Paul Whiteman: The King Of Jazz. Bix, Bing & Rhapsody In Blue
A great success at its debut shows in London as featured at the London Jazz Festival in Cadogan Hall.
A 1920’s spectacular presented by BBC Radio’s Alyn Shipton and featuring Guy Barker as Bix Beiderbecke, Thomas “Spats” Langham as Bing Crosby, Keith Nichols as Paul Whiteman and pianist Nick Dawson performing Rhapsody in Blue conducted by Pete Long.
Paul Whiteman, the biggest name in American music throughout the roaring twenties, lives again in this recreation (the first in London for over forty years) featuring a giant 27 piece orchestra crammed with the finest vintage jazz specialists.
There Ain't No Sweet Man - Conducted by Keith Nichols and sung by Tom Langham
Whiteman was a big man (300 pounds) whose huge orchestra bestrode American popular music in the 1920’s like a colossus. His records sold in the millions and in one year alone his orchestra grossed nearly $700,000!
In 1924 Whiteman commissioned George Gershwin to compose a piece for a concert he presented at New York’s Aeolian Hall. Called “An Experiment in Modern Music” the programme was most notable for featuring the premiere of “Rhapsody In Blue”, a remarkable synthesis of jazz and concert music that is still as popular today as it was 90 years ago. Piano titan Nick Dawson is ideally suited to take on this work as he is an equally gifted concert and jazz pianist.
In 1927 Whiteman hired the first great star of white jazz, Bix Beiderbecke. Regularly featured in Whiteman’s recordings in this year, Bix’s brief solos transform the music with dazzling melodic invention and a beautiful tone that simply electrifies. World renowned trumpet star Guy Barker takes the role of Bix in our concert.
Bing Crosby joined Whiteman’s ranks shortly before Bix and his style of crooning was made possible by the recent development of the electronic microphone, (a world away from the sound of Al Jolson). Thomas “Spats” Langham has made something of a speciality of Bing’s style and he captures the Crosby style better than anyone else around.
In 1974 the musical director Keith Nichols appeared at Carnegie Hall with the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He understands how to get the massed ranks of musicians to recreate the sounds of the jazz age with accuracy, excitement and finesse. The ensemble features vintage reed specialist Richard White as Whiteman’s saxophone star Frankie Trambauer and jazz violinist Emma Fisk takes on the role of the great Joe Venuti.
The concert includes such classic hits of the 20’s as Dardenella, That’s My Weakness Now, Singin’ The Blues Till My Baby Comes Home, There Ain’t No Sweet Man Worth The Salt Of My Tears and Because My Baby Don’t Mean Maybe Now
On Stage At London's Cadogan Hall
Rhapsody In Blue
Piano Soloist Nick Dawson; Conductor Pete Long
From Monday On
Keith Nichols directs the music of Paul Whiteman