8/20/17

Larry Clinton - Swingin' the Classics

In the 1930s and 40s it was quite popular to borrow themes from classical compositions and turn them into swing songs. The German LP featured here, "Swingin the Classics", contains tracks by Raymond Scott, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Larry Clinton, and Al Donahue. Everything has been digitally reissued before, except the two Larry Clinton songs posted below.

Gavotte is from the opéra comique Mignon by Ambroise Thomas. I remember playing this on the violin as a kid – it was included in one of the Suzuki song books. Clinton's version swings nicely and features a vocal chorus by Bea Wain before it ends with some solid riffing a la 'Shades of Hades'.

Town Tattler borrows its motif from L'Arlésienne by Georges Bizet. Later the same year (1941) Les Brown would use the same theme for his 'Bizet Has His Day'. The orchestra was augmented by three violins and a bassoon for this particular recording session.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Larry Clinton and His Orchestra: Larry Clinton (tp,tb,arr,ldr) Walter Smith, Cy Baker, James Sexton (tp) Ford Leary, Al Russo (tb) Fletcher Hereford, Don Watt (cl,as) George Dessinger, Tony Zimmers (cl,ts) Sam Mineo (p) Jack Chesleigh (g) Al Whistler (b) Ray Michaels (d) Bea Wain (vcl)

New York, February 24, 1938
021022-1        Gavotte (bw vcl)       Victor 25805

Larry Clinton and His Orchestra: Larry Clinton (tp,tb,arr,ldr) Bob Alexy, Johnny Austin, Ralph Kessler (tp) Miff Sines, Howard Gibeling, Jimmy Curry (tb) Ben Feman, Steve Benoric (cl,as) Frank Ludwig, Nat Brown (ts) Butch Stone (bar) Nat Reiner (bassoon) Samuel Kamar (vln) Paul Spavr (vln) Jack Sklaroff (vln) Bill Straub (p) George Rose (g) Hank Wayland (b) Charlie Carroll (d)

New York, May 20, 1941
065282-2        Town Tattler             Victor 27446

LP source: Swingin the Classics (Historia H-641)



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