The smooth trombone of Tommy Dorsey

I am always amazed how smooth Tommy Dorsey’s trombone playing is. Frank Sinatra, who made his first great success in the Dorsey band, said he learned breath control from watching Tommy Dorsey play trombone. Tommy Dorsey said that his playing was heavily...

New Year’s Resolution?

Happy New Year everyone. If you are pondering over your New Years resolutions, how about not just any New Years resolution but one that might, just might, if the examples below are anything to go by, help you too to live to a very great age like the great swing...

Remembering Cab Calloway

Born December 25, 1907, Cab Calloway rose in just a few years from being a virtually unknown artist to rival Duke Ellington in popularity. Cab started touring with his Orchestra in the early ’30s and didn’t stop. He was known for his boundless energy and...

Swing and Big Band music on BBC4

For Swing and Big Band era music fans…it might be worth keeping an eye on the BBC4 listings in the run up to Xmas. Not everything will be worth watching, but I am putting the following in my calendar. Monday 22 December, 7pm The musical “Guys and Dolls”...

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington (29 April,1899 –24 May 1974) Duke Ellington strikes me as a musician with lots of contrasts. I often feel that his early body of work is often neglected on the swing dance scene, yet his later work is often heard. Maybe this comes down to the crackly...

Glen Miller disappears 15 December 1944

Maj. A. Glenn Miller 70 years ago today, on 15 December 1944, Major Alton Glenn Miller flew from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, on the outskirts of Bedford to Paris to play for the US soldiers there. His plane disappeared while flying over the English Channel.  A 2014...

Begin the Beguine[r]

Absolutely nothing to do with the Cole Porter song or Julio Iglesias (if you fancy some real cheese!), but rather my musings about being a beginner (again). Beginning Tap I recently started going to Tap dance classes and to say I found it difficult is an...

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