Buddy DeFranco on Shearing - JazzWax

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February 16, 2011


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Bill Kirchner

The voicing Buddy described is known among arrangers as "four-way close, double lead"--the melody doubled an octave below, and three inner voices. This is the basis of not only the Glenn Miller "Moonlight Serenade" voicing (clarinet, two altos, two tenors), but also the famous saxophone soli on Ellington's 1940 "Cotton Tail" (two altos, two tenors, baritone). It was later used in the '70s by the band Supersax to harmonize Charlie Parker solos and is now known as the "Supersax voicing".


Mary Lou wasn't too thrilled with Feather's concept of recording her with an all female band. On one of their recordings bassist Billy Taylor sub'd for Rotenberg but was billed as Bea Taylor. Williams described that session as "the cattiest session I'd ever encountered; the girls talked more music than they played."

John P. Cooper

Margie Hyams @ 90 y/o- still alive according to a few online sources.

That would make a fascinating interview b/c she was with Woody Herman, too, in the mid '40s.


Can someone tell me what tune Shearing is playing at 1:56 and again at 4:11? Thanks.

Ted O'Reilly

The tune is Roses of Picardy, a 1916 British melody by Haydn Woods. Shearing had a notable hit of it with the Quintet in 1950, for MGM.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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