Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
While Fletcher Henderson made the bulk of his important recordings for Columbia, gathered on A Study in Frustration, he also recorded some significant music for the Decca label, recording as both the Connie's Inn Orchestra... more »
Listen to Samples
While Fletcher Henderson made the bulk of his important recordings for Columbia, gathered on A Study in Frustration, he also recorded some significant music for the Decca label, recording as both the Connie's Inn Orchestra and under his own name. There are two sessions from 1931 and three from 1934,and they all show Henderson's group as the prototype of the big swing bands. The eight tracks from 1931 are particularly interesting for their demonstration of the Henderson band's increasing ability to actually "swing," largely through the playing of drummer Walter Johnson and John Kirby's remarkably fluid tuba work. The band includes trumpeter Rex Stewart and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, whose dominant presence is apparent in the solo on "House of David Blues." There are 12 tracks from 1934 and there's increasing sophistication in the arrangements by Benny Carter, Henderson, and his brother Horace. Horace's aggressive arrangement of Fletcher's "Hotter than Hell" is the highlight, but there's always plenty of spirit from the band, which includes trumpeter Red Allen, clarinetist Buster Bailey, and a young Ben Webster striving to fill Hawkins's absence. --Stuart Broomer
Similarly Requested CDs
The "Toscanini" of Big Band jazz in great sound
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow is this an amazing album. First off, the sound is really a revelation. The engineers have allowed all the sound on the 78s to come through, without destroying its clarity through bad noise reduction decisions. The music just jumps right out at you. Second, the music is really a revelation. The instrumental complexity of Fletcher Henderson's band, and its superb musicality and execution, are something I've not heard elsewhere. You never know what novel musical realm is coming next on these tracks---riffs, solos, themes, counter themes, all with sudden and stunning dynamics changes. Henderson is the guy who invented the Big Band in the 1920s. He and King Oliver were the first two jazz "uper groups" These recordings are vintage 1931-1934, and you can hear the transition here from 2-count style '20s jazz to 4-count Swing, from tuba bass to string bass. There are many great tracks for Lindy Hopping on this CD. Don't believe the lore that Lindy Hop music is slow Swing --- these dance tracks, including "he Lindy Glide"and "ug Cutter's Swing" all range from 200 to 300 beats per minute."
The-Jazz-Friend | happyville | 12/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fletcher Henderson led one of the hottest bands of the 1931-34 period. While most of his competitors were playing society music or novelty songs, Henderson was putting out hotdance music, with jazz content and the music swung hard. A great cd that features the early 30's sides, and features some fine sidemen such as Coleman Hawkins and Red Allen. Icludes some jazz classics such as Hotter Then 'Ell, Radio Rhythm, and Wrappin it up. Exellent introduction to Henderson's hot brand of early swing, mostly due to Benny Carter's innovating arrnagements."
A SUPERLATIVE REISSUE
Barry McCanna | Normandy, France | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have long regarded the recordings made by Fletcher Henderson during 1931, when he was featuring at Connie's Inn, not just as amongst his best, but also as ranking amongst the best jazz recordings of all time. Listening to the first eight tracks on this disc, one can't help but be struck by the excellence of the arrangements, the sheer power of the orchestra, and the mastery of the individual soloists. All of which is emphasised by the quality of the original recordings and the subsequent remastering. The rhythm section underpins everything superbly, with John Kirby's chugging tuba particularly in evidence on the stately "Just Blues", which provides the perfect lead-in to Rex Stewart's note-for-note tribute to the Bix solo on "Singin' The Blues".
This CD would be worth the money for these tracks alone, but there's a further thirteen from September 1934, albeit minus Coleman Hawkins who had not long departed for Europe and been replaced by Ben Webster. Doug Ramsey's liner note and a discography add the finishing touches to a superlative reissue."