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The Uncrowned King of SwingFletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz$
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Jeffrey Magee

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195090222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195090222.001.0001

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Inside the Strain

Inside the Strain

The Advent of Don Redman

(p.39) 3. Inside the Strain
The Uncrowned King of Swing

Jeffrey Magee

Oxford University Press

From 1923-7, Don Redman served as Henderson's principal arranger. Redman's talent lay in the way he manipulated written stock arrangements, especially within the musical strain, an approach that can be heard on the numerous recordings in the period. The recordings reveal frequent departures from written form, tempo, phrasing, articulation, instrumentation, rhythm, melody, and harmony, and even the introduction of new material. Redman's playful arranging style suggests a parody of the original songs and their arrangements — a kind of signifying, exemplified in characteristic features such as Redman's penchant for novel sounds and the manner in which he scattered the melody among various soloists and sections. Henderson featured three main soloists during this period: trumpeter Howard Scott, saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, and trombonist Charlie Green.

Keywords:   Don Redman, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Green, signifying, parody, stock arrangements

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