Bob McHugh: Jitterbug Waltz

There's just something about that lovely series of descending notes in "Jitterbug Waltz" that gets to me. Though I'm known to be a kind of nostalgia freak, I have no history with this particular tune, so what gives? The song has not provided backup to any of my so-called "romantic moments," nor has it painted the mood along with any of my favorite film scenes. So why the attraction? Like many things musical, it seems that I must be content to allow the emotions to remain coated in my own mystery glaze. Bob McHugh's approach celebrates the spirit of Fats Waller while avoiding cloying sentiment though I admit that such sentiment probably wouldn't bother me in the least.

December 09, 2008 · 1 comment


Dizzy Gillespie: Jitterbug Waltz

When Norman Granz founded Pablo Records to help support "older" jazz musicians, Gillespie was a natural choice for a new project, based on the success of prior collaborations. Dizzy's Big 4 is Gillespie's first recording for Pablo. The piano's absence is hardly noticed, as Pass provides both harmonic backing and an additional melodic voice for the ensemble. This arrangement of the Fats Waller standard is notable for the rhythm section's introductory vamp and the refreshing changes of time signatures and grooves. Performances of this song can rely too heavily on the "waltz feel" to drive the arrangement. Here, however, the quartet succeeds in energizing the performance with an interactive inventiveness.

February 05, 2008 · 0 comments


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