"BIG BAND NEWS"
compiled by Christopher Popa
There was good reason to be, since The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Jeff Lindberg, presented "A Tribute to Artie Shaw" at The Harold Washington Library Center, which is the central facility of Chicago Public Library, 400 S. State St. The Orchestra, with guest soloists Larry Combs and Eric Schneider on clarinet, included strings and a Gramercy 5-type contingent. Along with Shaw's biggest instrumental hits, lesser-heard works such as Who's Excited?, Non-Stop Flight, Similau, and Evensong (Dusk) were performed live. A portion of the concert was offered, free-of-charge, in cooperation with the Library's Music Information Center, at 12:15 p.m. on Wed., September 21st (the strings were not on hand), with the full, paid-admission program at 3:00 p.m. on Sun., September 25th. Howard Reich, Arts Critic of the Chicago Tribune, was among the nearly 300 persons who attended, and his review, "Soloists pay homage to Artie Shaw," was published in the Tues., September 27th newspaper.
KC AND THE COUNT
Things were jumpin' Basie-style, with music of the Count, Bennie Moten, the Blue Devils, and Jay McShann, when The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra sponsored "KC and The Count," September 22nd through Saturday, September 24th, in the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Tenor saxophonist - flutist Frank Wess, a Basie alumnus who is now age 83, joined Eldar, described in publicity as an "18-year-old piano sensation," to demonstrate "the irrepressible joy and timelessness of the Basie sound."
CONGRATULATIONS, BUDDY AND BOB!
Clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, 82, and pianist - composer Bob Brookmeyer, 75, were among seven people named September 13th by the National Endowment for the Arts as "NEA Jazz Masters," one of the nation's highest honors in jazz. DeFranco worked with many big bands, including Gene
Krupa, Ted Fio Rito, Charlie Barnet, Tommy Dorsey, and Boyd Raeburn. DeFranco formed his own, short-lived big band in 1951, and led the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1966-74. This past July 9th, he appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival with the Dutch Jazz Orchestra performing some of Raeburn's music. Brookmeyer joined Tex Beneke's band in 1951, and later was a sideman with Ray McKinley, Louis Prima, Claude Thornhill, and Jerry Wald. Brookmeyer also worked a month with Woody Herman in 1952.
ITINERARIES - SELECT LIST
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Sept. 16, Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH;
Sept. 17, Times Riverfront Stage, Rochester, PA; Sept. 21, Herb Young Community Center,
Cary, NC; Sept. 22, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC; Sept. 23, Alys Stepehens Center,
Birmingham, AL; Sept. 27, Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Greenville, TN; Sept. 30,
Indiana University Auditorium, Bloomington, IN
Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown Jr.: Sept. 17-21 and Sept. 24-28,
Mickey Gilley Theatre, Branson, MO
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: Sept. 30, Orpheum Theatre,
Phoenix, AZ [ with The Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers ]
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Sept. 10, Roscommons, MI; Sept. 15,
Alexandria City, AL; Sept. 21, Red Bank, NJ; Sept. 22, Hazelton, PA; Sept. 23, Allentown,
PA; Sept. 24, Carlisle, PA; Sept. 25, Charlottesville, VA
Maynard Ferguson and His Big Bop Nouveau Band: Sept. 26, Fisher High School,
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: Sept. 16-22, Mississippi Queen
Wheeling, WV to Cincinnati, OH
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Michael Berkowitz: Sept. 18, New Kensington, PA
(with vocalist Lynn Roberts)
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Sept. 3, Lock 3 Live Amphitheatre,
Akron, OH; Sept. 7-8, Cross Roads Village, Flint, MI; Sept. 9-10, Lutheran College Center for
Arts & Performance, Milwaukee, WI; Sept. 11, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, IL;
Sept. 13, George Daily Community Auditorium, Oskaloosa, IA; Sept. 15, Alma Performing
Arts Center, Alma, AR; Sept. 17, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Houston, TX; Sept. 18,
Cultural Activities Center, Temple, TX; Sept. 19, La Villita Assembly Hall, San Antonio, TX;
Sept. 22, Faulkner Community College, Bay Minette, AL; Sept. 25, Warren Performing Arts
Center, Indianapolis, IN; Sept. 26, Cumberland College, Williamsurg, KY; Sept. 27, Wabash
Valley Community College, Mt. Carmel, IL; Sept. 29, Taylor Street Middle School, Griffin, GA
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan: Sept. 9, Moose Club, Tulsa, OK;
Sept. 11, Crystal Ballroom, Staunton, IL; Sept. 12-16, Mississippi Queen, Cincinnati, OH to
Wheeling, WV; Sept. 18, Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN; Sept. 30, Col Ballroom,
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson: Sept. 25, Paramount Theatre,
Chiz Harris, 79, drummer (Claude Gordon '59; Zentner '60), Sept. 1
Milt Grayson, 68, vocalist (Ellington "60-'63), Sept. 3
Mel Wanzo, 74, trombonist (Basie '69-'80), Sept. 9, prostate cancer
See also Kurth, Joel. "Melvin F. Wanzo, Detroit: Trombone player won six Grammys," Detroit News, detnews.com, Sept. 10, 2005.
