Jean Goldkette

Jean Goldkette was a pianist with a classically trained background who immigrated to the United States in 1911. However, his importance to jazz comes as a bandleader during the 1920s. Although he had more than 20 bands by the mid-’20s under his name, it is his main unit (which recorded during 1924-1929 for Victor) that is most remembered. The band consisted of Tommy, Jimmy Dorsey, and Joe Venuti. Bix Beiderbecke was heard on one selection (“I Didn’t Know”), but his inability at that time to sight-read kept his first stint with Goldkette short. In 1926, Beiderbecke was the orchestra’s best soloist. The jazz lineup featured such musicians as Joe Venuti (Spiegle Willcox), Bill Rank, Don Murray and Frankie “Tram”) Trumbauer. The orchestra, which included Bill Challis as chief arranger and Fletcher Henderson in the Battle of the Bands contest, was one of the most impressive of the period. Goldkette’s Orchestra wasn’t allowed to have fun in the studios, and was surrounded by indifferent singers who weren’t part of the band. Their best recordings include “My Pretty Girl” u0026 “Clementine”. Steve Brown’s swinging basse is a huge asset to many other numbers, especially during the choruses. Paul Whiteman, a top jazz player, hired most of Goldkette’s top players, including Tram and Beiderbecke, in 1927. The band’s later recordings, however, are less interesting, though Hoagy Carmichael can be heard singing two parts. Goldkette was also involved in McKinney’s Cotton Pickers and Orange Blossoms. The latter later became the Casa Loma Orchestra. He quit jazz by the early 1930s and worked as a booking agent, and a soloist on the classical piano. Jean Goldkette, who added new arrangements by Sy Oliver to some of the old arrangements for a Camden “reunion LP” in 1959, was a part of this revival, but only a few of the other sidemen (except Chauncey Morehouse), were present. Allmusic

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