Russ Garcia (1916-2011) - JazzWax

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November 21, 2011


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Jerri Carmo

I was looking forward to your return to the San Francisco Bay Area, Russ, but you decided to take another route. God bless, and thank you for all of the cool things you gave us.

jeff helgesen

"Four Horns and a Lush Life" was the title used when this album was licensed for reissue under Frank Rosolino's name.

I have seen it released as "I'll Never Forget What's Her Name" on vinyl, the first track on the record, under Russ Garcia's name:

Bill Kirchner

Garcia's "The Professional Arranger Composer" was one of the pioneering arranging books--the first I ever read. I still remember it fondly.

It had a couple of memorably funny lines, too. One was about writing for "pretty girls who double on singing." Another concerned writing arrangements of "June moon goon croon tunes."


One of Russell Garcia's greatest works is indeed "Porgy & Bess". And the posted video with the underrated Don Fagerquist is a real find.

R.I.P. Russell Garcia, and thanks for the beautiful music.

Bruce Armstrong

I was in college in the early 1960s when I first heard Stan Getz playing "Early Autumn" on the "Cool Velvet" album on KBCA-FM here in Los Angeles. My first thought was: "I have to get that album." Once I bought it and listened to it about 20 times over the next few days it dawned on me that Russ Garcia's arrangements for string orchestra were just about as good as it gets. "Cool Velvet" remains one of my favorite Getz recordings and my opinion of Russ Garcia remains unchanged: He was one of the all-time great orchestrators. Rest In Peace, Russ and thank you for sharing your talent with the world all of these years.


would have been nice if you'd asked him about his "Sounds in the Night" album.

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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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