Friday, October 31, 2008

treasure hunting

a few weeks back, my friend brad asked about a tune that wasn't quite "flying home". all the local swing DJs knew we'd heard what he was humming, but we didn't know the title.

after a lot of listening to samples (and consequently spending all my emusic downloads for the month on things that weren't it but were cool) because i'm too stubborn to just ask the swing djs discussion board, i've got it.

it's (trumpet fanfare) "flying home no. 2". despite the less-than-thrilling moniker, it's a pretty interesting little story. when lionel hampton put together his band, he wanted arnett cobb to play tenor sax for him. arnett cobb had another good gig going, so he didn't join up. instead, hampton got illinois jacquet -- then just a teenager -- to join up on condition that he switch from alto to tenor and "play like cobb". the way jacquet wailed and honked on his improvised solo when they recorded "flying home" in 1942 was so wildly popular that almost every sax player since has played it like jacquet -- it's become a nearly inherent part of the tune, which is highly unusual for a jazz solo. when arnett cobb DID decide to join the band later in 1942, he learned the jacquet way of playing "flying home"... but he also reworked the solo his way, and the band recorded it as "flying home no. 2" in 1944, shortly after the recording strike ended.

(all info taken from the internet, mostly things that pop up when you search for "flying home no. 2" plus "cobb", so no guarantees! found this in my unfinished draft posts from last weekend...)

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