The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
The Composers and Arrangers
to Roseland, we decided to put on another saxophone and we got Buster Bailey.
"Shortly after Louis Armstrong joined the hand, King Oliver sent him a little notebook with lines drawn on it. Together they had written a lot of things. Louis gave it to me and said, "Pick out anything you want and make it up for future use/ They had things like Cornet Chop Suey and Dippermouth Blues, which later became known as Sugar Foot Stomp. I made up Dipper-mouth for Fletcher's band and we recorded it in 1925. Later on, Fletcher copied the arrangement for Benny Goodman, but I made the original, and that's the record that made Fletcher Henderson. All those early numbers like Whatcha Call 'Em Blues, Stampede and Snag it—those were my arrangements.
"Fletcher came much later as a writer. He didn't really start arranging for the band until after I had left to join McKinney's Cotton Pickers; then, a year after I left, Benny Carter joined the band, and he took over a lot of the writing."
The earliest Redman works, of which the recording of the Armstrong-Oliver Sugar Foot Stomp is a prototype, showed that he had captured what was then the first essential of jazz arrange­ment: to express in sectional and ensemble terms the same nuances of phrasing and melodic construction that gave jazz improvisation its character. There were passages scored in simple harmony for three clarinets, or three saxophones, or for the brass section; there were rhythm breaks and background riffs behind the ad libbing soloists. Three-part harmony prevailed. The most advanced idea in the entire arrangement of Sugar Foot Stomp is the use of a major seventh in the penultimate chord, played by unaccompanied saxophones in the coda and leading to a "blue seventh" ending. Though the Redman arrangements of that period sound comically crude when compared with his own later work, they were able to move jazz along the road to maturity and were certainly ahead of their time.
The first white composer and arranger to document jazz was Elmer Schoebel. Though he created arrangements for the Friars' Society Orchestra and the Midway Dance Band in the early 1920s, at first they were dictated rather than written, since some of the musicians could not read. Schoebel's specialty was the