By Jeffrey Magee
If Benny Goodman used to be the "King of Swing," then Fletcher Henderson used to be the facility in the back of the throne. not just did Henderson manage the tune that powered Goodman's meteoric upward thrust, he additionally helped release the careers of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins, between others. Now Jeffrey Magee bargains a desirable account of this pivotal bandleader, throwing new gentle at the emergence of recent jazz and the realm that created it. Drawing on an unparalleled mix of resources, together with sound recordings, vague inventory preparations, and hundreds of thousands of rankings which have been to be had basically given that Goodman's dying, Magee illuminates Henderson's musical output, from his early paintings as a brand new York bandleader, to his pivotal function in construction the dominion of Swing. He exhibits how Henderson, status on the leading edge of the hot York jazz scene in the course of the Nineteen Twenties and '30s, assembled the era's most sensible musicians, at the same time protecting jazz's forte and acting well known dance tune that reached a large viewers. Magee unearths how, in Henderson's principally segregated musical global, black and white musicians labored jointly to set up jazz, how Henderson's sort rose out of collaborations with many key gamers, how those avid gamers deftly mixed improvised and written tune, and the way their paintings negotiated creative and advertisement impulses. And we see how, within the depths of the melancholy, list manufacturer John Hammond introduced jointly Henderson and Goodman, a fortuitous collaboration that modified the face of yank track. even if putting Henderson's existence within the context of the nice Migration or the Harlem Renaissance or describing how the savvy use of community radio made the Henderson-Goodman sort a countrywide typical, Jeffrey Magee brings to lifestyles a huge musician who helped to form an period.
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Extra info for The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz
35 A six-piece group called Cordy Williams’ Jazz Masters, with Henderson at the piano, accompanies Waters. They play in a style reminiscent of James Reese Europe’s band, featuring a brass-dominated sound with heavy, even eighth notes; composed breaks; and blunt, forthright cadences. The third chorus, which the band plays without Waters, spotlights an unknown trumpeter with a clean tone and smooth, legato phrasing. The last two choruses form the recording’s climax. In the fourth chorus, Waters reenters, singing a variation of the melody at a higher pitch, and louder than before.
He began to make his way in the world only when he learned to play the piano blues by ear. ” Finding little opportunity to sustain a living in such conditions, Dorsey went north in 1916, working in the Gary, Indiana, steel mills and as a railroad dining-car cook in the warm months and returning to Atlanta in the winter. 16 While Dorsey shuttled between Atlanta and Chicago to pick up work, Henderson ﬁnished prep school, entered Atlanta University, and thrived. The ﬁrst thing he did upon matriculation in 1916 was change his name.
He shared an apartment with a pianist, and when the man came down with an extended illness, Henderson sat in for him in a riverboat orchestra that played on the Hudson. Fred “Deacon” Johnson, a music contractor and former president of the Clef Club, soon hired Henderson as a permanent replacement. The job proved auspicious in more ways than one. 20 Around the same time, in the fall of 1920, Henderson also became a song plugger for the Pace and Handy Music Company. Though a fresh face in New York, Henderson had much to recommend him for the job.