An introduction to the life of harry james

And few players dominated that era more than Harry James, whose soaring trumpet solos and romantic hit tunes influenced popular music for a generation. Levinson, who knew Harry James personally, has written a revealing biography of this jazz icon, based on nearly interviews with m Swing is back in style, and with it a renewed interest in the Big Band Era. Levinson, who knew Harry James personally, has written a revealing biography of this jazz icon, based on nearly interviews with musicians and friends.

An introduction to the life of harry james

He started performing with the circus at an early age, first as a contortionist at age four, then playing the snare drum in the band from about the age of six.

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At each session he was given several pages to learn from the Arban's book and was not allowed to pursue any other pastime until he had learned them.

James played regularly with Herman Waldman's band, and at one performance was noticed by nationally popular Ben Pollack. He was nicknamed "The Hawk" early in his career for his ability to sight-read. A common joke was that if a fly landed on his written music, Harry James would play it.

His low range had a warmth associated with the cornet and even the flugelhornbut this sound was underrecorded in favor of James' brilliant high register. He toured with the band into the s, and as of July the Harry James Orchestra, led by Fred Radke, was still very much in business.

James wanted to change Sinatra's name to 'Frankie Satin', but the singer refused. Radio[ edit ] James' orchestra succeeded Glenn Miller 's on a program sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes inwhen Miller disbanded his orchestra to enter the Army.

The album from the movie charted at 1, with James backing big band singer and actress Doris Day. Musical style and reception[ edit ] Influences[ edit ] With James's childhood spent as a musician in a traveling circus, he picked up a flamboyant style that utilized such techniques as heavy vibrato, half valve and lip glissandi, valve and lip trills, and valve tremolos.

An introduction to the life of harry james

These techniques were popular at the time in what was known as "hot" jazz, epitomized by James's idol Louis Armstrongbut fell out of favor by the s with the advent of "cool" jazz. Growing up in the South, James was also exposed to blues musicwhich had an additional influence on his style.

As James explained, "I was brought up in Texas with the blues — when I was eleven or twelve years old down in what they call 'barbecue row' I used to sit in with the guys that had the broken bottlenecks on their guitars, playing the blues; that's all we knew.

The James band ran into financial trouble, and it became increasingly difficult for James to pay salaries and keep the band together. InJames lost his contract with Columbia Records he returned inand Frank Sinatra left the band that January.

It was not long after this that James made a pivotal decision: From a commercial standpoint, the decision paid off as James soon enjoyed a string of chart topping hits that provided commercial success for him and his band.

Treasury report released in listed Harry James and Betty Grable as the highest-paid couple in the nation. James's jazz releases during this period, while not as numerous, include a variety of modern arrangements from Neal HeftiFrank Devenport, Johnny Richards and Jimmy Mundy that often inspired his musicians, and as bop surpassed swing by the late s, James was surprisingly open to its influence.

Count Basie provided the impetus by making a significant comeback with his newly formed "16 Men Swinging" band, and James wanted a band with a decided Basie flavor.

This album was the first in a series released on Capitoland continuing later on MGMrepresentative of the Basie style that James adopted during this period, with some of the arrangements provided by former Basie saxophonist and arranger Ernie Wilkinswhom James hired for his own band. Gene Krupa and Harry James have prompted new, more favorable analyses.

InMarc Myers of JazzWax commented, "[James's] band of the mids was more modern than most of the majors, and in he led one of the finest bands of the year.

An introduction to the life of harry james

While each served up its own brand of magnificence, James produced more consistently brilliant tracks than the others In while in London, he did an interview with the English jazz critic Steve Vocewho asked if the biggest audience was for the commercial numbers he had recorded.

James visibly bristled, replying "That would depend on for whom you are playing. If you're playing for a jazz audience, I'm pretty sure that some of the jazz things we do would be a lot more popular than 'Sleepy Lagoon,' and if we're playing at a country club or playing Vegas, in which we have many, many types of people, then I'm sure that 'Sleepy Lagoon' would be more popular at that particular time.

But I really get bugged about these people talking about commercial tunes, because to me, if you're gonna be commercial, you're gonna stand on your head and make funny noises and do idiotic things.

I don't think we've ever recorded or played one tune that I didn't particularly love to play. Otherwise, I wouldn't play it. They had two daughters, Victoria Elizabeth b.

The couple had a child before divorcing. James owned several thoroughbred racehorses that won races such as the California Breeders' Champion Stakes and the San Vicente Stakes He was also a founding investor in the Atlantic City Race Course.Henry james turn of the screw essays on friendship Our place in the universe essay the mission critical review essay how to write an introduction to a contrast essay nomos verlag dissertation kosten shakespeare authorship essays cultural diversity research papers chemical engineering essay on harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban.

A Slick But Stunted Star Reviewed by Tom Nolan For many jazz fans, trumpet player Harry James was at best superfluous and at worst a sellout: a musician of formidable technique who abandoned the fiery style that made him a star of the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the late s, only to adopt a much more schmaltzy, flashy, commercial manner that led to a remarkable number of hit records throughout the 40s.

Harry James, Soundtrack: The Matrix. Harry James was born in a rundown hotel next to the city jail in Albany, Georgia.

His mother and father were members of a circus - she as a trapeze artist and he a band leader - with the Mighty Haag Circus.

At seven, they settled in . Prince Harry’s real father, James Hewitt, is fighting for his life after suffering a major heart attack and a stroke on Saturday night.

year-old James Hewitt was Princess Diana’s former lover in the 80’s – the decade that Prince Harry was born. From author Harry James Fox, and co-author, Lucia Mudgway, comes an epic Christian fantasy, third in the Stonegate saga.

In this gripping fin Life was not fair/5(3). Nov 30,  · A thorough look at Harry James' life and career, but the narrative is too often a stream of minutiae about bookings, recording dates, and band personnel. This /5.

Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James by Peter J. Levinson