Reginald Foresythe: Dodging a Divorcee


Dodging a Divorcee


The New Music of Reginald Foresythe


The New Music of Reginald Foresythe (BVHAAST CD 0307)

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Reginald Foresythe (piano, leader), Benny Goodman (clarinet), John Kirby (bass), Gene Krupa (drums),

Johnny Mince (clarinet), Toots Mondello, Hymie Schertzer (alto saxes), Dick Clark (tenor sax), Sol Schoenbach (bassoon)


Composed & arranged by Reginald Foresythe


Recorded: New York, January 23, 1935


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Reginald Foresythe was a British pianist/composer/leader active on the both sides of the Atlantic during the 1930s. His music was admired by many, and he worked with major names such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and Paul Whiteman, and wrote and arranged Earl Hines's theme "Deep Forest." His interesting music (which is really not considered jazz so much as syncopated ensemble music) did not sell very well on record, and by the '40s his career had pretty much burned out. After his war service, there was not much interest in his new compositions, and he played dives until his early death in 1958.

"Dodging a Divorcee" was perhaps the most popular piece from Foresythe's musical world. He was so respected that he could attract the finest musicians in New York. Several were in Benny Goodman's big band, Johnny Mince was in Tommy Dorsey's band for years, and Sol Schoenbach would join the Philadelphia Orchestra and remain for years. The piece is a fun exercise featuring a mini-fugue in the middle, and the band tears into it with gusto. This certainly appealed to many listeners, as a number of bands played it during that time. For me, this original version is still the best.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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