Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis – weekdays from 6-9 am MT – for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

In September 1945 “Hot House” (1945) by Tadd Dameron (1917-1965) was recorded by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Sydney Catlett, Al Haig and Curly Russell and released with “Salt Peanuts”. The song became an anthem of the Be-bop movement, with the 1953 Massey House live concert recording becoming one of the best known.

By 1938 Dameron was arranging music for swing bands; his introduction there of bop’s complexity, speed and shifting accents was greatly influential and enabled small groups to create an impressive sound, with his 1956 recording of “Fontainebleau” constituting an especially good example. In 1940 he left Cleveland, where he had been playing piano, and went to Kansas City to arrange for Harlan Leonard’s Rockets. Two years later he met Dizzy Gillespie, who introduced Dameron’s compositions “Good Bait” and “Our Delight”, then played “Soulphony” in 1948 at Carnegie Hall.

Esquire magazine named Tadd Dameron Best New Jazz Arranger of 1947. “It’s more on a vein of Debussy or Ravel,” he told Harry Frost. “I try to make it flow. Try to make everything go — you know, it’s just like reading a book. It’s a regular story. You just can’t have one idea and jump to another one. I try to make it flow coherently.” The 1950s proved both productive and traumatic, with great music produced and the tragically early deaths of two of his fellow band members, both trumpeters: Fats Navarro in 1950 and Clifford Brown in 1956. A narcotics addiction led to two years in prison, but he came back in the 1960s to write for Blue Mitchell, Sonny Stitt and Milt Jackson. His last recording (“The Magic Touch of Tadd Dameron” in 1962) served as a summary of a life much too short. He died in 1965.



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