The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
    At the same time, many other companies - some familiar labels, others not and without authorization - offer hundreds more big band albums on iTunes as well as other digital music websites such as, eMusic, and Rhapsody Music.
    Individual tracks are typically priced at 99 cents each.

Tex Beneke.  "Here's to the Ladies (Who Sang With The Band)," Sounds of Yester Year
    [ UK ] DSOY 829.  Featuring the girl vocalists who sang with Beneke, namely Lillian Lane,
    Claire Chatwin, Mary Mayo, Helen Lee, Eydie Gorme, Shirley Wilson, Joan Cavanaugh,
    Shirley Jones, Lois Lane, and Barbara Edwards; plus selections from Beneke's 1960
    RCA Camden "Alamo" LP.  Another fine title compiled by the indefatigable Michael
    Highton, a longtime Beneke aficionado and member of The Glenn Miller Society in
Duke Ellington.  "From his Treasure Chest: Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, 1965-1972,"
    Nimbus [ UK ] NI 2736.  Material previously released on CD in 1991 as Musicmasters
    5041.  The 15 selections include The Old Circus Train, The Prowling Cat, and Woods.
---.  "Playlist: The Very Best of Duke Ellington," Sony Masterworks.  14 tracks.
Benny Goodman.  "Happy Session," Essential Jazz Classics.  Equals the Columbia LP
    of the same name, CL 1324 / CS 8129.  Includes a swinging What a Diff'rence a Day
    Made and Clarinet a la King - but hardly essential.  It already was on CD as Columbia
    ( Fr ) 476523 2 and this issue adds only The King and Me, which was released as part
    of a 1958 Playboy All-Star LP. 
---.  "Yale University Archives: Benny Goodman, Vol. 5: NBC Broadcast Recordings 1936-
    1943," Nimbus [ UK ] NI 2734/35.  Previously released on CD, with different artwork, in
    2007 as "The Yale University Music Library: Benny Goodman, The King of Swing,
    Volumes 11 and 12: NBC Broadcast Recordings 1936-1943," Jazz Heritage Society
---.  "AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 2," Sounds of Yester Year [ UK ] DSOY 828
    Programs 3 and 4 of the series.
Jay McShann.  "Jay McShann in Copenhagen," Storyville [ Den ] STC 1018524.  16
    tracks, recorded on April 12, 1977, including Cherry Red and Jumpin with McShann.
various artists.  "All-Stars with the Singers," Sounds of Yester Year [ UK ] DSOY 827
    2-CD set including Bob Crosby, Sy Oliver, and others.
---.  "Anita O'Day 'Live': Let Me Off Uptown," Mr. Music MMCD-7027.  Accompanied by
    Les Brown, Benny Goodman, others; from 1956-59.
---.  "Mildred Bailey 'Live': First Lady of Swing," Mr. Music MMCD-7028.  Accompanied by
    Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, others; from 1939-47.
---.  "Nat King Cole & His Trio: The Forgotten 1949 Carnegie Hall Concert," Hep [ UK ]
    91.  The concert also featured Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

    Several pieces of big band and jazz memorabilia hit the auction block or were offered for sale this month. 
    Guernsey's of New York City offered Harry James' King Symphony gold-plated trumpet (serial #333232), which he played from 1953 to 1957; his King custom performance trumpet (serial #107), which he used on recordings and live appearances from 1968 until his death in 1983; and his dark brown sheared beaver coat.  Each of the horns were estimated in value at $20,000 to $30,000; the horn was expected to bring between $1,500 and $2,500.
    They also had up for auction two acetates by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, recorded at Carnegie Hall on September 29, 1947.
    Hake's Americana and Collectibles of York, PA had an original Chick Webb "Swing Cotillion" handbill, estimated to be worth $200 to $400; Decca Records cardboard standees for Guy Lombardo and Carmen Cavallaro, valued at $100-$200; an "Only Decca for 1939" button, valued between $75 and $200; and a Dizzy Gillespie concert program brochure from 1952, thought to be worth $100 to $200.
    At the annual book sale benefitting Planned Parenthood in Santa Barbara, CA this month, "books from jazz musician Artie Shaw's estate grace the rare, valuable, and collectible section." 
    More books from Shaw's personal library were listed on eBay, including Shaw's own copy of
Dialogues in Swing, inscribed by its author, Fred Hall.

