Monday, April 30, 2007

Eddie Sauter

This may be my favorite music photo.
Someone I have been really shaking my head about... Eddie Sauter. The music and the arrangements are astounding. It really makes me think that there was this great nexus of musical thinking near the middle of the 20th century and we are just piddling along now. What inventiveness and... fun! If you go to itunes- you can find a couple of amazing things- and the music, diversity and FUN! is something you won't regret.
Scott Yanow wrote Eddie Sauter the following: One of the most inventive arrangers to emerge during the swing era, Eddie Sauter's complex and colorful charts never fit that easily into any specific category. His work tended to be at its best when written for a specific purpose, format or soloist. Sauter originally played trumpet and drums, later also learning mellophone. He studied at Columbia University and Juilliard and then during 1935-39 made a stir in the jazz world as the main arranger with Red Norvo's Orchestra. Sauter's writing perfectly framed both Norvo's xylophone and Mildred Bailey's voice and was full of surprises. He worked as a freelancer during the remainder of the swing era with his most notable work being for Benny Goodman (including the complex charts for "Superman," "Clarinet A La King," "Benny Rides Again," "Moonlight On The Ganges," "Love Walked In" and "La Rosita"), some of the most advanced music that the clarinetist ever played. In addition, Sauter contributed arrangements to the bands of Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman and (in the postwar years) Ray McKinley. In 1952, Sauter joined forces with fellow arranger Bill Finegan to form the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, an interesting but often excessive band that allowed the co-leaders' imaginations to run wild, often leading to novelties (including their hit "Doodletown Fifers") that are of lesser interest to jazz. After the band ran its course, in 1957 Sauter began two years in Germany as the leader of the Sudwestfunk Radio Station Band of Baden-Baden. Returning to the U.S. in 1959, Eddie Sauter worked in the studios but occasionally wrote for jazz-oriented projects, most notably 1961's Focus (which featured Stan Getz).and scoring for the movie Mickey One in 1965 (which also had Getz as the lead voice).


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