[Trombone-l] No Bands

Bill Dinwiddie billdin at comcast.net
Tue Nov 29 10:43:05 CST 2005


In the '70s and 80's I used to work for Tony Bennett pretty often. Tony's
conductor was usually Torrie Zito, and we always had an orchestra of 40 to
50 players...a big band with "an acre" of strings. Torrie wrote some
wonderful charts for Tony and he also had charts in the book by Robert
Farnon. I will always remember those days, because the arrangements were so
great. The Farnon charts were just superb. I didn't even care if I played on
them, I was just transported by listening to the beauty of the whole thing,
and Tony was singing his a... off.

Today, Tony is still a famous singer and still works quite a bit, but he
hasn't used the orchestra in over 20 years. He performs with piano, bass and
drums, and though it is nicely done, it doesn't hold a candle to the old
days with those beautiful charts. I'm sure the change was not for musical
reasons, because Tony always enjoyed singing in front of those great charts,
played live by excellent players. That pretty much leaves monetary reasons.
I suppose he could not get the big bucks any more and so he was forced to
cut down the band. But he cut it all the way down to a trio.

My wife recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas with her Mom. She
reported that she did not see one musician there. She did not attend any of
the major shows, ala Celine Dione, where, I hope they are using a live band,
but she thought there might be some smaller bands in some of the lounges or
small rooms....nothing.

I glad I had the opportunity to play with large ensembles and great charts.
I feel badly for young players today who will probably not get that
opportunity.

Bill Dinwiddie
billdin at comcast.net




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