray, Reynolds.
Toby Hardwicke, b.May 31, 1904.  Saxophonist with Ellington.

Brian Belton.  "B.B.'s Big Band Beat: Brian Belton takes a look at the big band scene,"
    In Tune International, No. 255 / May 2013, p.304.  Complimentary reviews of recent
    CDs by Goodman, Brown, Kenton, and Miller.
Nicholas J. Contorno.  "Woody Herman's Musical Journey: A Lifetime on the Road Began
    100 Years Ago," The Instrumentalist, May 2013, p.25+.
John McDonough.  "The Beat: Sony Masterworks Resurrects Historic OKeh Records,"
    Down Beat, May 2013, p.13.  Although the OKeh label of the 1930s and '40s included
    big bands, this time the label will feature globally-created and improvised music.

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MAY 2013
compiled by Music Librarian