jueves, 13 de octubre de 2011

Sam Wooding

Sam Wooding (17 June 1895 – 1 August 1985) was an expatriate American jazz pianist, arranger and bandleader living and performing in Europe and the United States.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he led several big bands in the United States and abroad. His orchestra was at Harlem's Smalls' Paradise in 1925 when a Russian impresario booked it as the pit band for a show, The Chocolate Kiddies, scheduled to open in Berlin later that year. While in Berlin, the band, which featuring such musicians as Doc Cheatham, Willie Lewis, Tommy Ladnier, Gene Sedric, and Herb Flemming, recorded several selections for the Vox label.
In 1929, with slightly different personnel, Wooding's orchestra made more recordings in Barcelona and Paris for the Parlophone and Pathé labels. Wooding remained in Europe, performing on the Continent, in Russia and England through most of the 1930s.
Wooding's long stays overseas made him virtually unknown at home, but Europeans were among the staunchest jazz fans anywhere, and they loved what the band had to offer. "We found it hard to believe, but the Europeans treated us with as much respect as they did their own symphonic orchestras," he recalled in a 1978 interview. "They loved our music, but they didn’t quite understand it, so I made it a load easier for them by incorporating such melodies as "Du holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser - syncopated, of course. They called it blasphemy, but they couldn’t get enough of it. That would never have happened back here in the States.

Here they looked on jazz as something that belonged in the gin mills and sporting houses, and if someone had suggested booking a blues singer like Bessie Smith, or even a white girl like Nora Baes, on the same bill as Ernestine Schumann-Heink, it would have been regarded as a joke in the poorest of taste."
Returning home in the late 1930s, when World War II seemed a certainty, Wooding began formal studies of music, attained a degree, and began teaching full-time, counting among his students trumpeter Clifford Brown. He also led and toured with the Southland Spiritual Choir.
In the early 1970s, Sam Wooding formed another big band and took it to Switzerland for a successful concert, but this venture was short-lived.



Samuel David Wooding (Filadelfia, Pensilvania, 17 de junio de 1895 - Nueva York, 18 de agosto de 1983) fue un pianista, compositor, arreglista y director de orquesta de jazz tradicional y swing, norteamericano, que vivió buena parte de su vida artística en Europa.
comienza su carrera en Atlantic City y se traslada a Nueva York en 1914, antes de incorporarse a filas durante la Primera Gran Guerra. Tras su licenciamiento, funda su primera banda, los "Society Syncopators", con la que actúa preferentemente en Nueva York, entre 1919 y 1923, conformándose como uno de los músicos básicos en el desarrollo del "estilo Nueva York".
En 1925 se incorpora junto con su banda a la revista musical "Chocolate Kiddies", con la que se traslada a Europa. Allí realiza numerosas giras y actuaciones con su propia orquesta por Alemania, Francia, España, Bélgica e Italia, grabando varios discos para los sellos Vox y Polydor. Wooding disuelve su banda en 1931 y regresa a Estados Unidos, aunque buena parte de sus músicos permanecen en Europa. Aún mantendrá una banda de jazz durante dos años en Nueva York, aunque a partir de 1935 se aparta de la escena del jazz, para realizar estudios musicales, dirigir un coro religioso y dedicarse a la enseñanza. En los años sesenta, vuelve a realizar actuaciones por Europa e Israel, aunque ya alejado del jazz.

La orquesta de Wooding ha sido considerada como uno de los pilares del desarrollo y extensión internacional de la corriente "mainstream" que desembocó en el swing. En ella, militaron músicos de gran peso en la época, como Tommy Ladnier, Doc Cheatham, Gene Sedric, Freddie Johnson o Pat Patrick.

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