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Harry James

One of the most popular bandleaders of the wartime era, Harry James is best remembered today for his colorful trumpet playing and as the husband of pin-up girl Betty Grable. Born in a run-down hotel next to the city jail in Albany, Georgia, Harry's parents were circus performers -- his mother a trapeze artist and his father the bandleader. James began playing drums at age seven and took up the trumpet at ten, performing for the Christy Brothers circus band. James' family later settled in Beaumont, Texas, and he began playing for local dance bands while in high school. In 1935 he joined Ben Pollack's orchestra, leaving in December 1936 for Benny Goodman

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

More Harry James in Hi-Fi

More Harry James in Hi-Fi

Throughout the 1950s, Count Basie saw Harry James in his rear-view mirror. For James, Basie was an inspiration and a model on which to record. Their connection dated back to 1939, when James recorded Two O'Clock Jump, a trumpet-driven interpretation of Basie's popular One O'Clock Jump credited to Basie, James and Benny Goodman. The update became ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Oscar Peterson & Charlie Parker

Read "Oscar Peterson & Charlie Parker" reviewed by Joe Dimino

During this time of COVID-19 and live jazz being silenced, Neon Jazz brings you a new episode honoring the best in today's jazz world. We also honor the legacy of the late Manu Dibango.Playlist Tim Ray “Paint if Black" Excursions and Adventures (Whaling City Sound) 00:00 Host talks 4:34 Oscar Peterson “Just a Sittin' ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Chuck Redd With the Kevin Bales Trio At The Jazz Corner

Read "Chuck Redd With the Kevin Bales Trio At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

Chuck Redd with the Kevin Bales Trio The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SC January 3-4, 2020 Masterful musicians make excellence look easy. It's not always immediately obvious, the quality becomes evident through its sustained presence, like a spreading smile. The band opened with “Tricotism" written by early bebop ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The New Golden Age of Jazz Radio

Read "The New Golden Age of Jazz Radio" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

There was the Jazz Age, and later, the Golden Age of Radio. There was no golden age of jazz radio unless one considers the brief, ten-year reign of devolution when swing music dominated the airwaves. Think about this: New York City has not had a twenty-four-hour commercial jazz radio station in over ten years; decades longer ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans & More

Read "McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans & More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

Off a brand new album called 400 by veteran jazz bass cat Avery Sharpe, we charge straight on into a new episode of Neon Jazz. We continue the music with a look into the world of Matt Slocum, Curtis Nowosad and Brad Turner with new projects and revelations from their music minds. We also pepper in ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Arturo Sandoval: Two Counties, Two Lives, One Trumpet de Oro

Read "Arturo Sandoval: Two Counties, Two Lives, One Trumpet de Oro" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Arturo Sandoval is widely considered the world's premier living trumpet player. You will get no argument from me. After a tumultuous life in Cuba, he and his family successfully sought political asylum in the United States. His story is well documented in For Love or Country (HBO, 2000). Andy Garcia portrays Sandoval in this movie that ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Duke Ellington, Hugh Masekela and Harry James

Read "Duke Ellington, Hugh Masekela and Harry James" reviewed by Joe Dimino

From the talented collective Sammy Miller and the Congregation out of Los Angeles, California, we start a new hour of jazz with episode 594. Over the hour, we hear from some exceedingly cool cats like Duke Ellington, Hugh Masekala, Fess Williams and Harry James. A look into the music and words of the book Jazz on ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Salvant, Skonberg, Aldana And More At Kimmel Center

Read "Salvant, Skonberg, Aldana And More At Kimmel Center" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Cecile McLorin Salvant, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Christian Sands, Yasushi Nakamura and Jamison Ross Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Monterey Jazz Festival On TourPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania March 23, 2019 While some jazz festivals sponsor tours that highlight their more seasoned icons, Monterey was different in ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Michael Leonhart: Surfing on an Orchestral Wave

Read "Michael Leonhart: Surfing on an Orchestral Wave" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

If one were to find an answer to the age-old “nature or nurture" debate, s/he would have to look no further than The Painted Lady Suite [Sunnyside Records]. Listening to the stunning debut album by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra makes it clear that major achievements are only possible when nature and nurture are well integrated and ...


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