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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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A Paradox of the Race?

A Paradox of the Race?

(p.97) 5. A Paradox of the Race?
The Uncrowned King of Swing

Jeffrey Magee

Oxford University Press

After Armstrong's departure from the band in late 1925, his music still represented a musical and social challenge in that his style presented an exciting but perhaps threatening foil to the Paul Whiteman sound. Henderson, with Redman's arrangements, continued to negotiate between the two approaches, reflecting the intersection of the New Orleans and New York traditions. This can be heard in the band's revival of earlier jazz hits such as “Clarinet Marmalade” and “Wang Wang Blues”, and in Henderson's original blues compositions that represented a New York stylization of the raw, earthy southern style. Songs like “‘D’ Natural Blues”, “The Stampede”, “Rocky Mountain Blues”, and “Whiteman's Stomp” exemplify how Henderson's band tailored its music for widely contrasting purposes and continued to absorb Armstrong's legacy.

Keywords:   Clarinet Marmalade, Wang Wang Blues, D Natural Blues, The Stampede, Rocky Mountain Blues, Whiteman's Stomp, Louis Armstrong, Don Redman

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