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Doin' the New Low Down

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Album Review

The second of two Don Redman LPs released by the Scottish Hep label has two alternate takes not included on the Classics CDs. Altoist/vocalist/arranger Don Redman led a fine big band during this era, even if they never really hit it big. Such numbers as "Doin' What I Please," "Nagasaki," and "Sophisticated Lady" are memorable, while the two-part "Doin' the New Lowdown" features such guests as tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway and the Mills Brothers. Since there are vocals on all but one selection (the best are the leader's good-natured half-spoken refrains), the talented orchestra is not always showcased as much as one wishes, but the music overall is quite enjoyable.


Born: 29 July 1900 in Piedmont, WV

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

The first great arranger in jazz history, Don Redman's innovations as a writer essentially invented the jazz-oriented big band with arrangements that developed yet left room for solo improvisations. After graduating from college at the age of 20 with a music degree, Redman played for a year with Billy Paige's Broadway Syncopators and then met up with Fletcher Henderson. Redman became Henderson's chief arranger (although Fletcher was often later on mistakenly given credit for the innovative charts)...
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Doin' the New Low Down, Don Redman
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