Brian Belton.  "B.B.'s Big Band Beat: Brian Belton takes a look at the big band scene,"
    In Tune International, No.223 / September 2010, pp.34-35.  Belton reviews some recent
    Montpellier and Sounds of Yester Year CDs.
Alice Hand Benham.  "Jazz photos, autographs hit different note values," PressofAtlantic, Sept. 17, 2010.  After a reader asked how much some Chesterfield promotional
    photographs of Harry James and the members of his band would be worth, Benham
    stated that "photos such as yours are fairly common and presently sell for $10 to $20."
Vicki Bennington.  "GACAF kicks off season with Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra," [ Alton, IL ]
    Telegraph, September 2, 2010.  Featuring trombonist Bill Tole and vocalist Nancy Knorr,
    who happen to be brother and sister.
Fielding Buck.  "Big band legend Herb Jeffries rolls on," [ Riverside, CA ] Press-Enterprise,
    September 23, 2010.  Jeffries has his own MySpace profile.
Mark Cantor.  "Saturday Night Swing Club Goes Hollywood," IAJRC Journal, Vol.43 No.3 /
    September 2010, pp.8-12.  Discusses the filmed appearance by Will Bradley and Bobby
    Hackett, among others.
Will Friedwald.  "Leave It to the Experts," Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2010.
    Discusses the music of John Kirby, and the present re-creation taking place by "Wayne
    Roberts & the John Kirby Project" at Smalls on W. 10th St. in New York City.
Harold Hayes.  "Dizzy Gillespie, King in a world of his own making," IAJRC Journal, Vol.43
    No.3 / September 2010, pp.20-22.  A report of "how bebop was perceived" from a 1948
    Wake Forest student newspaper.
Duncan Heining.  George Russell: The Story of an American Composer (Lanham, MD:
    The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2010).  400-page biography about Russell, a composer and
    arranger for Carter '43 (New World); Hines '44; Gillespie '47 (Cubana-Be, Cubana-Bop);
    Ventura '49 (Caravan); and Shaw '49 (Similau).
Claudia Heller.  "A Miller tribute at museum," Pasadena [ CA ] Star News, September 3,
    2010.  Tells of a Glenn Miller exhibit at the Duarte Museum, including several items
    donated his son, Steve, and a painting and architectural rendering of the ranch which
    the Miller family lived in near Duarte's Fish Canyon. 
"Jazz Magazines Index," IAJRC Journal, Vol.43 No.3 / September 2010, pp.44-55.  Includes
    listings for Armstrong, Basie, Berigan, Calloway, Carter, Casa Loma Orchestra, Crosby,
    Eckstine, Eldridge, Ellington, Ferguson, Gillespie, Goodman, Hackett, Hampton, C.
    Hawkins, E. Hawkins, Herman, Hines, Kenton, Kirby, Krupa, Lunceford, Mills Blue
    Rhythm Band, Raeburn, Teagarden, Waller, Zentner, and others... but, for example, no
    Dorseys or Shaw.
Pete King.  "Glenn Miller's 'Use By Date' Nearing Its End?," Big Band Buddies International,
    September 2010, p.34+.  King questions how long the "Glenn Miller Festival of Swing,
    Jazz and Jive" at the historic Royal Air Force (RAF) Twinwood Airfield near Bedford,
    England and The Glenn Miller Museum in Clarinda, Iowa will be financially viable.
"On the Road with your favorite bands," Glenn Miller Orchestra Newsletter #090,
    September 3, 2010.  Gives the background of trombonist Gary Tole, who will take over
    the leadership of The Glenn Miller Orchestra in 2011.
Gerry Stonestreet.  "Book Review: Glenn Miller: the Truth At Last?," In Tune International,
    No.223 / September 2010, pp.6-7.  Review of Hunton Downs' hardcover The Glenn Miller
    Conspiracy: The Shocking True Story of How He Died and Why.
Herb Young.  "Between the Ears: IAJRC Members' Astute Reviews From Ragtime to No
    Time," IAJRC Journal, Vol.43 No.3 / September 2010, p.67.  Positive review of "Artie
    Shaw: The Complete Thesaurus Transcriptions 1949," Hep CD 89/90.

Joe Aguanno, 93, d.September 5, 2010.  Trumpeter with Berigan '39-'40.
Buddy Collette, 89, d.September 21, 2010.  Saxophonist with Les Hite '42; Hayes '47;
    Carter '48-'49.
Eddie Fisher, 82, d.September 22, 2010, "complications from a recent hip surgery."
    Vocalist with Morrow '46; Ventura '46.
Buddy Morrow, 91, d.September 27, 2010, "passed away peacefully in his sleep." 
    Trombonist with Shaw '36-'37; Duchin '38; T. Dorsey, '38; Whiteman '39-'40; Crosby
    '41-'42; J. Dorsey '45.  Leader of his own big band, '45-'73; Glenn Miller Orchestra '74-'75;
    T. Dorsey Orchestra '77- .

Stumpy Brown, b.September 1, 1925.  Trombonist - vocalist with Brown '43-'01?.
Trigger Alpert, b.September 3, 1916.  Bassist with Rey '40; Miller '40-'42; Miller AAF '43-'45.
Gerald Wilson, b.September 4, 1918.  Trumpeter with Lunceford '39-'42 and bandleader.
Virginia Maxey, b.September 4, 1923.  Vocalist with Barnet '43 / '48 "Red Skin Rhumba"
    [ sic ] Universal film short; Pastor '44; Elman '47.
Frank Foster, b.September 23, 1928.  Saxophonist - arranger with Basie '53-'64; leader
    of Basie Orch. '86-'95.
Herb Jeffries, b.September 24, 1913.  Vocalist with Ellington '39-'42.

