Bobby Hackett's Solo in Glenn Miller's 1941 Recording of "A String of Pearls." A Tribute to Bix?

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 21st, 2018, 6:59 pm #1

From  Wikipedia:
""A String of Pearls" is a 1941 song recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra on RCA Bluebird, composed by Jerry Graywith lyrics by Eddie DeLange.
The song is a big band and jazz standard.
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "A String of Pearls" on November 8, 1941, which was copyrighted and published by The Mutual Music Society, Inc., ASCAP. It was released as an RCA Bluebird 78 single, B-11382-B, backed with "Day Dreaming", in 1941 by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Bobby Hackett did the famous Trumpet solo in the Glenn Miller version of the song..

From John Check, Wall Street Journal. New York, N.Y.14 July 2017: 
" In 1941, 10 years after Beiderbecke's death, the Glenn Miller Orchestra recorded "A String of Pearls." It would become one of the orchestra's biggest hits. Two-thirds of the way through, there is a short solo, a minor masterpiece, by the cornetist Bobby Hackett. From its relaxed tone and charming understatement to its easy pacing and cogent construction, everything about the solo echoes Beiderbecke's aesthetic sensibility. It became so famous that it was later lushly harmonized for the entire Miller trumpet section. The harmonization is plainly a tribute to the artistry of Bobby Hackett--but it is more than that. Bixophiles hear in it a tribute to an earlier cornetist whose influence can never be forgotten."

The 1941 recording:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTJCmpbZSKs

I could not find the recording with the solo "harmonized for the entire Miller trumpet section. Can anyone help?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

April 24th, 2018, 1:24 am #2

I 'read somewhere' that Hackett was demonstrating how to run chords to an inexperienced player, and that Miller told him to do the same on the recording. I believe that Miller had hired Hackett to play rhythm guitar, as his health was too precarious for him to play cornet steadily. This was somewhere around the time that Hackett got sober, which I suppose could have factored in as well.

I'm sure other readers will have references at their fingertips.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 15th, 2018, 11:08 pm

April 25th, 2018, 8:23 am #3

Here's a good sounding YT of this with some video too.


To me it's too bad Hackett's solo, great as it is, has become with time the highlight of this record. I'd like to think that Miller thought of it as being a saxophone record with the saxophones talking to each other and the audience, and the tenors especially, pouring out their feelings through the new soul music of Basie and Evans. That was the big news then, at least among musicians, now, alas, not so much: soul music became something else. I'd think that Bobby would be told to fill Buck Clayton's role, not Bix', though you can hear the Bix, even though I feel Hackett had told himself he had to get away from Bix to become his own man. It was the two great tenors of the Jewish faith, Rusin and Auld,  who embraced Herschel's new soul music the most religiously, at least for awhile. I wonder if it was more than great taste; Herschel was the son of a preacher man, himself.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 24th, 2018, 11:32 pm

April 26th, 2018, 1:50 am #4

I love Hackett's solo on the original Glenn Miller "A String of Pearls." If you'll notice, Hackett plays most of it behind the beat, which probably more than anything else is what makes it sound "Bixian." Just about everyone who's duplicated the solo in one of the innumerable Miller "tribute" bands plays it ON the beat, to much less effect.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 7th, 2018, 9:40 pm

May 7th, 2018, 10:29 pm #5

Hackett's solo has lots a Bixian inflections, not least the descending phrase in the fourth bar (if I'm counting correctly).
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:05 am

May 8th, 2018, 6:49 am #6

carl wrote: Here's a good sounding YT of this with some video too.
Was I supposed to like this?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 15th, 2018, 11:08 pm

May 8th, 2018, 7:48 am #7

Oh Cosca. Yer killing me, man. Not like it, love it I would think. Good Lord woman. I know you're the film person but getting to see all those wonderful people from the greatest generation, it's an honour and should be a pleasure. The video compiler made an effort to line things up, I thought, as best as possible. I especially appreciated him featuring those ungainly but adorable chorus girls just when the sexy saxophones were playing. He knew the highlight of the record even if Mr H's fans would disagree which was my original point. I highly recommend another shot.  Best wishes.
Quote
Like
Share