Gene Krupa: Massachusetts




Gene Krupa (drums)


Drummin' Man (Sony Jazz 5016472)

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Gene Krupa (drums), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Anita O'Day (vocals),

Mickey Mangano, Norman Murphy, Al Beck (trumpets), Greg Phillips, Tommy Pederson, Babe Wagner (trombones), Sam Musiker (clarinet, alto sax), Ben Feman (alto sax), Jimmy Migliori, Don Brassfield (tenor saxes), Rex Kittig (baritone sax), Joe Springer (piano), Teddy Walters (guitar), Ed Mihelich (bass)


Arranged by Elton Hill. Composed by Andy Razaf & Luckey Roberts


Recorded: New York, July 13, 1942


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Many state tributes are about a native who, torn from home, longs to return. Of these, the toughest to sing is "Massachusetts." Aside from its name, which demands concentration and sobriety, Andy Razaf's run-on lyrics scarcely give a vocalist time to breathe. Fortunately, galloping into this breach as intrepidly as Paul Revere, rides Anita O'Day. During the Swing Era, every big band had a "girl singer," mostly squarer than the Harvard quad. Gene Krupa's canary, by contrast, was one fly chick. Backed by a precision ensemble with the power to burst into high dudgeon, Anita compounds the Commonwealth with interest.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 Carolyn Porter // Feb 26, 2009 at 09:17 PM
    My Mother's brother is Don Brassfield the musician that played tenor sax with Gene Krupa.
  • 2 Don Mantlo // Jun 17, 2009 at 12:21 AM
    Carolyn: Don Brassfield was my father. I was born 10/27/1943, in Salem, Oregon. We must be cousins. If you like, please contact me at Don