NEW COMPACT DISCS
Ray Anthony: "Stardust," Montpellier ( UK ) 35 [ 24 songs from the mid-'50s ]
Count Basie: "Blues By Basie / Count Basie Dance Parade," Collectables COL-CD-7852
[ = 1944 Columbia 78rpm set C 101 + 1949 10" LP CL 6079 and 4 add'l tunes ]
Tex Beneke: "Stardust," Sounds of YesterYear ( UK ) 740 [ = the 1950 RCA Victor 78rpm
P-267 / 45rpm WP-267 "Designed for Dancing: Tex Beneke Plays Hoagy Carmichael" set
+ select 1950-56 RCA Victor, MGM, Coral, and RCA Camden singles; NOTE: duplicates
12 songs issued on Sepia CD 1081 but also incl. No, Not Much!, Singing the Blues,
Petticoats of Portugal, and Hey! Jealous Lover ]
Les Brown, "Les Brown's in Town," Jazz Beat 518 [ = Capitol T746 + Decca DL-74607 ] ;
Dancer's Choice / Composer's Holiday," Lone Hill Jazz ( Sp ) 10302 [ = Capitol LPs T812
+ T886 ] ; "Les Brown and His Band of Renown Play the Gershwin Bandbook / The
Explosive Sound of Les Brown," Lone Hill Jazz ( Sp ) 10305 [ = Columbia LPs CS 8679
+ CS 8330 ]
Benny Carter: "The Benny Carter Centennial Project," Evening Star ES-113 [ incl. Carter
playing solo piano on All About You, recorded in 2001, w. the added guitar of Russell
Malone, recorded in 2007 ]
Maynard Ferguson: "Boy with Lots of... Brass," Fresh Sound ( Sp ) 462 [ = EmArcy
MG-36114 ] ; Dancing Sessions," Jazz Beat 514 [ = Roulette LPs SR-52038 +
SR-52055 and 3 add'l tunes ]
Ralph Flanagan: "Moonlight On the Campus," Montpellier ( UK) 34 [ = 6 songs from RCA
Victor 10" LPs LPM-3190 + 8 from LPM-3099 + 8 from LPM-3171 ]
Neal Hefti: "Themes From TV's Top 12," Collectors' Choice Music CCM-837 [ = Reprise LP
Harry James: "Harry James and His New Swingin' Band / Requests On the Road,"
Jazz Beat 515 [ = MGM LPs SE3778 + SE4003 ] ; "Harry James Today," Jazz Beat 516
[ combining MGM SE3848 "Harry James Today" + SE3972 "Harry James Plays the
Arrangements of Neal Hefti" and 3 tracks from SE3897 ] ; "The In-Person & Hi-Fi Sounds
of Harry James," Avid ( UK ) 918 [ 2-CD set incl. Columbia LPs CL 522 and CL 669 +
Capitol LPs W 654 and W 712; NOTE: material duplicated on CDs Collectors' Choice
Music CCM-183-2, Collectables COL-CD-7414, and Mosaic MD7-192, respectively ]
Spike Jones: "The Classic Songs of Spike Jones," Varese Sarabande / Soundies
66846 [ 16 songs selected from 3-CD Collectors' Choice Music CCM-329 "(Not) Your
Standard Spike Jones Collection" ]
Roger Wolfe Kahn: "Crazy Rhythm," ASV Living Era ( UK ) 5682 [ sidemen incl. Jack
Teagarden, Joe Venuti, Artie Shaw ]
Art Kassel: "Gloria Hart with Art Kassel and His Kassels in the Air Orchestra: Did Anyone
Ask About Me?," Jasmine ( UK ) JASCD 655 [ 55 tracks - not all vocals by Hart ]
Tony Pastor: "Mr. Pastor Goes to Town," ASV Living Era ( UK ) 5683 [ 6 songs by Pastor
with Artie Shaw and another 20 with his own band ]
Buddy Rich: Plays the Arrangements of Marty Paich and Ernie Wilkins," Jazz Beat 513
[ = LPs Norgran MG-N1086 (or Verve MG-V8176) "This One's for Basie" and Mercury
MG SR 60136 "Richcraft"; NOTE: material duplicated on CDs Verve 817788 and Mercury
( Japan ) UCCU-9261, respectively ]
Pete Rugolo: "Rugolo Plays Kenton," Fresh Sound ( Sp ) 461 [ = EmArcy MG-36143
(later in stereo as Mercury LP SR 60205) ]
various artists: "I'm Beginning to See the Light: Dance Hits From the Second World War,"
Sony Legacy 714539 [ incl. Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Erskine Hawkins, Gene Krupa,
Jimmie Lunceford ]
various artists: "The War: A Ken Burns Film," Sony Legacy 710203 [ incl. Armstrong,
Calloway, T. Dorsey, Ellington, Goodman, James, Miller, Shaw ]
SNEAK PREVIEW, PART 2
I had such fun in the July "Big Band News" dropping hints about some planned CDs that I want to mention a few more things in the pipeline.
