• U.S.

Music: Jam Session

1 minute read

Last week in the swank Viennese Room of Manhattan’s St. Regis Roof Garden, a select group of swing fans sat out the most gilt-edged concert yet recorded in the annals of pure, impromptu swing.

Participating players, almost a Who’s Who of topflight U. S. jammers, included Clarinetists Joe Marsala, Milton Mesirow, Peewee Russell; Saxophonists Bud Freeman, Sid Bechet; Cornetists Bobby Hackett, Hotlips Paige; Pianist Jess Stacey; Trombonist Tommy Dorsey; Drummers Dave Tough and Zutty Singleton. Present also were No. 1 Swing Pundit Hugues Panassié, grey-haired Blues-writer William Christopher Handy (St.Louis Blues, Memphis Blues). This prime assortment of talent bumped slightly at the takeoff, but in the final ensemble lived up to its big names.

This super jam-session was designed not primarily for its small U. S. audience but for English swing fans who heard it over an exclusive BBC broadcast. King of Swing Benny Goodman was conspicuously absent. He was at Manhattan’s Town Hall playing with the sedate Budapest String Quartet in an unswung version of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major. Chamber-music alligators found Goodman’s classical tooting almost in the groove.

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