[78-L] OT(?): Big Band leaders as pianists

Rodger Holtin 78-L rjh334578 at gmail.com.invalid
Tue Dec 8 20:05:44 PST 2015

And I'll make a pitch for Frankie Carle. His two different settings of Turkish Rondo each named Carle Meets Mozart are favorites of mine. He did one under Horace Heidts name and the other under his own.  Not in the same class as Waller but better than Duchin IMHO. 

Probably among the most respected piano playing band leaders has to be Claude Thornhill. 

Sent from my iPhone, which explainz any bad typjng and nonsensical word choices.

> On Dec 7, 2015, at 6:38 PM, Taylor Bowie <bowiebks at isomedia.com.invalid> wrote:
> Hey Bud,
> I'm not a big Duchin fan but there were other sweet band  pianist 
> band-leaders who were very capable soloists and strong leaders as well...not 
> in the jazz genre,   but we were speaking of band leaders in general,  or so 
> I thought.
> Such leaders would include  Henry King,  Joe Reichman,  Griff Williams, 
> Anson Weeks,  etc.
> Taylor
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Bud" <banjobud at cfl.rr.com.invalid>
> To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
> Sent: Monday, December 07, 2015 4:26 PM
> Subject: Re: [78-L] OT(?): Big Band leaders as pianists
>> So sue me.  I liked Eddy Duchin.
>> Bud
>> 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
>>>> Hines?
>>>> 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.
>>>> Kristjan
>>> ===============
>>> 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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