Al Casey, 89, guitarist (Waller '34-'42; Wilson '38-'40), Sept. 11, colon cancer
See also "Al Casey Dies at 89; Early Jazz Guitarist," New York Times, nytimes.com, Sept. 13, 2005.
Jack Lesberg, 85, bassist (Spanier '40; Armstrong '47; Scott / "Your Hit Parade" '50-'57),
Sept. 17, complications of Alzheimer's disease
Dick March, 74, Honorary Secretary, The Glenn Miller Society, London, Sept. 21
Kay Weber, 96, vocalist (Dorsey Bros. '34-'35; Bob Crosby '37-'38), Sept. 23
See also Simnacher, Joe. "Kay Weber Sillaway," Dallas [ TX ] Morning News, dallasnews.com, Sept. 28, 2005.
Steve Marcus, 66, tenor saxophonist (Kenton '63; Rich '75-'86), Sept. 25, in his sleep
See also "Steve Marcus, jazz saxophonist, dies," pennlive.com, Sept. 27, 2005.
A DIZZYING ARRAY OF MEMORABILIA
About 3,000 items once owned by Dizzy Gillespie and his wife, Lorraine, were sold to the public by Dawson & Nye Auctioneers in New Jersey on September 14th. A unique "pudgy" hybrid trumpet (part trumpet, part cornet, part flugelhorn); several drums; a hat; various personal identification cards; a camera that Dizzy took on his Middle East tour sponsored by the State Department in the mid-1950s; a poster autographed by many musicians for the occasion of Dizzy's 75th birthday; a Grammy statuette given to him in 1975; thousands of candid snapshots; stacks of music manuscripts; and their LP record collection of more than 1,000 discs were among the lots. The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band performed at a special auction preview, on September 12th. Gillespie died in 1993; his wife in 2004.
See also "Dizzy Items Up for Auction," JazzTimes, jazztimes.com, Aug. 31, 2005.
Alexander, Elton. "Music: Singer, band [ Count Basie Orchestra ] package tantalizing tribute
for audience," Cleveland [ OH ] Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, Sept. 19, 2005.
Champagne, Dan. "Keeping fit to the fabulous hits of the big band era," Meriden, CT
Record-Journal, record-journal.com, Sept. 5, 2005.
"Count Basie Orchestra closes Great Waters season," Laconia, NH Citizen, Sept. 1, 2005.
Darrow, daren. "Q & A with jazz legend Maynard Ferguson," The Daily [ Oklahoma State
University ] Daily O'Collegian, ocolly.com, Sept. 26, 2005.
Discoe, Connie Jo. "Ballroom manager's daughter recalls big names," McCook, NB
Daily Gazette, mccookgazette.com, Sept. 1, 2005.
Haines, Eric. "Basie Orchestra swings onto Rochester stage," Beaver County [ PA ] Times,
timesonline.com, Sept. 16, 2005.
Hamlin, Jesse. "Nelson Riddle's son brings dad's sound to life in salute to Sinatra,"
San Francisco Chronicle, sfgate.com, Sept. 5, 2005.
Johnson, Amy Jo. "Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra recalls a time of war and hardship ... not so
different from now," Bay City, MI Times, mlive.com, Sept. 8, 2005.
Jolley, Harmon. "Memories: Remembering Glenn Miller and 'The Chattanooga Choo-Choo,'"
The Chattanoogan, chattanoogan.com, Sept. 11, 2005.
Ratliff, Ben. "Hank Jones," The Black Chronicle, news.mywebpal.com, Sept. 23, 2005.
"Still soothing after all these years" [ vocalist Ernie Andrews ], Kansas City Star, kansascity.com,
Sept. 19, 2005.
"World Famous Count Basie Orchestra to Perform Sept. 27 at Niswonger Performing Arts
Center," The [ Blountville, TN ] Business Journal, bjournal.com, Sept. 14, 2005.
NEW COMPACT DISCS - SELECT LIST
Manny Albam: "and His Jazz Greats: Jazz New York," Lone Hill Jazz 10196
Ray Anthony: "The Man with the Horn," ASV Living Era 5549
Buck Clayton: "The Chronological 1953," Classics 1394
Tommy Dorsey: "All Time Hits," Vocalion 1944
Billy Eckstine: "Early Mr. B: 1940-1953," Jazz Legends 2013
Kitty Kallen: "Little Things Mean a Lot," Jasmine 424
Stan Kenton: "The Progressive Years 1941-1947," Jazz Legends 1031; "Live in Europe,"
Gene Krupa: "The Chronological 1952-1953," Classics 1390
Don Redman: "Featuring Coleman Hawkins: At the Swing Cats Ball," Fresh Sound 393
Gerald Wilson: "In My Time," Mack Avenue 1025
Teddy Wilson: "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," Concord 12052 [ originally The Jazz Alliance TJA-12002 ]
NEW DVDS - SELECT LIST
Lionel Hampton: "Jazz Legend: King of the Vibes," Hudson Music 7
Woody Herman: "Fanfare for the Common Man Live in Houston, 1985," Jazz Options
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