Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, 1924 | Mark Berresford RARE RECORDS | Mark Berresford

Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, 1924

Flecther Henderson led one of the best-known and most respected black bands in America in the 1920s and early 1930s, with a galaxy of star musicians on hand to  play his and co-arranger/reedman Don Redman’s often advanced and even challenging arrangments. These included the likes of Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Buster Bailey, Rex Stewart, Tommy Ladnier, Jimmy Harrison - the list just goes on… Never the typical bandleader (he was from a middle class family and held a degree in chemistry), his enthusiasm for the bandleading lifestyle waxed and waned and, sick of touring, disbanded the orchestra in the mid-1930s and worked a chief arranger for Benny Goodman. His contribution to the development of big band jazz cannot be underestimated. Here is his band in 1924, when they were resident at the Club Alabam in New York, and just before the arrival of Louis Armstrong. l-R: Charlie Green, Howard Scott, Ralph Escudero, Elmer ‘Frog’ Chambers, Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Dixon, Kaiser Marshall, Coleman Hawkins, Don Redman.