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The Big Bands

4.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The "definitive volume" on the sounds of swing is back, with the complete story of hundreds of bands, bandleaders, vocalists and instrumentalists.
Paperback, 600 pages
Published November 1st 1981 by Schirmer Trade Books (first published 1971)
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Acapulco1922
Apr 25, 2016 Acapulco1922 rated it really liked it
TONS of really great information here about the bands of the 30's and 40's and how they operated. Simon's knowledge gained as a writer for Metronome allows him to write at great length and with great accuracy about almost any band you can think of that would have played in the 30's and 40's, and even into the 50's. My only gripe here is in the organization. The author's encyclopedic knowledge is presented, well, like an encyclopedia. Past the first 1/3 of this book, he basically goes through an ...more
David
Jun 14, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who cares about the topic
A kick. Covers scads of swing-era musicians, including some who would range from obscure to forgotten. Written with lots of flair and opinion, yet seems quite fair even to people the author didn't much like. Several retrospective articles at the end of the book . . . Artie Shaw, Bennie Goodman, Harry James, etc. 30 years after the peak of the big-band era.

Am listening to lots of big-band stuff and have been going back to the book over and over. Alas, the library will want it back one of these da
...more
Ted Gurley
Jan 17, 2016 Ted Gurley rated it liked it
Shelves: music-big-band
Essential Big Band reference. Feature's profiles of the bands and the musicians.
Ceejay
Apr 02, 2015 Ceejay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a little bit at a time. If you are interested in the Big Band era of jazz,you can't do better than this book. There is a history (at times breif) of all the major big bands (and some of the also rans). This is truly an excellent reference book!
Craig
Nov 29, 2010 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, music-reference
This truly is the definitive guide to the music of the big bands written by a man who worked in the music industry during that era. George Simon knew the musicians that he wrote about. A nice discography is included for the record collectors.
Angela Hardy
Mar 11, 2008 Angela Hardy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and dreamed of being the vocalist for a group like these...alas, I was born to late!
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