A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. Big Bands evolved with the times and continue to this day, a big band typically consists of approximately 12 to 25 musicians and contains saxophones, trombones, and a rhythm section. The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, stage band, jazz orchestra and this does not, mean that each one of these names is technically correct for naming a big band specifically. The music is traditionally called charts, improvised solos may be played only when called for by the arranger. There are two periods in the history of popular bands. Beginning in the mid-1920s, big bands, consisting of 10–25 pieces. At that time they played a form of jazz that involved very little improvisation, which included a string section with violins. A few bands had violas and cellos, usually one or two along with them, the dance form of jazz was characterized by a sweet and romantic melody.
Orchestras tended to stick to the melody as it was written and vocals would be sung, many of these artists changed styles or retired after the introduction of swing music. Although unashamedly commercial, these bands often featured front-rank jazz musicians - for example Paul Whiteman employed Bix Beiderbecke, there were all-girl bands such as Helen Lewis and Her All-Girl Jazz Syncopators. Towards the end of the 1920s, a new form of Big Band emerged which was more authentically jazz and this form of music never gained the popularity of the sweet dance form of jazz. The few recordings made in form of jazz were labelled race records and were intended for a limited urban audience. Few white musicians were familiar with music, Johnny Mercer. The three major centres in this development were New York City and Kansas City, some big ensembles, like the Joe King Oliver outfit played a kind of half arranged, half improvised jazz, often relying on head arrangements. Other great bands, like the one of Luis Russell became a vehicle for star instrumentalists, there the whole arrangement had to promote all the possibilities of the star, although they often contained very good musicians, like Henry Red Allen, J. C.
Earl Hines became the star of Chicago with his Grand Terrace Cafe band, meanwhile, in Kansas City and across the Southwest, an earthier, bluesier style was developed by such bandleaders as Benny Moten and, later, by Jay McShann and Jesse Stone. Radio was a factor in gaining notice and fame for Benny Goodman. Soon, others challenged him, and the battles of the bands became a staple at theater performances featuring many groups on one bill
James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. was an American pianist, bandleader and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. He was one of the most prolific black musical arrangers and and he helped bridge the gap between the Dixieland and the swing eras. He was often known as Smack Henderson, James Fletcher Henderson was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, in 1897. He grew up in a middle-class African-American family and his father, Fletcher H. Henderson Sr. was the principal of the nearby Howard Normal Randolph School from 1880 until 1942. His home, now known as the Fletcher Henderson House, is a historic site and his mother, a teacher, taught him and his brother Horace to play the piano. He began lessons by the age of six and his father would occasionally lock Fletcher in his room to practice for hours. By age 13, Henderson possessed an ability to read music. He pursued the studies with his mother and further engaged himself in lessons on European art, although a talented musician, Henderson decided to dedicate himself to math and science.
At age 18 he moved to Atlanta and changed his name to Fletcher Henderson, giving up James and he attended Atlanta University and graduated in 1920 with a bachelors degree in chemistry and mathematics. After graduation, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for a degree in chemistry. Finding his job prospects in chemistry to be poor because of his race, after arriving in New York City, Henderson shared an apartment with a pianist who worked as a musician. During the 1920s, he played piano accompaniment for blues singers and he led the backing group for Ethel Waters during one of her national tours. Before 1923, Hendersons group was more of a band than a jazz band. In 1922 he formed his own band, which was resident first at Club Alabam, at the Roseland Ballroom, in the 1920s, he did not do very many band arrangements. Although Armstong played in the band for only a year, he influenced its members, Hendersons band boasted the formidable arranging talents of Don Redman from 1922 to 1927.
Henderson developed his skills from 1931 to the mid-1930s. His band c.1925 included Howard Scott, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Dixon, Kaiser Marshall, Buster Bailey, Elmer Chambers, Charlie Green, Ralph Escudero, and Don Redman. In 1925, with Henry Troy, he wrote Gin House Blues, recorded by Bessie Smith and his other compositions include Soft Winds
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record, an album or an EP record. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats, in most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular, in other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album. As digital downloading and audio streaming have become prevalent, it is often possible for every track on an album to be available separately. Nevertheless, the concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a heavily promoted or more popular song within an album collection. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks on them.
