[78-L] Alvino Rey and The Kings

Jeff Sultanof jeffsultanof at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 21:18:01 PDT 2010

I loved the all-reed orchestra. I've never forgotten an interview that Dick
Haymes gave where he discussed this band and thought it was terrible,
claiming that the intonation was awful. He might have been describing some
of the early gigs the band did. The instrumentation invited tuning problems,
and I can imagine that it took some time for the band to really sound right.
Arranging for this band required a whole new approach; a call and response
style a la Goodman or even Miller was simply not right.

I remember a Hindsight album of transcriptions that was never issued on CD
that I will track down one of these days. Fields gave an interview later
saying that he was particularly proud of this band because of its
musicality; he knew that the rippling rhythm was a gimmick, the reed
orchestra real music.

Thank you for reminding me of this ensemble, Geoffrey. Your taste is

Jeff Sultanof

On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 11:04 PM, Geoffrey Wheeler <dialjazz at verizon.net>wrote:

> Speaking of Alvino Rey, Al simmons says:“Good band..good charts. He
> opened with "The Strip Polka"  Hot stuff. Next number "The Major and
> The Minor"
> Earl Bostic made an excellent recording of his and Redd Evans tune “The
> Major and the Minor” for Majestic. The sound is “boxy,” as though it
> were recorded in a closet. The Alvino Rey Bluebird recording of the
> tune is also excellent. Both recordings should be better known.
> A surprising band of the early Forties was Shep Fields’ reeds orchestra
> that recorded for Bluebird. The recordings feature wonderful
> arrangements and playing, and the band swings nicely. When he was
> featured, Charlie Shavers generally took excellent solos that made him
> a distinctive sound and stylist. He could just about blow everybody
> else off the stand. He was also a standout with the Raymond Scott
> Orchestra on CBS stateside and short-wave broadcasts.
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