Beethoven Wrote It, But It Swings

Beethoven Wrote It, But It Swings


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This is a weird little curio from another time and another state of mind, a compendium of 23 78s from the big band era that took classical themes and tried to convert them into vehicles for swing bands. In the 1930s and '40s, the most famous classical pieces were more familiar to the man in the street than they are now, and there was a lot of blather about their alleged desecration in the hands of those who played that "sinful jazz music." Yet from the perspective of 50-60 years on, these swing-band treatments actually seem pretty tame compared to the emotional and physical power of the original classical sources. Everyone is on their best behavior -- the American inferiority complex toward European culture was definitely in play -- and not much of it really swings. Even Benny Goodman & his Orchestra essays Paganini, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Ravel in utterly conventional swing fashion; Jimmie Lunceford's outfit is wasted on a Chopin Prelude; and the Woody Herman Second Herd's "Sabre Dance" sounds like a Borscht Belt stunt. However Gil Evans' distinctive subtle voicings for Claude Thornhill & his Orchestra give Tchaikovsky's "Arabian Dance" a big edge over the band's earlier vintage treatments of Brahms and Schumann. Other bands represented here include those of Glenn Miller, John Kirby, Les Brown, Xavier Cugat, Red Nichols, Al Donahue, Arnold Johnson, Will Bradley, Dolly Dawn & Her Dawn Patrol, and the combos of Adrian Rollini and Raymond Scott. If you want a really fearless, original, all-American swing band translation of the classics, Spike Jones had a better idea.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/1996
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646226827
catalogNumber: 62268


  1. Beethoven Wrote It, But It Swings
  2. Beethoven Riffs On
  3. Bolero
  4. Träumerei
  5. Marche Slav
  6. Farandole (L'Arlesienne Suite)
  7. Sole Mio
  8. Minute Waltz
  9. Caprice Xxiv
  10. Martha
  11. Beethoven Bounce
  12. Humoresque
  13. In the Hall of the Mountain King from "Peer Gynt"
  14. Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  15. Naïla
  16. Arabian Dance from "The Nutcracker"
  17. Chopin Prelude No. 7
  18. Spring Song
  19. The Quinette Plays Carmen
  20. Procession of the Sardar
  21. Hungarian Dance No. 5
  22. And the Wolf
  23. Sabre Dance

