Fritz Reiner, world-famous conductor of the Pittsburgh symphony, stated a short time ago that he was offering the post of solo trumpet to Manny Klein, now playing with Frank Trumbauer's orchestra, because he felt Klein's vibrato "much preferable to the stiff and dead tone used, as a rule by symphony men."
This represents a complete shift in classical feeling on the way in which a trumpet should be played. For years, this reviewer has been getting in trouble with certain classical acquaintances because he insisted that the average trumpet man in a symphony orchestra plays without feeling, without life, concentrating on getting a nice, pure classical tone--which doesn't convey the slightest bit of emotion or feeling. Same idea as boiled and ordinary water. One may be a little more impure, but it certainly is more palatable.
Strings, woodwinds, and many brasses use vibrato; it is interesting to see a classical musician of Reiner's status admit that classical has something to learn from jazz.
Notes between the notes: Most of the music stores in town (Briggs included) have finally gotten sheet copies of the Bob Zurke and Jesse Stacy piano solos. While they're not too easy to read, they're worth the try . . . To see just how much influence Louis Armstrong did exert on jazz, catch the opening bars in Erskine Hawkins' "Swing Out," his theme song . . . Art Tatum's piano on "Tea For Two" (Decca) while not real swing, is interesting enough technically to make listening a lot of fun.
Three new bands hit the record market this week, all led by excellent musicians. Jack Teagarden and Jack Jenny, two of the best hot trombone men in the country, both have bands that know how to play ensemble work and how to play quietly. While the former's "Persian Rug" is quite restrained, it still has some bursts of that inimitable Teagarden trombone. Bobby Hackett's "Sunrise Sercuade" is a beautifully restrained affair that fits down to the last note--highly recommended . . . "Wizzin' The Wizz" and "Denison Swing," supposedly featuring the rather tiresome but flashy two fingered piano of Lionel Hampton, really shows the fine drumming of Cozy Cole and sax by Chu Berry . . . "Shangri-La" (Les Brown) has some unusual and beautiful changes, though it sounds somewhat like "Chant of the Weed."
There isn't much to say about the six sides of blues that Mildred Bailey has made for Vocalion. It seems to me that they are some of the finest jazz ever cut--done with taste, originality and ideas. Instead of shouting them, Mildred sings them in that famous subtle style of hers, and they are definitely tops.