July 20, 2010

(The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - 1926 - not cartoon music)

Since there's no theme this week, I thought I would just blow open the Roundtable and toss a lot of stuff up in the air and see what makes it.

Tonight it's the legendary Jazz figure Fletcher Henderson, heading his own band in a 1926 recording for the Okeh label of The Henderson Stomp.

Bear in mind, in 1926 there were not a lot of places you could listen to this record, let alone buy it. There was strict segregation in music as much as everything else at the time. Access to "race records" (as they were called then) took a keen eye and savvy skill.

But Henderson was one of the pioneers in breaking the color barrier early on. He was a major figure in arranging for the Benny Goodman band in the late 1930's and early 1940's and worked with some of the greatest figures in the Big Band era, in addition to leading his own band.

So tonight it's a trip back to the 1920's. I don't know how long we're going to stay here, but it should be interesting in the meantime - especially if you've never heard anything like this before.

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