The biggest digital music distributor, iTunes, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as well as popular music player Spotify following in this trend. Any more than three tracks on a release or longer than thirty minutes in total running time is either an Extended Play or if over six tracks long. The basic specifications of the single were made in the late 19th century. Gramophone discs were manufactured with a range of speeds and in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch,78 rpm shellac disc had become the most commonly used format, the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers increasingly tailored their output to fit the new medium, the breakthrough came with Bob Dylans Like a Rolling Stone. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, less common, formats include singles on digital compact cassette, DVD, and LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc.
Some artist release singles on records, a more common in musical subcultures. The most common form of the single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its speed,45 rpm. The 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable, the first 45 rpm records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s
Horace W. Henderson, the younger brother of Fletcher Henderson, was an American jazz pianist, organist and bandleader. Born in Cuthbert, while attending Wilberforce University he formed a band called the Collegians and this band was known as the Horace Henderson Orchestra and as the Dixie Stompers. Henderson left the band to work with Sammy Stewart, in 1928 organized a new band called the Collegians, don Redman took over this band in 1931, Henderson continued to work as the bands pianist and arranger before leaving to work for his brother. He arranged for many of the most important jazz musicians of the era, Fletcher Hendersons book contained about as many of Horaces arrangements as of Fletchers. Among his better known clients for arrangements, in addition to his brother, were Charlie Barnet, the Casa Loma Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Earl Hines, and Jimmie Lunceford. His best-known arrangements were of his own Hot and Anxious and Christopher Columbus and he wrote another popular instrumental of the big band era titled Big Johns Special.
These were three important compositions of the period, at different times in his career, Horace was pianist and musical director for both Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. Horace Henderson at Find a Grave
Alton Glenn Miller was an American big band musician, arranger and bandleader in the swing era. He was the recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. While he was traveling to entertain U. S. troops in France during World War II, Miller was born in Clarinda, the son of Mattie Lou and Lewis Elmer Miller. He attended grade school in North Platte in western Nebraska, in 1915, Millers family moved to Grant City, Missouri. Around this time, Miller had finally made enough money from milking cows to buy his first trombone, Miller played cornet and mandolin, but he switched to trombone by 1916. In 1918, the Miller family moved again, this time to Fort Morgan, Colorado, in the fall of 1919, he joined the high school football team, which won the Northern Colorado Football Conference in 1920. He was named the Best Left End in Colorado, during his senior year, Miller became very interested in a new style of music called dance band music. He was so taken with it that he formed his own band with some classmates, by the time Miller graduated from high school in 1921, he had decided to become a professional musician.
He dropped out of school after failing three out of five classes one semester, and decided to concentrate on making a career as a professional musician and he studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger, under whose tutelage he composed what became his signature theme, Moonlight Serenade. In 1926, Miller toured with groups, eventually landing a good spot in Ben Pollacks group in Los Angeles. He played for Victor Young, allowing him to be mentored by other professional musicians, in the beginning, he was the main trombone soloist of the band. But when Jack Teagarden joined Pollacks band in 1928, Miller found that his solos were cut drastically, from then, he realized that, rather than being a trombonist, his future lay in arranging or writing music. He had a songbook published in Chicago in 1928 entitled Glenn Millers 125 Jazz Breaks for Trombone by the Melrose Brothers copyrighted in 1927, during his stint with Pollack, Miller wrote several musical arrangements of his own. He co-wrote his first composition, Room 1411, written with Benny Goodman and released as a Brunswick 78,4013, in 1928, when the band arrived in New York City, he sent for and married his college sweetheart, Helen Burger.
He was a member of Red Nicholss orchestra in 1930, and because of Nichols, during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Miller managed to earn a living working as a freelance trombonist in several bands. On a March 21,1928, Victor session, Miller played alongside Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Joe Venuti in the All-Star Orchestra, directed by Nat Shilkret. On November 14,1929, an original vocalist named Red McKenzie hired Miller to play on two records that are now considered to be classics, Lola and If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight. Beside Miller were clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa, Miller composed the songs Annies Cousin Fanny, Dese Dem Dose, Harlem Chapel Chimes, and Tomorrows Another Day for the Dorsey Brothers Band in 1934 and 1935
Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of American music that dominated in the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing came from the swing feel where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music, Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, the verb to swing is used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Notable musicians of the era include Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Woody Herman. Swing has roots in the late 1920s as larger ensembles began using written arrangements, a typical song played in swing style would feature a strong, anchoring rhythm section in support of more loosely tied wind and brass. The most common style consisted of having a soloist take center stage, Swing music began to decline in popularity during World War II because of several factors.
