Fletcher Henderson

The Pathe Sessions (1923-1925)

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During the year and a half covered by these 19 selections, Fletcher Henderson's orchestra developed from a fine dance band into the first jazz big band. The quick evolution was caused by the addition of a young cornetist whose legato phrases and sense of swing greatly influenced the other members of Henderson's orchestra and eventually all of jazz, Louis Armstrong. While the first 12 selections on this Australian LP have advanced Don Redman arrangements and some interesting moments from the tenor of Coleman Hawkins, it is the final seven numbers that find the band learning to swing. Armstrong's solos sound several years ahead of everyone else but the band was beginning to catch up.