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Listened to the Glenn Miller Orchestra last night in Media, PA and enjoyed it much.

It was listenening to the recordings of the original band that got me hooked onto the alto sax.

And I was not dissappointed in hearing that same sound last night. The lead alto is Kevin Sheehan.

When they come to your area, I would recommend attending a concert. If you like that big bank sound, you won't be disappointed.
 

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I went on tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for a little while and they are a fine ensemble of musicians. Kevin Sheehan is a great improviser as well. Glad you enjoyed it.
 

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Granted, the Miller Orch. certainly isn't everyone's cup 'o tea, but it's one of the LAST big bands still regularly traveling and playing quality music. I've heard them twice in the past yr. and I agree, they sounded very good.
The old stuff is very difficult for modern day players to pull off, and they manage to pull it off quite well.

John
 

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There's an authorised Brit version of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by Ray McVay (Greatest claim to fame leading the band for the BBC's "Come Dancing" programme for ten years, but that was many years ago).

We saw them a week ago at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

They weren't bad in the first half, although their several different colour shades in their army fatigues made them look like a "before and after" commercial for a detergent.

In the second half it started to go downhill.

The singers were that old, they could all have made it out of a Noorduyn Norseman aircraft that ditched in the Channel.

The guest "star" was Eric Delaney, a mad drummer who once led a "big band " back in nineteen nought blob. He's 84.

We left when the lead singer announced;

"And now we're going to do a medley tribute to Dean Martin."

Glenn Miller would be turning in his grave....If he had one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The orchestra has two vocalists, Julia Rich and Ryan Garfi.

I thought she was pretty good and fairly good looking for her age. The guy sang well enought too.
 

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jgreiner said:
The old stuff is very difficult for modern day players to pull off, and they manage to pull it off quite well. John
I've never played any big band material and don't really understand this statement. Can somebody explain the difference between vintage big band charts and modern day charts? Or styles? I'm serious - I'm not challenging the statement at all - just trying to learn.
 

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Fred said:
I've never played any big band material and don't really understand this statement. Can somebody explain the difference between vintage big band charts and modern day charts? Or styles? I'm serious - I'm not challenging the statement at all - just trying to learn.
Fred, I"ll attempt to answer your question and I obviously invite others to chime in with their thoughts as well.....
First off, I'd recommend listening to some original recordings of Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller, both from the 1938-45 timeframe. Then, I'd tell you to listen to some Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Gordon Goodwin's "Big and Phat" Band and perhaps some Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band stuff, mostly recorded from the 1965-today timeframe. To me, the most obvious differences are first: Vibrato's have changed/evolved tremendously and secondly, the way articulations are played by contemporary (today's) jazz musicians are much different. Simply put, big band stuff recorded (roughly) between '36-'45 was played with very short, crisp, almost stacatto-ish figures, while more contemporary stuff is played a tad longer and "fatter". Lastly, think about the evolution of not only each instrument over the yrs, but how section playing has evolved/changed. Listen to how old big band drummers very rarely (if ever) used the ride cymbal. The use of the hi-hat and "four on the floor" was the norm. of the day. In my opinion, Mel Lewis and Buddy Rich really changed big band drumming. Interestingly enough, I have both recordings and video of Buddy playing with Artie Shaw's band back in '39 and he was a VERY different drummer technique-wise back then compared to how he played the kit in his mid to later yrs.

That's just the tip of the iceberg! Do some listening and I think there will be more and more obvious differences that you'll find.

Hope this gets you started....
John
 
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