[78-L] Dolores O’Neil

Dan Van Landingham danvanlandingham at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 19 17:26:18 PDT 2010

As for "With the Wind and the Rain(In Your Hair)was concerned,I used that Chester recording as part of my musical "reference books".What grabbed me was the intro and the way the arranger used
what sounded like a dominant seventh with an augmented ninth chord.I thought it was great.I learned
more about chord changes from that record.That was the one thing that many of my generation missed
regarding that kind of music.In 1970,when I discovered that particular recording,if you weren't listeni-
ng to rock(as in the so called British Invasion)then it wasn't music.I felt that I had moved beyond rock
and there were many rock composers who had nothing to say to me musically with the possible exce-
ption of George Harrison whose work I did like.

From: Julian Vein <julianvein at blueyonder.co.uk>
To: 78-L Mail List <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
Sent: Mon, April 19, 2010 3:58:27 PM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Dolores O’Neil

Geoffrey Wheeler wrote:
> “Tenor saxophonist Chester recorded 128 sides for Bluebird, many of 
> them quite nice swing numbers with good solos and smartly crafted 
> arrangements. Overall, the Bluebird version of “The Octave Jump,” with 
> its “live” sound and detail, is a better performance than the Sonora 
> recording. It features a fine arrangement with the kind of nuances and 
> dynamics that made a crack swing band exciting to hear. Solography is: 
> Chester, tenor saxophone; boogie-flavored piano; trumpet, trombone, 
> trumpet, and acoustic guitar. For voicing and shading, note the brief 
> interplay between brass and reeds at the close. The “A” side is even 
> better: the Hoffman-Kent-Schaeffer “You Little Heart-Breaker You,” 
> played at a solid tempo driven by high-hat, back beat, and ride cymbal. 
> This well-written arrangement really swings, and the swell of reeds 
> near the close is a particular delight.

. With a title like “With the Wind and the Rain in
> Your Hair,” one might expect a ballad. Instead, the Chester performance 
> opens with eight bars played in medium tempos that have energy, 
> dynamics, and bite. Those eight bars set the stage for what is to come. 
> The whole record is an excellent example of in-tune playing, seamless 
> section work, and musical precision. The Chester recording of “With the 
> Wind and the Rain in Your Hair” was reissued in Reader’s Digest The 
> Great Band Era 37 Top Bands Play 10 Years of Top Tunes (1936 to 1945) 
> (Record 10, side 1 track 5, mx. RRIM-9041). The 10-disc set was 
> produced by RCA Victor Custom and thus contains only sides recorded for 
> Victor or its affiliate Bluebird label. 
The first reference I came across to Chester was in "Jazz Directory", 
which I don't think listed any of his recordings. Reviewers, critics and 
writers never wrote about bands like Bob Chester, Sonny Dunham and Sam 
Donahue, or the swingier performances of the "sweet" bands.

It wasn't until the reissues by Bandstand and the various Frank Donovan 
labels (problematic though the transfers sometimes were) that I got to 
know them.

      Julian Vein

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