By the late 1940s, swing had morphed into traditional pop music, or evolved into new styles such as jump blues, Swing music saw a revival in the late 1950s and 1960s with pop vocalists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald. Swing blended with other genres to create new styles, in country music, artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican and Bob Wills introduced many elements of swing along with blues to create a genre called western swing. Gypsy swing is an outgrowth of Venuti and Langs jazz violin swing, in the 1970s, and 1980s, fans of big band music attended swing music performances at supper clubs. In the late-1980s a trendier, more urban-styled swing-beat emerged called new jack swing, in the late 1990s and into the 2000s there was a swing revival, led by Squirrel Nut Zippers, Brian Setzer, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Lavay Smith. In Canada, some of the early 2000s records by The JW-Jones Blues Band included swing revival elements, the 1920s saw parallel trends in jazz and popular music that would converge into the swing style.
New Orleans style jazz was based on a meter and contrapuntal improvisation led by a trumpet or cornet, typically followed by a clarinet. The rhythm section consisted of a tuba and drums, and sometimes a banjo, by the early 1920s guitars and pianos sometimes substituted for the banjo and a string bass sometimes substituted for the tuba. Further innovations in small ensemble playing led to development of the Chicago style identified with Louis Armstrong, a stint with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra familiarized him with arranged ensemble playing that differed from the New Orleans style, in which saxophones became the dominant sound among the reeds. Armstrong brought those back to his smaller ensembles, the soloist played over an ensemble relegated to a supporting role in the background. The string bass lent itself to playing in a 4/4 rhythm rather than the 2/4 rhythm dictated by the tuba. The new format gave the soloist the opportunity to play with more rhythmic freedom, but playing with swing remained the province of the soloist, not the ensemble.
The late 1920s saw increasingly sophisticated arrangements used by bigger ensembles, some arrangements used call-response between horn sections to build the melody
Sun Valley Serenade
Sun Valley Serenade is a 1941 musical film starring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller, Milton Berle, and Lynn Bari.2 million. Ted Scott is a band pianist whose publicity manager decides that, for good press, the band goes to Ellis Island to meet the girl and soon discovers that the refugee isnt a 10-year-old child, but a young woman, Karen Benson. The surprise comes right before the band is to travel to Sun Valley, while on the ski slopes Ted soon falls for Karens inventive schemes to win the heart of her new sponsor, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Vivian Dawn, a soloist with the band. Vivian promptly quits the band out of jealousy, and Karen stages an elaborate ice show as a substitute, of particular note is the elaborate Chattanooga Choo Choo sequence. As the Miller band concludes their feature the camera left to reveal a railway station set. The band continues with the number and accompanies Dorothy Dandridge and The Nicholas Brothers in their song. Sun Valley Serenade is the first of the two movies featuring The Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Besides Chattanooga Choo Choo, other Glenn Miller tunes in the film are Moonlight Serenade, It Happened in Sun Valley, I Know Why, and In the Mood. An instrumental version of At Last was recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra as well as a version with vocals by John Payne and Pat Friday, but these recordings would remain unused and unissued. At Last would appear in the 1942 follow-up movie Orchestra Wives performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with vocals by Ray Eberle, Glenn Miller vocalist Pat Friday provided the pre-recorded vocal tracks that Lynn Bari lip synced in the film. Future Olympic gold medalist Gretchen Fraser was the skiing stand-in for Sonja Henie, Fraser was a member of the Olympic team in 1940 and 1948. Sun Valley Serenade was filmed in March 1941, by Darryl Zanuck, on spring snow in Sun Valley, the film became a Hollywood hit and served as a recruiting effort for the elite ski corps of the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Camp Hale in Colorado. Sun Valleys ski school director, Otto Lang, of St.
