Fletcher Henderson: Variety Stomp
Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
Harlem Jazz: The 20s (ABM ABMMCD 1153)
Russell Smith (trumpet), Buster Bailey (reeds) Charlie Dixon (banjo), June Cole (tuba).
Recorded: New York, April 27, 1927
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Woefully under-sung today, visionary Fletcher Henderson set the pace for big-band arranging and sound from the 1920s onward. This chart is head and shoulders above most other jazz being made in 1927, painted in a sophisticated palette of minor-key drama. The use of dynamics and humor is a hallmark of Henderson’s style. The solos by Smith and Bailey are appropriately bubbly, and dig Kaiser Marshall’s cymbal punctuations! One of the finest bands of the 20s, bar none, and the track's sound quality is pretty decent.
Reviewer: Todd S. Jenkins