^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 

CHICK WEBB  

(1909 - 1939)

Chick Webb was hugely admired by drummers such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Art Blakey for his power, musicianship and impeccable rhythm. He was a master at swinging a big band.

Webb was born with spinal tuberculosis which left him a hunchback and led to his early death. He took up drums on the advice of his doctor as a way of loosening up his limbs, and with money saved from menial jobs he bought a drum set fitted with custom pedals to accommodate his small stature. At age 17 he left Baltimore for New York and on the advice of Duke Ellington, who was struck by his talent, formed a quintet that would eventually expand to become the Chick Webb Orchestra, the house band at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. In legendary band battles there, Webb’s crowd-pleasing style and power overwhelmed such ensembles as Count Basie’s, Fletcher Henderson’s and Benny Goodman’s. Although Webb could not read music, he learned arrangements quickly and led the band from his drums on a raised platform.

Webb introduced “Stompin’ at the Savoy” in 1934 and had hits with “If Dreams Come True” and “Blue Lou,” all compositions of his lead alto saxophonist, Edgar Sampson. In 1935 he hired a young, unknown vocalist, Ella Fitzgerald, with whom he recorded over 60 songs, most notably “A Tisket, A Tasket” (Fitzgerald’s own composition) which went to the top of the charts.

On a number of his recordings his playing is very subdued, using brushes, at times seemingly inaudible. But his remarkably drive is readily apparent, and on those tracks where he uses sticks, his masterful technique is clearly in evidence. Some of the best recorded examples of his abilities are “Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie,” “Liza,” “Go Harlem” and “Harlem Congo.”

As Webb’s health began to deteriorate, he continued to perform with indomitable spirit, often passing out after a set. Upon his death Fitzgerald took over the orchestra for two years until it became too much for her, and the orchestra disbanded.

The much-loved Webb was eulogized by Fitzgerald singing “My Buddy” at his funeral, the church being unable to accommodate all the mourners.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Classical Composer | Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: 50th Anniversary Celebration (A) Altissimo
75442270242
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ACOUSTIC JAZZ QUARTET Naxos Jazz
86033-2
Contemporary Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Live in '59 (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-JILA
Jazz DVD
BIGBANDS LIVE - Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring Anita O’Day (1959) Jazzhaus
101704
Jazz
Commercial Grooves: Nostalgic Tracks from TV Adverts Naxos Nostalgia
8.120798
Nostalgia
FITZGERALD, Ella: A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1936-1941) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120540
Jazz
FITZGERALD, Ella: It's the Way That You Do It (1936-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120611
Jazz
GARLAND, Judy: Over the Rainbow (1936-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120563
Nostalgia
GARNER, Erroll: Erroll Garner Plays Misty (1953-1954) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120771
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing Me a Swing Song (1935-1936) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120548
Jazz
HAWKINS, Coleman: Body and Soul (1933-1949) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120532
Jazz
INK SPOTS: Swing High, Swing Low (1935-1941) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120534
Nostalgia
JAZZ FOR YOU - CHILL WITH FITZGERALD (1936-1952) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120893
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Americans in Paris (1938-1945) (Reinhardt, Vol. 8) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120740
Jazz
STRING FEVER: It don't mean a thing Naxos
8.572834
Contemporary Jazz
ULTIMATE BIG BAND COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120861-62
Nostalgia
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Airmen of Note (The) Altissimo
75442255592
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE PACIFIC: Midnight Sun Altissimo
75442260412
Contemporary Jazz
WILSON, Teddy: I Want to Be Happy (1944-1947) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120538
Jazz
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
  View Albums
 
 




 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
7:07:24 AM, 21 September 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-208-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.