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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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Beyond the Ballroom

Beyond the Ballroom

Chapter:
(p.120) 6. Beyond the Ballroom
Source:
The Uncrowned King of Swing
Author(s):

Jeffrey Magee

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195090222.003.0007

Although famous for its performances at the Roseland Ballroom and on recordings, Fletcher Henderson's band spent a good deal of time playing in other kinds of venues, such as theaters and on the road. Henderson's band was noted for driving cars, instead of riding buses, on its far-flung road trips, and black musicians in cars — sometimes expensive ones — drew attention, and ran into trouble and danger on the road. Meanwhile, a paradigm shift in the music business revealed Henderson's approach of arranging tours as out of step with the new model of agency represented by Duke Ellington's manager, Irving Mills. These experiences shaped the band's music making. Recordings such as “Hop Off” and “King Porter Stomp” show how the band took stock arrangements and streamlined them into solo-riff pieces that were notably suited to a band on the move.

Keywords:   theaters, road trips, music business, Irving Mills, arrangements, riff, Hop Off, King Porter Stomp

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