Tadd Dameron

Portrait_of_Tadd_Dameron_New_York_N_Y__between_1946_and_1948_GottliebTadd Dameron (1917-1965) was a highly respected composer and pianist of the bebop era and without a doubt the most important arranger of that period. He was able to take the new bop language and apply it to composition and arranging. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he started his career in the early 1940s and by the mid-1940s was an integral part of the New York jazz scene.

Tadd Dameron - Episode 1

Dameron performed with the most important musicians of the period, in addition to leading his own bands. He wrote arrangements for almost every big band post 1945 including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Georgie Auld and many others. His band that performed at the Royal Roost in the late 1940’s included the great jazz trumpet virtuoso Fats Navarro. Dameron had an affinity for strong melody and composed many jazz standards.
CompositionArtistYear
DuskThe Duke Ellington Orchestra1941
DameroniaTadd Dameron Orchestra1947
Good BaitTadd Dameron Orchestra1948
Hot HouseDizzy Gillespie Quintet1945
JhaberoTadd Dameron Sextet1948
Our DelightTadd Dameron Orchestra1948

Tadd Dameron - Episode 2

This podcast will feature some of best his recordings from the Royal Roost Club with his Big Ten Orchestra from late 1948 and 1949. These are primarily live radio air-checks. The arrangements from this period exhibit many of the characteristics of the cool style made popular in the early 1950’s. There is an emphasis on texture, color, and balance between written music and improvised solos. Tadd’s Big 10 and the Miles Davis Nonet (Birth of the Cool) bear striking resemblance in arranging style; both groups were performing at the Roost between 1948 and 1949. The big difference in the two groups is that Tadd wrote and arranged all of his music whereas Miles Davis had at least 4 people writing arrangements for him. Tadd was constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional jazz arranging and some of his work was beginning to foreshadow the 3rd Stream movement of the late 1950s. Listen carefully to the very modern Study in Soulphony.
CompositionArtistYear
Lady BirdTadd Dameron Sextet1948
John's DelightTadd Dameron Orchestra1949
Sid's DelightTadd Dameron Orchestra1949
FocusTadd Dameron Orchestra1949
Study in SoulphonyDizzy Gillespie Big Band1949

Tadd Dameron - Episode 3

The works from the mid-1950s are featured in this podcast. The 1953 recordings featured a little known trumpet player by the name of Clifford Brown who would by 1956 be celebrated as the greatest of the hard bop trumpeters. The medium tempo and ballad compositions featured here are some of most beautiful and lush in the Dameron songbook. Check out the work on the 1956 album Mating Call that featured tenor saxophonist John Coltrane.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Theme of No RepeatTadd Dameron Nonet1953
Dial B for BeautyTadd Dameron Nonet1953
FountainbleauTadd Dameron Octet1956
On a Misty NightTadd DameronMating Call1956
SoultraneTadd DameronMating Call1956

Tadd Dameron - Episode 4

Tadd Dameron had an affinity for vocalists and many great ones recorded his compositions. He is one of the few jazz composers who understood how to write a vocally-conceived jazz composition; most jazz composers of the period were writing instrumentally conceived melodies that did not necessarily lend themselves to vocal interpretation. Some of the recordings feature his original compositions and arrangements; some are arrangements of other composers’ work. The arrangements all display Dameron’s magic touch with orchestration and the original compositions show the romantic side of his ballad writing that was so attractive to many great vocalists (and instrumentalists).
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
I'd Rather Have a Memory than a DreamSarah Vaughn and Dizzy Gillespie1945
If You Could See Me NowSarah Vaughn and Tadd Dameron1946
I Think I'll Go AwayKenny Hagood and Tadd Dameron1948
What's NewKay Penton and Tadd Dameron1949
You're a JoyBarbara Winfield and Tadd DameronThe Magic Touch1962
What Ever Possessed MeChet BakerThe Most Important Record of 1964-19651965