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Shades of Hades

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Album Review

Larry Clinton was best known as a swing-era arranger and bandleader, although he also played trumpet, trombone, and clarinet in the ensembles of his orchestra. After leading two sessions with studio musicians who became surprisingly popular, a reluctant Clinton was persuaded to start a big band of his own, one that lasted for four years (1937-1941). He had a first-class dance band, one capable of playing surprisingly effective jazz while often featuring the clear-toned vocals of Bea Wain. This first of three Clinton CDs for the Hep label has all of the music from the arranger's two sessions with studio players plus the first three with his new band. Among the stronger jazz numbers are "Midnight in the Madhouse," "Abba Dabba," "The Campbells Are Swingin'," a catchy arrangement of "Oh Lady Be Good," and "Wolverine Blues." All three Hep releases are well worth acquiring by swing fans.


Born: August 17, 1909 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Larry Clinton was a versatile composer, arranger, and bandleader whose swing band was one of the dominant forces in pop music in the late '30s, specifically in the period between Tommy Dorsey's initial success and the rise to fame of Glenn Miller. Born in Brooklyn, Clinton broke into the business as an arranger on the staff of Ferde Grofé & His Orchestra, which formed in 1932 in the wake of the rift between Grofé and Paul Whiteman; Clinton also held down a trumpet chair in the Grofé band for a time....
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Shades of Hades, Larry Clinton
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