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Album Review

A viable alternative to the many "chronological" Fletcher Henderson discs on offer, Giants of Jazz's 1924-1938 collection takes in a wide array of the maestro's early-jazz and swing sides. The mix is heavy on cuts from the first half of the period covered, including such early highlights as "Shanghai Shuffle" and "The Stampede"; the going is especially sweet here with a double dose of sharp solos (Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, et al.) and charts (some of Don Redman's best). And the cream keeps coming, as these 22 tracks take in such bedrock sides as "New King Porter Stomp," "Stealin' Apples," and "Sugar Foot Stomp." The line of soloists and arrangers is just a consistently impressive, with more Redman work and new gems from Benny Carter and brothers Fletcher and Horace Henderson. The lineup, of course, remains huge too, featuring the likes of Benny Morton, Tommy Ladnier, Chu Berry, and Buster Bailey. A listening pleasure of the historical kind.


Born: 18 December 1897 in Cuthbert, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Fletcher Henderson was very important to early jazz as leader of the first great jazz big band, as an arranger and composer in the 1930s, and as a masterful talent scout. Between 1923-1939, quite an all-star cast of top young black jazz musicians passed through his orchestra, including trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Joe Smith, Tommy Ladnier, Rex Stewart, Bobby Stark, Cootie Williams, Red Allen, and Roy Eldridge; trombonists Charlie Green, Benny Morton, Jimmy Harrison, Sandy Williams, J.C. Higginbottham,...
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1924-1936, Fletcher Henderson
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