Anton, the musical numbers were recorded in multi-directional mono, placing microphones around different parts of the orchestra. Those were all mixed down to mono at the time the film was released, the parts of those recordings were found and mixed into true stereo. They have included in home video releases. The film is shown 24 hours a day on a television channel available to all rooms at the Sun Valley Lodge. Sun Valley Serenade was shown on Turner Classic Movies for the first time on Christmas Eve, the film was released in the VHS format in 1991 by 20th Century Fox. In 2007 Sun Valley Serenade was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox for Region 2 format and it remains unreleased on DVD for Region 1
The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor and the alto are the two most commonly used saxophones, the tenor is pitched in the key of B♭, and written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding an octave and a major second lower than the written pitch. Modern tenor saxophones which have a high F♯ key have a range from A♭2 to E5 and are pitched one octave below the soprano saxophone. People who play the saxophone are known as tenor saxophonists or tenor sax players. The tenor saxophone uses a larger mouthpiece and ligature than the alto, visually, it is easily distinguished by the bend in its neck, or its crook, near the mouthpiece. The alto saxophone lacks this and its neck goes straight to the mouthpiece, the tenor saxophone is commonly used in classical music, military bands, marching bands and jazz. In concert bands, the plays mostly a supporting role, sometimes sharing parts with the euphonium, horn.
In jazz ensembles, the plays a more prominent role as a member of a section that includes the alto. Many of the most innovative and influential musicians have been tenor saxophonists. These include Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, the work of younger players such as Michael Brecker and Chris Potter has been an important influence in more recent jazz. The tenor saxophone was one of a family of fourteen instruments constructed in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, saxs patent, granted on 28 June 1846, divided the family into two groups of seven instruments, each ranging from sopranino down to contrabass. One family, pitched alternatively in B♭ and E♭, was designed specifically to integrate with the instruments common in military bands. The tenor saxophone, pitched in B♭, is the member of this family. The tenor saxophone, like all saxophones, consists of a conical tube of thin brass. The wider end of the tube is flared slightly to form a bell, at intervals down the bore are placed between 20 and 23 tone holes, these are covered by pads which can be pressed onto the holes to form an airtight seal.
There are two small holes which, when opened, disrupt the lower harmonics of the instrument. The pads are controlled by pressing a number of keys with the fingers of the left and right hands, the tenor saxophone is curved at the top, above the highest tone-hole but below the highest speaker hole. While the alto is usually bent only through 80–90° to make the mouthpiece fit more easily in the mouth, the reed is shaved to come to an extremely thin point, and is clamped over the mouthpiece by the use of a ligature
Gordon Lee Tex Beneke was an American saxophonist and bandleader. His career is a history of associations with bandleader Glenn Miller and former musicians and his band is associated with the careers of Eydie Gorme, Henry Mancini and Ronnie Deauville. Beneke solos on the recording the Glenn Miller Orchestra made of their popular song In The Mood and sings on another popular Glenn Miller recording, jazz critic Will Friedwald considers Beneke to be one of the major blues singers who sang with the big bands of the early 1940s. Beneke was born in Fort Worth, Texas and he started playing saxophone when he was nine, going from soprano to alto to tenor saxophones and staying with the latter. His first professional work was with bandleader Ben Young in 1935, Beneke said, It seems that Gene Krupa had left the Goodman band and was forming his own first band. He was flying all over the country looking for new talent, Gene wound up taking two or three of our boys with him back to New York. Wanted to take but his sax section was already filled, Krupa knew that Glenn Miller was forming a band and recommended Beneke to Miller.
On the August 1,1939, recording made of the Joe Garland composition In The Mood, Millers 1941 recording of A String of Pearls has Beneke and Klink trading two-measure tenor solo phrases. Beneke appears with Miller and his band in the films Sun Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives, Tex Beneke is listed in the personnel of the 1941 Metronome All-Star Band led by Benny Goodman. Chattanooga Choo Choo, catalogue number Bluebird 11230-B, was recorded by the Miller band at the Victor recording studios in Hollywood, hoping to repeat the success of Chattanooga the following year, songwriters Warren and Gordon composed Ive Got A Gal in Kalamazoo for the Orchestra Wives score. That arrangement featured Beneke, the Modernaires and band vocalist Marion Hutton in a not-too-dissimilar fashion, not surprisingly, Kalamazoo became another hit record for Miller and the band though not to the extent that Chattanooga had been the year before. When Miller broke up the band in August 1942 to join the Army Air Force, Beneke played very briefly with Horace Heidt before joining the Navy himself, leading a Navy band in Oklahoma.