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Perry   Trombone
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
Will Bradley   Trombone,Track Performer
Brown   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
Serge Chaloff   Baritone Saxophone
Xavier Cugat   Violin,Track Performer
Stan Getz   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman   Clarinet,Track Performer
Woody Herman   Clarinet,Track Performer
John Kirby   Bass,Track Performer
Jimmie Lunceford   Track Performer
Mel Powell   Piano
Willie Smith   Alto Saxophone
Claude Thornhill   Piano,Track Performer
Gerald Wilson   Trumpet
Charlie Shavers   Trumpet
Cootie Williams   Trumpet
Red Nichols   Cornet,Track Performer
Billy Butterfield   Trumpet
Lee Castle   Trumpet
Lyle "Rusty" Dedrick   Trumpet
Ziggy Elman   Trumpet
Peanuts Hucko   Tenor Saxophone
Lou McGarity   Trombone
Hal McIntyre   Alto Saxophone
Ray McKinley   Drums
Abe Most   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Vido Musso   Tenor Saxophone
Adrian Rollini   Vibes,Track Performer
Ernie Royal   Trumpet
Earl Swope   Trombone
Joe Thomas   Tenor Saxophone
Don Lamond   Drums
George Paxton   Tenor Saxophone
Paul Collins   Drums
Si Zentner   Trombone
Russell Procope   Alto Saxophone
Shorty Rogers   Trumpet
Herbie Steward   Tenor Saxophone
Michael Bruce   Tenor Saxophone
George Kennedy   Trumpet
Dolly Dawn   Vocals,Track Performer
Trummy Young   Trombone
Moses Allen   Bass
Red Ballard   Trombone
Bus Bassey   Tenor Saxophone
George Berg   Tenor Saxophone
Artie Bernstein   Bass
Russell Bowles   Trombone
Vernon Brown   Trombone
Earl Caruthers   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Russ Case   Trumpet
Big Sid Catlett   Drums
Mahlon Clark   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Tony Colicchio   Guitar
Ralph Collier   Drums
Conrad Gozzo   Trumpet
Jimmy Crawford   Drums
Elmer Crumbley   Trombone
Cutty Cutshall   Trombone
Buff Estes   Alto Saxophone
Billy Exner   Drums
Nick Fatool   Drums
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Barry Galbraith   Guitar
Chuck Gentry   Baritone Saxophone
Bernie Glow   Trumpet
Doc Goldberg   Bass
Ray Gonzales   Violin,Marimbas
Chris Griffin   Trumpet
Dan Grissom   Alto Saxophone
Jerry Jerome   Tenor Saxophone
Steve Jordan   Guitar
Billy Kyle   Piano
Steve Lipkins   Trumpet
Irvin "Marky" Markowitz   Trumpet
Skip Martin   Alto Saxophone
Carmen Mastren   Guitar
Jimmy Maxwell   Trumpet
Glenn Miller   Trombone,Track Performer
Nuncio "Toots" Mondello   Alto Saxophone
Louis Mucci   Trumpet
Johnny Napton   Trumpet
Norris   Guitar
Fred Otis   Piano
Bernie Privin   Trumpet
Raymond Scott   Piano
Zoot Sims   Tenor Saxophone
O'Neill Spencer   Drums
Bruce Squires   Trombone
Bob Swift   Trombone
Bob Thorne   Trumpet
Tom Morgan   Guitar
John Van Eps   Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Wade   Trumpet
Paul Webster   Trumpet
Sid Weiss   Bass
Clarence Willard   Trumpet
Ollie Wilson   Trombone
Walter Yoder   Bass
Snooky Young   Trumpet
Alvin Davis   Trumpet
Eddie Bailey   Trumpet
Doc Cenardo   Drums
Arnold Covarrubias   Guitar
Hammond Russum   Tenor Saxophone
Cornel Tanassy   Piano
Robert Walters   Reeds
Warren Brown   Trombone
Ronnie Chase   Trombone
Corky Cornelius   Trumpet
Alec FILA   Trumpet
Eddy Julian   Drums
Clint Neagley   Alto Saxophone
Pete Pumiglio   Clarinet
Billy Rowland   Piano
Morty Stuhlmaker   Bass
Wolfe Tayne   Tenor Saxophone
John Williams [drums]   Drums
Charlie Green   Bass
Jack Hansen   Trumpet
Sol Kane   Alto Saxophone
Art Ralston   Baritone Saxophone
Frank Victor   Guitar
Arnold Johnson   Track Performer
Jack Shilkret   Alto Saxophone
Murray Williams   Alto Saxophone
Jorge Lopez   Trumpet
Tony Gottuso   Guitar
Joe Herde   Alto Saxophone
Ed Scheer   Tenor Saxophone
Larry Tice   Alto Saxophone
Ed Wilcox   Piano
Chummy MacGregor   Piano
Bud Smith   Trombone
Bob Price   Trumpet
Irish Cullen   Alto Saxophone
Fred Duro   Piano
Stan Fishelman   Trumpet
Bob Jenney   Trombone
Noah Landberg   Violin
Steve Madrick   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Chester Pardee   Reeds
Joe Petroni   Guitar
Irving Prestopnick   Clarinet
Joh Sedola   Tenor Saxophone
Walter Shaver   Bass
Lou Shoobe   Bass
Manny Strand   Piano
Tony Viola   Alto Saxophone
Walter Wax   Trumpet
Barney Zudecoff   Trumpet
Jesse Ralph   Trombone
Carl Swift   Alto Saxophone
John Harrell   Tenor Saxophone
Tweet Peterson   Trumpet
Carl Biesacker   Tenor Saxophone
Antonio Lopez   Percussion
Billy Hobbs   Alto Saxophone,Piano-Accordion
Donahue   Track Performer
Ardell Garretson   Trumpet
Artt Mendelsohn   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Bill Corti   Trombone
Frédéric Schmitt   French Horn
Bob Holt   Piano
Leo Moran   Trombone
Paul Neil   Bass
John Nelson   Alto Saxophone
Dale Brown   Alto Saxophone
Catalino Rolón   Percussion
Ted Buckner   Alto Saxophone
Bob Sprentall   Trumpet
Dave Harris   Tenor Saxophone
Ismael Morales   Reeds
Max Nadel   Reeds
Rodney Scott   Trumpet
Ramon Lite   Piano-Accordion
Sonny Lee   Trombone
Harvey Cell   Bass
Gene Leman   Drums
Chuck Robinson   Guitar
Harry Clark   Bass

Technical Credits

Ludwig van Beethoven   Composer
Will Bradley   Director
Brown   Director
Xavier Cugat   Director
Benny Goodman   Director
Woody Herman   Director,Contributor
John Kirby   Composer,Director
Jimmie Lunceford   Director
Mel Powell   Arranger
Claude Thornhill   Arranger,Director
Charlie Shavers   Arranger,Composer
Red Nichols   Director
Tutti Camarata   Arranger
George Hall   Arranger,Director
Dolly Dawn   Contributor
Frédéric Chopin   Composer
Fletcher Henderson   Arranger
Thomas Frost   Executive Producer
Ben Homer   Arranger
Skip Martin   Arranger
Glenn Miller   Arranger,Director
Raymond Scott   Arranger,Director
Dave Torbert   Arranger
Leonard Whitney   Arranger
Michael Brooks   Producer
Dick Sudhalter   Liner Notes
Arnold Johnson   Director
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra   Contributor
Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra   Contributor
Glenn Miller Orchestra   Contributor
Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra   Contributor
John Kirby & His Orchestra   Contributor
Brown & His Orchestra   Contributor
Will Bradley & His Orchestra   Contributor
Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra   Contributor
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Jack Ferrier   Producer
Harry Coster   Engineer
Cheryl Gross   Illustrations

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