Around Christmas, Mosaic will release "The Complete Victor Lionel Hampton Sessions (1937-1941)," a 5-CD set with over 100 tunes, including 10 previously-unissued alternates.
In 2008, there will be boxes of the Count Basie and Lester Young Okeh/Vocalion sides and Benny Goodman's big band instrumental sides on Columbia 1939-58, each with unissued alternates. Mosaic is also hoping to release a Red Nichols set in cooperation with Universal Music and with liner notes by Richard Sudhalter, but that one is tied up in paperwork and licensing agreements.
Henry Mackenzie, 84, clarinetist (Heath '49-'67), Sept. 2, 2007
Joe Zawinul, 75, pianist (Ferguson '59 incl. Roulette LP "A Message From Birdland"),
Sept. 11, 2007
Specs Powell, 85, drummer (Kirby '41-'42; Auld '44 / '53; Norvo '44-'45; Wilson '44-'45),
d.Sept. 15, 2007, kidney disease
Mahlon Clark, 84, clarinetist (Bradley '41-'42; McKinley '42; Welk '62-'68; Beneke '70s-'80s
West Coast dates), d.Sept. 20, 2007, natural causes
Randy Van Horne, 83, leader of Randy Van Horne Singers ("Sing a Song of Goodman"
MGM LP), d.Sept. 26, 2007, cancer
BIG BAND BIRTHDAYS
Trigger Alpert, bassist (Rey '40; Miller '40-42; Miller AAF '43-'45), b. Sept. 3, 1916
Gerald Wilson, trumpeter (Lunceford '39-'42) - bandleader, b. Sept. 4, 1918
Virginia Maxey, vocalist (Barnet '43 / '48 "Red Skin Rhumba" [ sic ] Universal short;
Pastor '44; Elman '47), b. Sept. 4, 1923
Sam Butera, saxophonist (McKinley '47; Prima '54-'75), b. Sept. 17, 1927
Frank Foster, saxophonist - arranger (Basie '53-'64; Basie Orch '86-'95), b. Sept. 23, 1928
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Fans of Les Brown's big band certainly know the name Frank Comstock, who did many
fine arrangements for the group. Comstock, living in California and presumably retired, was interviewed earlier this year by historian John Tumpak.
But now there's a postscript: Comstock, age 84, has written 7 arrangements for a new CD by the 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra, "Wolfgang's Big Night Out" (to be released this
month on Surfdog Records).
Setzer, frontman of the rockabilly band Stray Cats during the 1980s, commented, "What I love about Frank is that he was around doing this swing and big band stuff when it was edgy and dangerous . . . We look back at the swing era and think that it was all Glenn Miller and Guy Lombardo, but there was a real experimental and adventurous side too. That's the world that Frank came from and it comes out in his charts, including the ones he did for this new album."
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Sept. 28, Kimmel Center at New York
University, New York, NY
Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr.: Sept. 1 / 4-6 / 8 / 10-13 / 15 /
17-20 / 22 / 24-27 / 29, Mickey Gilley's Theatre, Branson, MO
Woody Herman's Thundering Herd directed by Frank Tiberi: Sept. 14, Savannah Center,
The Villages, FL
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke: Sept. 13, Gadsen, AL; Sept. 15, Valley,
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: Sept. 25, Washington Middle School,
Washington Court House, OH; Sept. 26, Sandusky State Theatre, Sandusky, OH; Sept.
27-29, Bear Creek Farms, Bryant, IN; Sept. 30, Paramount Theatre, Anderson, IN
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Mike Berkowitz: Sept. 5 / 12 / 19 / 26, Laurie Beechman
Theater, New York, NY
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Sept. 15, Cawthra Park Secondary
School, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Sept. 16, Medina High School, Medina, NY;
Sept. 18, Brubeck Arts Center, Wabash Valley Community College, Mt. Carmel, IL;
Sept. 21, Missouri Theatre, St. Joseph, MO; Sept. 23, The American Center, Springfield,
IL; Sept. 24, Bellbrook High School, Bellbrook, OH; Sept. 26, Blues Alley, Washington,
DC; Sept. 28, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA; Sept. 29, Garde Arts Center, New
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan: Sept. 23, Indiana Roof Ballroom,
IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE
Big Geez, The. "Retro Redux: The Musical Side of Desi Arnaz," blogcritics.org,
Sept. 4, 2007.
