3/31/17

Les Hite and His Orchestra

Returning to where it all started, I'm today featuring two more tracks off the LP 'The Greatest of the Big Bands, Vol. 7', this time with alto saxophonist and band leader Les Hite. Hite was one of the star attractions on the West Coast at the end of the 20s and through the 30s. His band backed Louis Armstrong on some of his 1930 recordings done in Los Angeles. In 1938 the band temporarily relocated to New York where they played for dancers in the Harlem ballrooms. Eventually they recorded a total of 14 songs for Variety, Bluebird and Hit in 1940–1942. Oddly enough, the four Bluebird sides were all re-recordings of Variety sides from the year before.

On the brisk 'The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise' (270 bpm) we can hear Hite take a nice alto solo in the second chorus. 'Board Meeting' (written by Hite, Brooks, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Goodman) had been recorded in 1939 by the Goodman orchestra. Here the song is taken at a higher tempo and is by far the better version in my opinion.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Les Hite and His Orchestra: Paul Campbell, Walter Williams, Forrest Powell (tp) Britt Woodman, Allen Durham (tb) Les Hite (as) Floyd Turnham (cl,as) Que Martyn, Roger Hurd (cl,ts) Sol Moore (bar) Nat Walker (p) Frank Pasley (g) Al Morgan (b) Oscar Lee Bradley, Jr. (d) Dudley "Duke" Brooks (arr)

New York, March 6, 1941
062733-1    The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise    Bluebird B11109
062734-1    Board Meeting (db arr)                                         -

LP source: The Greatest of the Big Bands Vol. 7 (RCA FXM1-7186)



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