One O’Clock Boogie/Two O’Clock Jump
One O’Clock Boogie/Two O’Clock Jump: The Cover
By 1999, the general public was clamoring for more of the Tom Cunningham Orchestra, and to stop their adoring fans from banging down their doors (which probably weren’t locked anyway, but people in a frenzy actually LIKE to bang down doors), the Tom Cunningham Orchestra released their hottest collection yet, “One O’Clock Boogie/Two O’Clock Jump.”
By this time Tom had recognized the fact that, no matter how informative and interesting they might be, people didn’t read CD liner notes or, in many cases, even realize that the little covers came out and could be opened like pamphlets, so he kept it to a simple and straightforward history and description of the musical selections listed in the order in which they appear on the CD, to wit:
1. TWO O’CLOCK JUMP: This wild adaptation of HARRY JAMES’ 1939 recording features rockin’ tenor man Brent Sessions. Dig how he rides on top of the ever-building ensemble riffs through to the climax. When we play this one for 20-minute dance jams, Brent never runs out of ideas or energy! SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Brent Sessions, tenor sax.
2. YOU TURNED THE TABLES ON ME: This was a hit for Helen Ward with the BENNY GOODMAN band of 1936. The easy tempo and humorous lyrics make it a good one for starters. SOLOS: Rob Ercolano, clarinet; Robin Cunningham, vocal.
3. BEULAH’S BOOGIE: Boogie woogie is the “missing link” between swing and Rock & roll — like Father Abraham, both camps trace their origins back to it. LIONEL HAMPTON played four-fingered piano (just like mallets) when he laid this down in 1945. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Steve Eisen, trumpet; Brent Sessions, tenor sax.
4. HAWAIIAN WAR CHANT: When TOMMY DORSEY waxed his pulsating version of King Leilohaku’s little ditty in 1938, it seemed as though tom-toms were pounding from every swingin’ bandstand in America, thanks to the fame of Gene Krupa and Sing, Sing, Sing. SOLOS: Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Jeff Seffens, trumpet; Greg Ridlington, clarinet; Ron Smith, trombone.
5. MONEY IS HONEY: By the time COUNT BASIE recorded “Money,” his long-time vocalist, Jimmy Rushing was already established as one of the top blues singers in the land. This medium-tempo blues also showcases the impact R&B was starting to have on music by 1947. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Ron Smith, trombone; Tom Cunningham, trumpet.
6. ONE O’CLOCK BOOGIE: Again from BASIE’s 1947 aggregation, its title says it all — Basie’s signature sound in an “updated” style. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Ron Smith, trombone; Tom Cunningham, trumpet.
7. AVENUE C: A rousing 1945 tribute to one of Brooklyn’s main stems from the COUNT”S hot trumpet man, Buck Clayton. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Harld Rhoads, trombone; Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Rob Ercolano, tenor sax; Ed Crow, drums.
8. SHOUT AND FEEL IT: Taken from a 1937 COUNT BASIE radio air check (but starting with a six-string nod to the movie “Swing Kids”) this flag-waver shows off the raw energy of the Kansas City swing bands. SOLOS: Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Juanita Ford, piano; Harold Rhoads, trombone.
9. HEY! BA-BA-RE-BOP: Only the “scat” lyric hints at the be-bop revolution that had swept through the music world by 1946. Through and through, this was an R&B hit for LIONEL HAMPTON, who sang and played piano. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Robin Cunningham, vocal; Steve Eisen, trumpet; Ken Foerch, clarinet.
10. BEI MIR BIST DU SCHÖN: With Apologies to the late Ziggy Elman, we omitted his frälich from this recording, in order not to break the flow of the dancing. There’s still plenty to enjoy, though, as whenever BENNY GOODMAN would spice a “Liltin'” Martha Tilton vocal with his own clarinet. This tune was included in the historic 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. SOLOS: Robin Cunningham, vocal; Greg Ridlington, clarinet; Juanita Ford, piano.
11. LET’S DANCE: If it weren’t already BENNY’S instantly recognizable theme, we would’ve probably titled our CD after this — what more could we say? SOLO: Greg Ridlington, clarinet.
12. JAMES SESSION: HARRY JAMES’s 1942 tom-tom and trumpet opus also had a piece of Corky Corcoran’s tenor. Harry adopted Corky so he could travel on the road with the band, as a minor. SOLOS: Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Ron Smith, trombone.
13. I AIN’T MAD AT YOU: In 1946 this tune was performed as a novelty vocal exchange between the BASIE band, Taps Miller, and Harry “Sweets” Edison. The whole thing just grew out of another piece called “High Tide.” Julian makes it his, complete with improvised scat-singing chorus. SOLOS: Juanita Ford, piano; Julian Hipkins, vocal; Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Tom Cunningham, trumpet.
14. WATCH THE BIRDIE: Martha Raye first sang this stop-time deluxe in the motion picture “Hellzapoppin’.” GENE KRUPA’S 1941 version featured singer Anita O’Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. SOLOS: Robin Cunningham, vocal; Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Tom Cunningham, trumpet.
15. BIG JOHN SPECIAL: One of the secrets of BENNY GOODMAN’S initial success was his canny decision to buy the great charts from the Fletcher Henderson band that otherwise would not have had the exposure Benny could give them. Fletcher’s brother, Horace, penned the highly danceable “Big John Special” and it’s a killer-diller! From 1938. SOLOS: Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Greg Ridlington, clarinet.
16. BUGLE CALL RAG: Speaking of killer-dillers, this 1936 BENNY GOODMAN barn burner will definitely get your feet flying. Here’s your chance to try out your “balboa” or “Artie Shaw’s Shag” steps. SOLOS: Brent Sessions, tenor sax; Tom Cunningham, trumpet; Greg Ridlington, clarinet.
17. BOUNCE ME BROTHER WITH A SOLID “4”: This song was introduced as a lindy feature in the 1942 movie “Buck Privates,” performed by the ANDREWS SISTERS, and later showed up as the “B side” of their huge hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” SOLOS: Robin Cunningham, Robin Cunningham, and Robin Cunningham, vocals. (Aaaah, the magic of the studio!)
Playing for jitterbugs, lindy hoppers, and other assorted swing kids over the past several years has been a happy joy ride for us. Not only do we get to play our favorite music, we also get to bask in the energy, beauty, and appreciation of some of the world’s greatest dancers every night.
This collection of dancers’ favorites is dedicated to those dancers, without whom the music on this CD would never have refined its fire.
— Tom Cunningham
Ken Foerch, Alto Sax, Clarinet
Ed Scott, Alto Sax
Brent Sessions, Tenor Sax
Greg Ridlington, Clarinet, Tenor Sax (except tracks 2, 6 & 7)
Rob Ercolano, Clarinet (track 2), Tenor Sax (tracks 6 & 7)
Randy Small, Baritone Sax, Alto Sax
Juanita Ford, Piano
George Welling, Rhythm Guitar
Chris Kosky, Bass
Ed Crow, Drums