Harry James

Harry Haag James ( born March 15, 1916 in Albany, † 5 July 1983 in Las Vegas, Nevada ) was an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader of the swing era. He is considered the discoverer of Frank Sinatra.

Life and work

"When you have a good, clean approach, the gloss is in the game. " Harry James knew how to shine: he was the son of a circus bandmaster and was the typical star soloist with crystal clear beam, technically perfect to great heights. He succeeded to become not only as a soloist, but also as a conductor a name.

Harry James began his musical career at age nine, when he appeared in the circus his father's orchestra Everett James, who was also a trumpeter. He attended high school in Beaumont, Texas. After a brief stint in the forest Herman 's band James worked primarily in Texas with territory bands; From 1935 he played with Ben Pollack, said 1936 first recordings were made, and then became a much sought after musician in New York studio scene.

In 1937 he was hired by Benny Goodman and was with Ziggy Elman one of the star soloist in his orchestra. In addition to his involvement with Goodman, he participated in recordings of Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton 1937 1938. With a Compilation of Basie and Goodman musicians studio band he had his first of a total of 73 hits (up to 1953) with a version of " One O'Clock Jump" (# 7) in February 1938. The end of 1938 he separated again by Benny Goodman and founded a month later his own big band that had their debut in Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Hotel.

A first hit success of the orchestra in 1939 was " All or Nothing at All ". His orchestra played stylistically on the border between jazz and dance music, as it often occurred in the swing style. The band was often supplemented by strings. In 1943, he married the 40 -year movie star Betty Grable. In the Big Band played some great singers as Louise Tobin ( with whom he was married before Grable ), Frank Sinatra, who began his career at James in 1939, Helen Forrest, Dick Haymes and Kitty Kallen. Also, played with many greats such as Ray Conniff, Ray Sims, Willie Smith, Buddy Rich, Corky Corcoran, Nick Fatool Juan Tizol and. With virtuosic pieces as "Concerto for Trumpet " 1939 " Carnival of Venice ", " Flight of the Bumble- Bee" in 1940 and "Trumpet Rhapsody " 1941 Harry James led before his trumpet technique. With his rich vibrato, " sweet style ", his biographer James Digby Fairweather was at an early pop idol and winner of numerous polls. With his orchestra, he was often on tour, appeared on radio shows and played in a number of films, such as 1942 Springtime in the Rockies. In 1944 he composed alongside Duke Ellington "I'm Beginning to See the Light ", with whom he had a 1945 number -one hit. In addition, James played in this time with the Metronome All-Stars.

The decline of the large swing band also affected the Harry James Orchestra; The band existed until December 1946. Thereafter James formed a smaller lineup, The Music Makers, with its stars Willie Smith, Juan Tizol and Buddy Rich. By 1957 he had formed a big band again, with whom he has enjoyed success in Europe and in 1959 recorded several albums for Capitol, as Harry James in Hi-Fi, later to 1964 for Verve. However, this band was considered by many critics as shell copy of the Count Basie Orchestra, to which contributed the Count Basie's arrangers employed James as Ernie Wilkins and Neal Hefti Basie and boards such as the M -Squad Theme coverte. According to Fair Weathers judgment, the Harry James Orchestra was - in contrast to the former Basie band - by James ' "sweet " style and his Dixieland Frontline characterized with which they sounded more like Bob Crosby Orchestra. However, emerged during his time with Verve label in the judgment of Richard Cook some of his best recordings, which helped musicians and arrangers with Thad Jones, Ralph Burns and again Ernie Wilkins. The late 1960s, James appeared with his orchestra mainly on in Las Vegas. In the 1970s, James sat with his formations continued his tours; at the beginning of the 1980s, he had health problems and was diagnosed with cancer.


Disco Graphical Notes

The Vinyl Factory James' from the pre- LP era is documented from 1937 to 1942 on the Classics label.

  • Greatest Hits (Rec, 1939-46 ) (Columbia 9430 )
  • Feet Draggin 'Blues (Hep, 1944-47 )
  • There They Go ( Fresh Sound, 1948)
  • In Hi- Fi ( Capitol, 1955)
  • Trumpet Blues ( Capitol, 1955-58 )
  • Verve Jazz Masters 55: Harry James ( Verve, 1959-64 )
  • 1964 Live! Holiday Ballroom, Chicago ( Jazz Hour, 1964)
  • The Complete Capitol Recordings of Gene Krupa & Harry James - ( Mosaic - 1999) - 7 CDs with Conrad Gozzo, Juan Tizol, Willie Smith, Allan Reuss, Helen Forrest, Bob Marlo voc, Corky Corcoran, Herbie Stewart vocals, Buddy Rich, Ray Sims tb, Laurindo Almeida - rest of the collection with Gene Krupa