Don Redman

Don Redman

Don Redman had moderate success as a bandleader, but left a huge impact on the Big Band Era as an arranger.  Redman was also an accomplished musician playing both clarinet and saxophones.

In 1923, Redman joined the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and began writing arrangements that did much to formulate the sound that was to become "Swing".  Don Redman's arrangements were sophisticated, highly innovative, and formed much of the foundation of the Big Band sound.  In my opinion, the work he did with Fletcher Henderson and His Band was some of his most impressive work.

Redman then joined McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1927 as their musical director and leader. He was responsible for their great success and arranged over half of their music. He was a main fixture with McKinney's Cotton Pickers until 1931 when he left to form his own Orchestra.

Don Redman and His Orchestra signed with Brunswick Records and also did a series of radio broadcasts. During the early 1930's, the records Redman made were some of the most complex, "hot" arrangements of the period. Both Harlan Lattimore and Redman himself handled the vocals for the band.  He signed with the Bluebird label in 1938 and recorded with them until 1940, when he disbanded the orchestra.

Listen to Lazybones by Don Redman and His Orchestra

The 1940's saw Redman spread his musical influence as a freelance arranger. His arrangements provided hits for Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Harry James.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.
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