---. "Retro Redux: Jazz At the Junction With Erskine Hawkins," blogcritics.org,
Sept. 18, 2007.
Friedwald, Will. "Hampton Storms the Village," New York [ NY ] Sun, Sept. 28, 2007.
[ about trombonist Slide Hampton, 75, leader of the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band ]
"Glenn Miller Orchestra coming to WVC's Brubeck Theatre Sept. 18," [ Mt. Carmel, IL ]
Daily Republican Register, Sept. 10, 2007.
Manheim, James M. "Guy Lombardo: Bandleader, violinist," in Contemporary Musicians:
Profiles of the People in Music, Volume 60 (Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007), pp.119-121.
Miley, Marge. "Count Basie wowed the city in '72," Manitowoc [ WI ] Herald Times Reporter,
Sept. 30, 2007. [ Basie played the Armory in Manitowoc on Oct. 16, 1972 ]
"On This Day in History: September 12 His Rippling Rhythm Was Unique," Brooklyn [ NY ]
Eagle, Sept. 12, 2007. [ re: Shep Fields, born in Brooklyn on Sept. 12, 1910 ]
"Ready to swing and sway?," [ Washington Court House, OH ] Record Herald,
Sept. 18, 2007. [ Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe performs locally ]
Sengstock, Charles A. Jr. "Recording Chicago's Early Dance Bands," [ Chicago
Federation of Musicians Local 10-208 AFM ] Intermezzo, Sept. 2007, pp.12-14. [ incl.
Isham Jones and Wayne King ]
Wilkinson, Melane. "Saying good-bye to the Flying V," York [ NE ] News-Times,
Sept. 17, 2007. [ equipment and fixtures from the Flying V ballroom, which opened in
1971 and hosted such bands as the T. Dorsey, Lombardo, and Morgan orchestras, was
sold at auction September 16th ]
Willey, Jo. "In the Mood to Grow Onions," Daily Express [ UK tabloid ], Sept. 29, 2007.
[ gardener Paul Rochester says the secret of his success is playing Glenn Miller music to
his prize-winning crop of onions ]
LOUIS AND LUBENOW
Fifty years ago, Associated Press reporter Larry Lubenow broke the story that Louis Armstrong was canceling a Russian tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department, to
protest social injustices taking place in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lubenow will be interviewed September 18th at the Langston Hughes Library and Community Cultural Center in Corona,
NY about that moment in history. Prior to the program, a shuttle bus will take visitors to the nearby Louis Armstrong House Museum to see an exhibit, "Breaking Barriers: Louis
Armstrong and Civil Rights," which includes Lubenow's news article.
HOMAGE TO DIZZY
During the 3rd annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, which runs September 9th through the 17th in Washington, D.C., the spotlight this year is on trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. For instance, the Gillespie All-Star Big Band will perform on the 15th and 16th, and a forum, "Duke, Dizzy & Diplomacy," will be presented on the 17th.
Festival Founder and Executive Director, Charlie Fishman, who served as Gillespie's personal manager and producer for more than two decades, stated in the Washington [ D.C. ]
Times, "Dizzy was a genius and an entertainer. But he often doesn't get the same respect and acknowledgement that, say, Miles Davis does . . . And here's the thing: Miles, [Thelonious] Monk and [John] Coltrane are all honored on postage stamps - and they were all proteges of Dizzy. They all played in his big band."
Some of the Festival events are ticketed, but most are free. For more information, view the website dejazzfest.org
THAT'S RIGHT - THE OL' PROFESSOR'S HOMETOWN
The Twin County Museum and Hall of Fame in Rocky Mount, North Carolina opened on September 9th, and among the inductees is bandleader Kay Kyser, a native of Rocky Mount. The Museum and Hall of Fame is a completely volunteer operation, and is located in an 800 square-foot room on the first floor of the Rocky Mount Train Station.
Happy 10th anniversary to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City! Activities are planned for September 13th through the 15th, under the banner of "Turning X On 18th and Vine," including free concerts, lectures, and a street festival. The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band is among the performers and will offer both an open rehearsal and a concert.
“We are truly building such a spirit of community here,” the museum’s executive director, Gregory Carroll, told DeAnn Smith of The Kansas City Star.
PRIMA'S MUG ON A MUG
The official Louis Prima website, louisprima.com, is selling a limited-edition collectible - a coffee mug with his image on it. "These are the mugs that Louis sold out of the Pro Shop at his country club back in the day," it is stated on the site's homepage.
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