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Musician

Bill Finegan

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Bill Finegan, an architect of the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller later traded in commercial success to co-create the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, which produced music that still stands as some of the most experimental of the swing era. In 1938, Dorsey bought Finegan's score for "Lonesome Road" and played it for Miller, who offered the young arranger a job. Between 1938 and 1942 Finegan wrote more than 300 arrangements for Miller, including some of the band's biggest hits: the classic "Little Brown Jug," "Sunrise Serenade" and "Song of the Volga." Finegan also wrote arrangements for the films "Sun Valley Serenade" in 1941 and "Orchestra Wives" in 1942, and had begun a lifelong profession as a teacher. One of his students was Nelson Riddle, celebrated arranger for Frank Sinatra

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May


For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...

628

Article: Interview

Giacomo Gates: An Unconventional Backstory

Read "Giacomo Gates: An Unconventional Backstory" reviewed by Sean Dietrich


Giacomo Gates brings a rich, full-bodied timbre to the vocal jazz table. His pure vocalese approach has earned him lauds among critics, who hail him a champion artist in the modern jazz genre. He's been performing alongside the most recognized artists in the industry, using only his voice to produce a broad range of spectral color. ...

757

Article: Big Band Report

Jacksonville: Big City, Big Band, Big Plans

Read "Jacksonville: Big City, Big Band, Big Plans" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Almost everyone who's even mildly interested knows that the big band scene in the US isn't what it used to be. On the other hand, the big bands aren't yet dead, as some alarmists have claimed, or even on life support. Thanks in part to college and armed services programs, there are perhaps as many or ...

179

News: Obituary

Bill Finegan Arranger for Dorsey, Miller Bands Dies

Bill Finegan Arranger for  Dorsey, Miller Bands Dies

ORIGINAL, INVENTIVE: Bill Finegan wrote more than 300 arrangements for Glenn Miller, including “Little Brown Jug," “Sunrise Serenade" and “Song of the Volga." Nelson Riddle was his student. Bill Finegan, an architect of the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller who later traded in commercial success to co-create the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, which produced ...

175

News: Obituary

Bill Finegan, Arranger and Big-Band Leader, Dies

Bill Finegan, Arranger and Big-Band Leader, Dies

Bill Finegan, who arranged hits for Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey and then formed a big band with Eddie Sauter, another legendary arranger, that was famed for skill, daring and very, very odd instruments, died on Wednesday in Bridgeport, Conn. He was 91. The cause was pneumonia, said his son, James. Arrangers, the largely behind-the-scenes masterminds ...

Album

Inside Sauter-Finegan

Label: RCA Records
Released: 1954


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