2/18/17

Brick Fleagle and His Orchestra

Guitarist and arranger Brick Fleagle led a "rehearsal band" in New York in 1945, which included such jazz greats as Rex Stewart, Pee Wee Erwin, and Sandy Williams. The band was basically an opportunity for the invited musicians to stay in shape and for the arranger to try out new scores. The band was captured on two transcription sessions as well as on eight sides for the H.R.S. label in 1945 and 1947.

The featured IAJRC LP includes the entire Associated radio transcription session from 1945. The band plays a mix of standards and some of Fleagle's own compositions, including two tracks that were also commercially recorded by Rex Stewart. Rex had recorded Dreamer's Blues for Parlophone just a few weeks earlier, but with a smaller band. Here the tempo is a tad slower, but the song remains beautiful with its call and response between Rex's cornet and the rest of the band. I'm True To You was first recorded by Rex Stewart's Big Eight in 1944. Here the song is taken at a less frantic tempo and features a dramatic big-band arrangement.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Brick Fleagle and His Orchestra: Brick Fleagle (ldr,arr) Rex Stewart (cnt) Pee Wee Erwin, Bob Sprentall, Frank De Martino, Jack Lambert (tp) Sandy Williams, Norman Conley, Chuck Maxon, Eddie Anderson (tb) Bill Vitale, Doc Clifford, Eddie Lichtenstein, Stuart McKay, John Haluko (saxes) Charles Engle (p) Ralph Tressel (b) Francis Palmer (d)

Associated Radio transcription, New York, August 22, 1945
ZZ4818-1    I'm True To You 
ZZ4818-4    Dreamer's Blues

LP source: Brick Fleagle and Rex Stewart: Previously Unreissued (IAJRC 37)




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