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Claude Hopkins didn't want to talk about swing music. "I don't like swing much," he explained. "Anyway, I'd rather play classical than jazz."
That is the key to Claude's tastes in music. He is more interested in the classical composers than he is in writers of jazz. When he plays for recreation, he prefers Bach to Ellington.
Only after completing a scholarly dissertation on classical music did Claude consent to jazz. "I prefer a smooth, neatly arranged style," he said. Hot tunes are good to break the monotony, and they make a sweet tune sound bettre but a steady diet of swing is boring."
He was reluctant to give a definition of swing, but after thinking a long time, explained it as "a combination of improvisations played in concert."
Completely wrapped up in his music, he spends all his spare time arranging. When he was asked if the found it difficult to arrange, he said that "music just comes naturally to me when I sit down and play. I guess it's in me."
An intelligent, well-educated young man, he studied music in Europe under Erno Rapee, after receiving a degree from Howard University. Born in Washington, D. C. he started out ten years ago with a five-piece band.
Claude is a prolific composer, having written both semi-classical and popular music. The composition of his own which he likes best is "Vamping A Coed", but his most popular is his theme "I Would Do Anything For You."
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