Some of my very favorite music comes out of the second half of the 1930s, yet so little of that has been featured here on Old Time Blues so far. To remedy that omission, here’s some sweet swing, courtesy of the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra.
The Hudson-DeLange Orchestra was formed in 1935 by the songwriting duo of Will Hudson and Eddie DeLange, who were responsible for the 1934 hit “Moonglow”. As one of the multitude of bands managed by New York jazz impresario Irving Mills, the band was usually fronted by DeLange, with Hudson remaining behind the scenes. Contracted first to the Brunswick records (at the time owned by the American Record Corporation, for whom Mills’ artists recorded at the time), the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra held their first session on January 15, 1936. The following year, they moved to Master, one of two labels (the other being Variety) made for a brief period in 1937 by the American Record Corporation for Irving Mills’ stable of artists. The bandleaders split up in 1938, and Hudson and DeLange went separate ways. Will Hudson continued to lead the orchestra for a period, then recorded with a different band for Decca in 1940. Eddie DeLange started a new band, and recorded for Bluebird.
Master MA 103 was recorded on March 10 and 11, 1937 in New York City by the (Will) Hudson-(Eddie) DeLange Orchestra. In the band are Charles Mitchell, Howard Schaumberger, and Jimmy Blake on trumpets, Edward Kolyer on trombone, George Bohn and Gus Bivona on clarinet and alto sax, Pete Brendel on alto and baritone sax, Ted Duane on clarinet and tenor sax, Mark Hyams on piano, Bus Etri on guitar, Doc Goldberg on string bass, and Nat Pollard on drums.
Recorded on the latter date, Will Hudson’s “Sophisticated Swing” perfectly captures the elegance and—appropriately—sophistication of the 1930s, as opposed to the gritty Depression captured by, say, Bill Cox’s “N. R. A. Blues” (or most anything by Woody Guthrie).
On the flip-side, the band swings a little harder on “The Maid’s Night Off”, recorded on the former date.