Raymond Scott and His Orchestra

Composer and pianist Raymond Scott formed the Raymond Scott Quintette (actually a sextet) in 1936. He wrote and recorded several looney jazz tunes such as 'Twilight in Turkey', 'The Toy Trumpet', and 'The Penguin' (famous among Balboa dancers thanks to DJ Wuthe). In 1939 he formed a big band and continued to record his very own brand of music all through the 40s. With his big band he also produced some more straightforward swing songs, such as 'On the Jersey Side'.

Here I am featuring two mid-tempo swing numbers from the early and mid 40s. By this time Scott has given up playing piano himself and instead brought in some ace studio musicians. On 'Mr. Basie Goes to Washington' we can hear Johnny Guarnieri emulating Count Basie's characteristic single-finger playing. 'Copyright 1950' was actually written and recorded in 1940 but has a somewhat futuristic sound, which perhaps explains its strange title.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Raymond Scott And His Orchestra: Jack Walker, Graham Young, Jack Hall (tp) Charles McCamish, Pete Lofthouse (tb) Benny Lagasse, Charlie Spero, Frank Gallodoro (as) Stan Webb (ts) Don Tiff (p) Art Ryerson (g) Mike Rubin (b) Carl Maus (d) Raymond Scott (dir)

Chicago, November 29, 1940
CC03501-1    Copyright 1950           Col 35911

Raymond Scott and His Orchestra: exact personnel unknown but includes Charlie Shavers (tp) Milt Yaner (as) Johnny Guarnieri (p) Cliff Leeman (d) Raymond Scott (ldr)

New York, c. 1944–1945
SR526-2    Mr. Basie Goes to Washington           Sonora 3008

LP source: Raymond Scott and His Orchestra – On the Swinging Side (Sounds of Swing LP-107)

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