While employed with Miller, Beneke was offered his own band, as Miller had done with colleagues and employees like Hal McIntyre, Claude Thornhill, Beneke wanted to come back to Miller after the war and learn more about leading a band before being given his own band. Beneke led two bands in the navy and kept in touch with Glenn Miller while they were serving in the military. By 1945, Beneke felt ready to lead his own orchestra, Glenn Miller went missing on December 15,1944 while flying to France from England. After World War Two, the United States Army Air Force decommissioned the Glenn Miller-led Army Air Force band, the Miller estate authorized an official Glenn Miller ghost band in 1946. This band was led by Tex Beneke who as time went on had more prominence in the bands identity and it had a make up similar to Glenn Millers Army Air Force Band, having a large string section. The orchestras official public début was at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway where it opened for an engagement on January 24,1946
John Chalmers MacGregor, better known as Chummy MacGregor, a pianist and composer, was Glenn Miller’s pianist from 1936-1942. He composed the songs Moon Dreams, It Must Be Jelly, I Sustain the Wings, Doin the Jive, Sold American and he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1925 and was a member of Delta Tau Delta. Before joining with Glenn Miller, MacGregor played with Irving Aaronson and he played in Glenn Miller’s first unsuccessful band in 1936-37. He remained when Glenn Miller reformed the orchestra that would become the most popular. The band would achieve 23 no.1 hits from 1939 to 1943 and he was played by Harry Morgan in The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart and June Allyson, on which he was a consultant and technical advisor. He appeared uncredited in Sun Valley Serenade as part of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and he played the piano parts and solos for Cesar Romero in Orchestra Wives. Chummy MacGregor composed a series of songs with Charles Ives, The Cage, Evidence, Down East, The Camp Meeting, and The Circus Band.
His composition Moon Dreams was recorded by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and was released as a V-Disc, martha Tilton recorded Moon Dreams in 1942 for Capitol Records, which was co-founded by Johnny Mercer, the co-writer of the song. Herbie Mann, Hal McIntyre, Meredith DAmbrosio, Gil Goldstein, Flavio Ambrosetti, Franz Koglmann and his composition Moon Dreams was featured in the 1988 motion picture 36 Fillette. Moon Dreams was featured on the soundtrack collection Ken Burns Jazz, The Story of Americas Music, in a performance by Miles Davis, arranged by Gil Evans. Miles Davis first performed the song in 1948 in concert in New York, in 2008, his composition Moon Dreams was featured in the Fox series The Simpsons in the episode Mypods and Boomsticks in a performance by Miles Davis. He played piano on three landmark Glenn Miller recordings that were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, A Bio-discography of the Glenn Miller Civilian Band.
New Rochelle, NY, Arlington House,1972, George T. Simon Says, The Sights and Sounds of the Swing Era, 1935-1955. New Rochelle, NY, Arlington House,1971
Joseph Matthews Wingy Manone was an American jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader. His recordings included Tar Paper Stomp, Nickel in the Slot, Downright Disgusted Blues, Therell Come a Time, Manone was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He lost his arm in a streetcar accident, which resulted in his nickname of Wingy. He used a prosthesis so naturally and unnoticeably that his disability was not apparent to the public, Louis and other locations, he continued to travel widely throughout the United States and Canada for decades. Manones style was similar to that of fellow New Orleans trumpeter Louis Prima, hot jazz with trumpet leads, Manone was an esteemed musician who was frequently recruited for recording sessions. He played on some early Benny Goodman records, for example and his hit records included Tar Paper Stomp, and a hot 1934 version of a sweet ballad of the time The Isle of Capri, which was said to have annoyed the songwriters despite the royalties it earned them. Thus there is more than one version of many Wingy Manone hits, among his better records are Therell Come a Time, Send Me, and the novelty hit The Broken Record.
He and his band did regular recording and radio work through the 1930s, in 1943 he recorded several tunes as Wingy Manone and His Cats, that same year he performed in Soundies movie musicals. One of his Soundies reprised his recent hit Rhythm on the River, Manones autobiography, Trumpet on the Wing, was published in 1948. From the 1950s he was based mostly in California and Las Vegas, although he toured through the United States, Canada. In 1957, he attempted to break into the teenage rock-and-roll market with his version of Party Doll and his version on Decca 30211 made No.56 on Billboards Pop chart and it received a UK release on Brunswick 05655. Walkin the Streets, and Fare Thee Well, in 2008, Therell Come a Time was used in the soundtrack to the Academy Award-nominated movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Manone was survived by his son Joseph Matthew Manone II and grandson Jimmy Manone, for many years Manones good friend Joe Venuti, the jazz violinist and notorious practical joker, sent Wingy a single cuff link on his birthday