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes.  September 5, "Tanglewood Jazz Festival,"
    Tanglewood, MA; September 7-12, Blue Note Jazz Club, New York, NY.
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel.  September 22-23, Akbank Jazz
    Festival, Istanbul, Turkey.
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  September 12, Lewis and Clark Community
    College, Godfrey, IL.
Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington.  September 17-18, Utah
    Symphony, Salt Lake City, UT.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke.  September 4, Gretna, PA; September
    23, Broken Arrow, OK; September 25, Sedalia, MO.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien.  September 16, Miller Performing Arts
    Center, Jefferson City, MO; September 17, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS;
    September 18, McPherson Opera House, McPherson, KS; September 22, The College
    of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN; September 25-26, Northern Lights Casino, Walker, MN;
    September 30, Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, Fairfield, IA.

    Next month, as the lead "News" item I will present today's Hal McIntyre Orchestra, including exclusive comments by its leader, Don Pentleton.

go to Big Band Library homepage

compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA

    2010 will be remembered for the changes brought to several of the legendary "ghost bands."
    This spring, clarinetist Matt Koza became the third leader of The Artie Shaw Orchestra since 1983, following, most notably, Dick Johnson, who had been chosen by Shaw himself and directed the band until his death in 2006.  Koza had played in the band under Johnson's leadership since 2000.
    Then, trombonist Jack Morgan announced his retirement as leader of The Russ Morgan Orchestra, effective at the end of the year.  Morgan so far has been the only person to lead his father's band since the elder Morgan died in 1969.
    Trombonist Gary Tole was selected this month as the ninth post-war leader of The Glenn Miller Orchestra, effective in 2011.  Tole will follow in the footsteps of Tex Beneke, who in 1946 was the first to be given the position by Miller's widow, Helen, and Ray McKinley, who was called upon to reorganize a new Miller Orchestra in 1956 and led it for nearly 10 years.  Tole played in the band for four years under Jimmy Henderson's direction, and later worked with Tex Beneke on the West Coast.    
    A bonus segment of recorded, full-length Shaw performances will begin at 11:45 a.m. that day.
    Chicago Public Library is at 400 S. State St., and the program - which is free and open to the public - will take place in the facility's Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Lower Level.

    Following negotiations with the attorney for The Artie Shaw Estate, Edward A. Ezor, Sunn Classic Pictures, Inc. of Palm Springs, CA has acquired "all rights related to the motion picture, television and all other ancillary rights related to the life story of Shaw." 
    Lang Elliott, CEO of Sunn Classic Pictures, and Hugh Kelley, Senior Executive Vice-President, will write the screenplay, which "will go into development immediately."
    They have also secured "the rights to use Artie Shaw's musical library, which consists of hundreds of his digitally-remastered songs."
image courtesy of
The Music Information Center, Chicago Public Library
    The Artie Shaw Foundation has already licensed Apple iTunes to sell various compilations of Shaw's performances, including the "Artie Shaw: In the Blue Room / In the Cafe Rouge" set (RCA Victor LPT-6000) as two separate "albums"; "The Last Artie Shaw Orchestra," with 17 selections recorded for Decca in 1949-50; "Artie Shaw Children's Stories" with "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and "The Emperor and The Nightingale"; and others - though you can pick and choose what to purchase and, in effect, create your own compilation.   
© 2010
The Artie Shaw Foundation
    Award-winning jazz historian Michael P. Zirpolo will be the guest at Chicago Public Library at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, October 1, 2010 for "The Artistry of Artie Shaw," a learned and informative study of the music of clarinetist - bandleader Artie Shaw, who was born 100 years ago.
    Zirpolo has written several pieces about Shaw for the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (IAJRC) Journal, including "Shavian Matters: The Confessions of a Record Collector, or.... how I answered some vexing questions about the jazz music I love even though it may have taken 40 years," which appeared in the August 2007 / Vol. 40 No.3 issue.  A follow-up article, "Shavian Matters Revisited," is forthcoming.   
    At the Library, Zirpolo will be questioned about Shaw's musical concepts and achievements, and, to help to illustrate his points, he has chosen more than a dozen excerpts from recordings which Shaw made between 1936 and 1954.
Dennis Mackrel
Gary Tole
    Due to poor health, businessman and singer Don Ring reached an agreement with trumpeter Larry Busch on the 8th of this month, for Busch to take over The Dick Jurgens Orchestra. 
    Word also came that drummer Dennis Mackrel, age 48, would take over The Count Basie Orchestra as of the 13th of this month.  Mackrel joined the band in 1983, while Basie was alive; he was the last drummer to be hired by Basie personally.  Mackrel stayed with them until 1987.
He succeeds trombonist Bill Hughes, who is retiring. 
    "I have the most reverent and wonderful feelings about the great Count Basie Orchestra and all those who have supported us over the years," Hughes said. "It's been a wonderful ride, one that I will miss and cherish always."
    And on the 27th of this month, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra lost its longtime leader, Buddy Morrow, who died at the age of 91.  He had led the band since 1977, and his final performance was Friday night the 24th.
    Even if changes are, as the old saying goes, "inevitable," it seems to prove the durability of the "ghost bands" and the timeless quality of their music.