Download The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of by Chris Smith PDF

By Chris Smith

Mel Lewis (1929–1990) was once born Melvin Sokoloff to Jewish Russian immigrants in Buffalo, ny. He first picked up his father’s drumsticks on the age of 2 and at seventeen he used to be a full-time expert musician. The View from the again of the Band is the 1st biography of this mythical jazz drummer. For over fifty years, Lewis supplied the blueprint for the way a drummer may well subtly aid any musical scenario. whereas he made his identify with Stan Kenton and Thad Jones, and together with his band on the Village forefront, it used to be the masses of recordings that he made as a sideman and his skill to mentor younger musicians that actually outlined his career.

clear of the drums, Lewis's passionate and outspoken character made him one in every of jazz music's maximum characters. it's always via Lewis's personal anecdotes, in addition to many from the musicians who knew him most sensible, that this publication lines the occupation of 1 of the world’s maximum drummers. formerly unpublished interviews, own memoirs, images, musical transcriptions, and a particular discography upload to this entire biography.

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Additional info for The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

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So I went back and I started working day jobs and boy they weren’t working out at all. I first went to work at Western Electric in the factory as an inspector. Once I was late to work three days in a row mainly because I was working some night gigs at the same time, you know I was getting home at four in the morning and had to be there at seven. I was only walking in two minutes after, three minutes after, but it’s on the clock and I was late. ” I said, “don’t even bother” and I walked out. I quit.

The recording is also a good example of the cohesive time feel that Buddy Clark and Mel achieved together. During his break from Kenton, Mel also played regularly in a trio with pianist Hampton Hawes and bassist Red Mitchell. The trio performed nightly throughout February, March, and April, and Mel greatly enjoyed playing in the format: We formed a trio with Red and I and Hampton, and we where tearing it up at the Haig. And I tell you, I wasn’t that well known at the time, and I had already joined the Kenton band, and I had already committed myself to go back with Kenton.

9 In December, Kenton disbanded his group for the holidays and promoted Bill Holman to chief arranger. He then sent Holman to New York City with the assignment to arrange Great American Songbook compositions for the orchestra. While in New York, Holman went out every night and listened for 42 / ¿ > > ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ œ œ œ œ Chapter œ œ 4 | Kenton œ Presents Mel œ Lewis œ œ œ œ inspiration for his new arrangements. He was able to watch and hear some of the greatest big bands of the day, especially the Count Basie Orchestra, which featured arrangements by Ernie Wilkins and Neal Hefti.

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