1060 Slices
Medium 9781574415872

20 - The Musical Mentor

Chris Smith, John Mosca and John Riley University of North Texas Press ePub

In January of 1982, Mel recorded a small group album under the leadership of Brookmeyer titled Bob Brookmeyer: Through a Looking Glass (Finesse). The recording consisted of a small group of players from the big band; in addition to Mel and Brookmeyer, it included Tom Harrell on trumpet, Dick Oatts on soprano saxophone, Jim McNeely on piano, and Marc Johnson on bass. The recording showcased many of Brookmeyer's newest compositions including “The Magic Shop,” “Daisy,” and “April March.”1

On February 21, 1982, Mel Lewis and The Jazz Orchestra performed a concert in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institute's Baird Auditorium. Several years earlier Mel had played a concert at the Smithsonian with his small group, and that performance was so popular that it resulted in an invitation for the big band.2 The big band performance was video recorded and released as Mel Lewis and The Jazz Orchestra (Shanachie).3 Bob Mintzer's arrangements of “One Finger Snap” and “Dolphin Dance” were featured along with Brookmeyer's composition “Make Me Smile.” The program featured inspired playing by the band, but the highlight was the exciting musical interaction between Mel and Lovano on “Eye of the Hurricane.” Mel masterfully supported and energized the big band through a challenging shout section, then continued to intensify the music by playing modern phrases behind Lovano's rousing solo. “Eye of the Hurricane” presented Mel completely in his element, at home in his band and fueling its musical fire.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412840

25. The Creative World of Stan Kenton (1970)

Michael Sparke University of North Texas Press PDF


The Creative World of Stan Kenton


Several prominent jazzmen had dabbled briefly with their own record labels in the past: Gillespie with Dee Gee, Herman on Mars,

Mingus and Debut. All had quickly found it unprofitable, and had sold out to an established company. Even Sinatra and Reprise had finally succumbed. Kenton had the advantage of access to his entire back catalog, on lease from Capitol and Decca Records, plus a highly loyal if relatively small fan-base on which to build. Even so, Kenton LPs were not prone to fly off the shelves, and Stan knew that more than anything else it was personal appearances that stimulated record sales. The time had come to form a new orchestra!

“The band was really just thrown together, you know,”1 commented drummer John Von Ohlen. But how it was thrown! Stan was no longer able to afford high-profile names, but with Dick Shearer’s help he assembled a band of largely untried youngsters whose technical skills and reading ability were the equal of more experienced musicians, and whose ensemble playing was more accurate and energetic than any other permanent, touring orchestra of the period.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412734

Appendix I • Remembering Scott LaFaro

Helene LaFaro-Fernandez University of North Texas Press PDF


Appendix I  •


Scott LaFaro by Robert Wooley

Scott LaFaro and I went to school in Geneva, New York, a small city of about 15,000 in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Although small, the school had a very strong music program. The high school band director, Godfrey Brown, had worked hard, particularly in the elementary levels, to build his program. The lead trombonist when Scott was a sophomore went directly from high school to the Tommy Dorsey Band. It was possible to graduate from Geneva High School well prepared to go to music school, and many did.

Scott and I first met in 1950, and because of our musical interests became friends.The band director, who was Scotty’s private teacher for clarinet and saxophone, recognized Scott’s talent and made him a student band director. This meant Scott conducted rehearsals for the concert and jazz bands, and directed certain numbers in concerts. His rehearsals were very intense. Scotty was a perfectionist with perfect pitch. He was also a stickler on rhythm—I accused him of having a metronome built into his head. Whenever I listen to Scott’s recordings, I’m certain of it.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253015013

5 Competition and Conversation: Games as Music

Paul Schleuse Indiana University Press ePub

An overarching theme of this book is the way in which music by Orazio Vecchi and some of his contemporaries reveals how singing from printed music could function like a game in Italian courts, ridotti, academies, and more intimate private gatherings. The social acts of choosing music, singing it, and then discussing the pieces and their execution all mirror the phases of game playing as described in contemporary documents. This game-like process might remain relatively informal and implicit, as in the conversation with music depicted in Doni’s Dialogo, though the social activity of reading and singing Doni’s book itself would take on a game-like function as singers negotiated the various kinds of pieces the book contains, including at least one instance of an intentionally notated mistake.1 In other cases, madrigal anthologies that consist of multiple settings of the same or related texts (such as Sdegnosi ardori, L’amorosa Ero, and I fidi amanti) suggest a kind of competition among composers that would, in recreational performance, give rise to a game-like sense of formalized turn-taking.2 But indeed, any music book or selection of pieces available at a given social gathering could function in the same way. As the participants selected various pieces to sing, their choices of one composer or another, pieces of greater or lesser gravità, and genres of contrasting musical or poetic style provided opportunities for the self-fashioning performance of identity essential to much early modern gaming. As I have argued, Vecchi’s unusually varied collections Selva di varia ricreatione and Convito musicale catered specifically to this social practice.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411515

6 “I’ll die with them, if they’ll keep me that long.” “I’ll die with them, if they’ll keep me that long.”

John Mark Dempsey University of North Texas Press PDF



T H E M , I F T H E Y ’ L L K E E P M E T H AT L O N G ”

many of the trips then, but I was doing the payroll and turning the bills into the mill,” Smokey remembered. “Jerry Elliott did a lot of those [trips]. And Bill Hudson, who played the guitar, and Paul Blunt.

Lefty Perkins made a lot of those trips” (Montgomery oral history,

168; Elliott interview, March 8, 2001).

The arrival of Jerry Elliott signals the beginning of the modern period of the Doughboys. Jerry joined the Doughboys as a substitute for Smokey during Smokey’s Levee Club days. Elliott is a distant second in seniority with the Doughboys, at a considerable 40plus years of service. “In any other group, that would sound like a very long time,” he said with a smile (Smith, 19).

Elliott was working as the manager of a Fort Worth music store.

Doughboy Johnny Strawn, a fiddler modern-day Doughboy Art

Greenhaw calls “a great artist,” actually invited Elliott to join the group.

“Johnny came by out at the store one time, and said, ‘Hey, Smokey is going into the Levee Club, and we need somebody to go on the road with us and play banjo.’ And I said, ‘I don’t play banjo very much. I play a few chords well enough to sell ’em across the counter.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’ll do. You sing and sing parts, so come to work with us on the road with the Doughboys.’ And I said, ‘Well, I said I don’t even know how to play banjo very well.’ And he said, ‘Well, tune it like a guitar.’ Well, I tried that a time or two, but that just didn’t work for me. So I learned to play the darn thing right, but I never could play solos like Smokey. But I knew all the chords and did all the vocals, so I started traveling with the Doughboys.”

See All Chapters

See All Slices