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THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
hands of one of the saxophonists, Gil Rodin. Crosby s orchestra, which lent a unique tone color to the annals of the swing era, lasted from 1935 to 1942 and has been revived periodically.
The Crosby band was less directly competitive with Benny Goodman's orchestra than several other bands that rose to prominence in the late 1930s, all of them led by instrumental soloists. The freshest and most adventurous was an ensemble organized in 1936 by Artie Shaw. During its all-too-brief career his orchestra comprised two trumpets, a trombone, one sax (Tony Pastor, tenor), a string quartet, and the conventional piano-guitar-bass-drums rhythm section. Though Shaw's clarinet lacked the emotional variety and stimulus of the Goodman style, the unprecedented setting of a string quartet, successfully integrated into a jazz group, was an augury of the instrumental expansion jazz was to undergo many years later. Too far ahead of his time, Shaw ran into financial difficulties and had to disband the group and form a more conventional orchestra, with an instrumentation similar to Goodman's, less than a year later.
Glenn Miller, whose often ingenious arrangements had enlivened many a jazz record date as well as the libraries of such pioneer orchestras as Ben Pollack's, Red Nichols* and the Dorsey Brothers', was a late starter in the swing field. After a couple of unsuccessful years on the road he scored a sudden and overwhelming success in 1939. The Miller band's contribution, however, was a minor one from the jazz standpoint, despite the band's popularity among swing fans. Neither in the orchestration nor in the solos by such men as the tenor saxophonist Tex Beneke did the band make any but a superficial impression as a jazz unit.
The Dorsey Brothers' band, in which Miller had played a key role as chief arranger, became Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra in September, 1935 when Tommy, walking out after a disagreement with his brother, formed a new and immediately successful band of his own. Both Dorseys continued along individually popular lines through the 1940s until their reunion under the fraternal banner in 1953, when Jimmy disbanded his own orchestra to align himself with Tommy's band. Neither Dorsey orchestra was primarily a jazz group, though both featured many jazz soloists