Lunceford, Jimmie

Lunceford, Jimmie
orig. James Melvin Lunceford

born June 6, 1902, Fulton, Miss., U.S.
died July 12, 1947, Seaside, Ore.

U.S. jazz musician and bandleader.

Lunceford was a well-schooled musician who played saxophone and taught music before forming a band in 1929. Trumpeter and arranger Sy Oliver (1910–88) joined in 1933, bringing a crisp ensemble sound to the two-beat rhythmic approach of the band. Lunceford's band gained national attention after he succeeded Cab Calloway at Harlem's Cotton Club in 1934, and it was thereafter counted among the finest big bands of the swing era, rivaling those of Duke Ellington and Count Basie in popularity.

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▪ American jazz musician
in full  James Melvin Lunceford  
born June 6, 1902, Fulton, Miss., U.S.
died July 12, 1947, Seaside, Ore.
 American big band leader whose rhythmically appealing, well-disciplined orchestra was one of the most influential of the swing era.

      During his youth, Lunceford studied music with Wilberforce J. Whiteman, father of bandleader Paul Whiteman (Whiteman, Paul), and became proficient on all reed instruments. He earned a degree from Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.) and pursued graduate studies at the City College of New York, after which he taught music and athletics at a high school in Memphis, Tenn. There he formed a student band in 1927 that featured several talented young players who stayed with the band when it turned professional in 1929. After four years of grueling road work, the band attained popularity with prestigious engagements at New York's Lafayette Theatre and Cotton Club in 1933–34. By this time, the celebrated arranger Sy Oliver (Oliver, Sy) was the principal architect of the band's wide-ranging palette of sounds.

      Lunceford's band (which was sometimes called “Jimmie Lunceford's Harlem Express”) was characterized by a two-beat rhythm that came to be known as the “Lunceford beat” and was celebrated for the remarkable precision of its playing. Lunceford insisted on long rehearsals to achieve such proficiency, as well as to polish the band's humorous and highly visual stage act. “A band that looks good, goes in for a better class of showmanship, and seems to be enjoying its work will always be sure of a return visit wherever it plays,” Lunceford once said. During performances, musicians would spin, toss, and catch their instruments with drill-team precision, incorporate dance routines or glee-club-style singing, and end each show with choreographed bows. Yet showmanship was always secondary to the music. Lunceford himself was a competent musician, but he rarely performed with the band (his flute passage on "Liza" is his only recorded solo), preferring instead to conduct. His skills as a conductor are reflected in the precision of the band's attack and ensemble playing, as well as its dynamic subtleties.

      During its peak period (1934–42), the band had 22 hit recordings, more than any other black band except Duke Ellington (Ellington, Duke)'s and Cab Calloway (Calloway, Cab)'s. These included "Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)," "Organ Grinder's Swing," "My Blue Heaven," and the band's two best-known numbers, "Rhythm Is Our Business," its theme song, and "For Dancers Only," its most celebrated recording. In 1940 Lunceford's orchestra won a battle of the bands over a field of 28 groups, among them Count Basie (Basie, Count)'s, Glenn Miller (Miller, Glenn)'s, and Benny Goodman (Goodman, Benny)'s.

      Lunceford proved to be a much better leader than manager of his band. Morale in the band was low by 1942, and members felt they had been overworked and underpaid. Most of the band's important players and arrangers left about this time, although Lunceford kept his band going and remained popular until his death in 1947.

Additional Reading
Eddy Determeyer, Rhythm Is Our Business: Jimmie Lunceford and the Harlem Express (2006).

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Lunceford, Jimmie — orig. James Melvin Lunceford (6 jun. 1902, Fulton, Miss., EE.UU.–12 jul. 1947, Seaside, Ore.). Músico y director de orquestas de jazz estadounidense. Lunceford fue un músico bien formado que ya tocaba el saxofón y enseñaba música antes de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jimmie Lunceford — 1946 Nai …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jimmie Lunceford — Lunceford en 1946 Datos generales Nombre real James Melvin Lunce …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lunceford — James Melvin „Jimmie“ Lunceford (* 6. Juni 1902 in Fulton, Missouri; † 12. Juli 1947 in Seaside, Oregon) war ein US amerikanischer Jazzmusiker (Altsaxophon) und Bandleader. Leben Lunceford ging in Denver zur Schule, studierte bei Wilberforce… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • jimmie — /jim ee/, n. Usually, jimmies. sprinkle (def. 10). [orig. uncert.] * * * (as used in expressions) Foxx Jimmie Lunceford Jimmie Rodgers Jimmie * * * …   Universalium

  • Jimmie — (as used in expressions) Foxx, Jimmie Lunceford, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmie …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jimmie Lunceford — Jimmie Lunceford, ca. August 1946. Fotografie von William P. Gottlieb. James Melvin „Jimmie“ Lunceford (* 6. Juni 1902 in Fulton, Missouri; † 12. Juli 1947 in Seaside, Oregon) war ein US amerikanischer Jaz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lunceford —   [ lʌnsfəd], Jimmie, eigentlich James Melvin [ melvɪn], amerikanischer Jazzmusiker (Saxophon, Posaune, Flöte, Gitarre) und Orchesterleiter, * Fulton (Missouri) 6. 6. 1902, ✝ Seaside (Oregon) 13. 7. 1947; gründete 1927 in Memphis (Tennessee) ein… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Jimmie Lunceford — James Melvin Jimmie Lunceford (June 6, 1902 ndash;July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the swing era. Lunceford was born in Fulton, Missouri, but attended school in Denver and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at… …   Wikipedia

  • Jimmy Lunceford — James Melvin „Jimmie“ Lunceford (* 6. Juni 1902 in Fulton, Missouri; † 12. Juli 1947 in Seaside, Oregon) war ein US amerikanischer Jazzmusiker (Altsaxophon) und Bandleader. Leben Lunceford ging in Denver zur Schule, studierte bei Wilberforce… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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