[78-L] OT(?): Big Band leaders as pianists
banjobud at cfl.rr.com.invalid
Mon Dec 7 16:26:35 PST 2015
So sue me. I liked Eddy Duchin.
Sent from my iPad
> On Dec 7, 2015, at 7:11 PM, Julian Vein <julianvein at blueyonder.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
>> On 07/12/15 21:51, Kristjan Saag wrote:
>> Was listening to the Duke Ellington 1961 album "Piano In The Foreground"
>> (with Aaron Bell/ Jimmy Woode, Sam Woodyard) and noticed the unusually
>> uneven mix between piano and bass/drums. The piano was really in the
>> foreground, the percussion was hardly heard.
>> Thought:; well, Duke was a nice pianist, but this was a situation where
>> he was part of a trio and didn't excel in nifty soloing - why give him
>> prominence in this way?
>> Next thought: how high in regard as pianist was he? And what about other
>> Big Band leader pianists: Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Stan Kenton, Earl
>> Well, I know Hines was probably more valued as pianist than band leader,
>> and Kenton, certainly the opposite - I'm a big fan of Kenton's big band
>> sound but find him mediocre as pianist.
>> Other names I should have mentioned? Carla Bley, Mike Westbrook?
>> Eager to hear your opinions about these guys.
> I don't care for Duke too much as a soloist, apart from the odd chorus
> with the band. Didn't care for "Money Jungle" which, apart from being
> inadequately recorded, was just repetitive, thumpy and dull. And, of
> course, there were those, innumerable, feared "Ellington medleys"...
> There was Claude Hopkins, who I like as a pianist, and his band too,
> which isn't held in much regard these days, and whose approach
> anticipated Basie's to some extent. I think it's a question of
> overstaying their welcome--if they just stick to intros and an
> occasional chorus that's fine, including Eddy Duchin!
> Basie's playing was a beacon of light on the band's Decca recordings,
> many of which were pretty mediocre despite the adulation they have received.
> Then, of course, there was Sun Ra.
> I suppose pianists can hide their limitations to some extent, unlike
> horn players.
> Julian Vein
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