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The New England Conservatory Jazz Repertory Orchestra
Happy Feet: A Tribute to Paul Whiteman

It is unlikely that anyone in jazz history has been as consistently maligned as Paul Whiteman. This recording hopes to put Whiteman's contribution to jazz in proper perspective and, by paying tribute to him, right the wrong which has been perpetuated far too long.

For decades jazz writers have propagated the myth that, except for Bix's (and a few of Tram's) solos, none of the Whiteman recordings -- of which there are hundreds -- are worth hearing; that Bix suffered intolerably in the Whiteman band; and that Whiteman's concept of "symphonic jazz" and his attempts to "make a lady out of jazz" were a betrayal to the music. A favorite target of jazz writers has been the use of violins, for this is where the real betrayal of jazz is alleged to have occurred.

Bosh! to all of that. The Whiteman orchestral sound, as fashioned by three of the greatest arrangers that ever worked in the field -- Ferde Grofe, Bill Challis, and the Dean of African American composers, William Grant Still -- is one of the half-a-dozen most original jazz sounds ever to have been created, and it provided the perfect setting and inspiration for Bix: like a jewel set perfectly in the center of a crown. In its own way the Whiteman sound is as original and as beautiful as that of Duke Ellington's orchestra -- very different, of course, but no less magical, no less inspired. And let no one forget that Ellington and the other great jazz orchestra leaders of the late 20's spent a great deal of time learning from the Whiteman "book", emulating it and marveling at its instrumental sophistication.

"Gunther Schuller leads an exceptional ensemble of students from the New England Conservatory on this program, with a guest appearance by the great jazz violinist Joe Venuti...the album is a complete pleasure. Perhaps its reissue will help a few of Whiteman's more vociferous critics to moderate their views."


Qty: ∑ Price: $12.00 ∑

Also available for downloads on iTunes as well as Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic and other digital sites.

New England Conservatory Jazz Repertory Orchestra; Gunther Schuller, conductor; Joe Venuti, special guest violinist, on trks 6 & 13 only.
1.   “Coquette” (Johnny Green/Carmen Lombardo, arr. Bill Challis) 2:20
2.   “My Blue Heaven” (Walter Donaldson/George Whiting, arr. Ferde Grofe) 2:40
3.   “Changes” (Walter Donaldson, arr. Bill Challis) 2:53
4.   “Waiting at the End of the Road” (Irving Berlin, arr. Ferde Grofe) 2:29
5.   “I'm on the Crest of a Wave” (Ray Henderson, arr. Ferde Grofe) 2:58
6.   “Happy Feet” (Milton Ager/Jack Yellin, arr. Ferde Grofe) 2:13
7.   “Makin' Whoopee” (Walter Donaldson, arr. Ferde Grofe) 2:45
8.   “Nobody's Sweetheart” (Erdman/Kahn/Meyers/Schoebel, arr. Lenny Hayton) 2:25
9.   “Dardanella” (Fisher/Bernard/Black/Black, arr. Bill Challis) 2:43
10. “Lonely Melody” (Sam Coslow/Hal Dyson, arr. Bill Challis) 2:25
11. “Back in Your Own Backyard” (Dryer/Jolson/Rose, arr. Bill Challis) 2:23
12. “After You've Gone” (Henry Creamer/Turner Layton, arr. William Grant Still) 2:59
13. “San” (Lindsey McPhail/Walter Michels, arr. Bill Challis) 3:03
“Sugar” (Maceo Pinkard, arr. Bill Challis)
“Sweet Sue, Just You” (Victor Young, arr. Bill Challis) 4:10
Previously released on Golden Crest Records in 1976 as CRSQ31043
Executive Producer: Gunther Schuller
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