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Eddie Sauter was one of the most inventive arrangers to emerge during the swing era. His complex and colorful charts were always innovative and defied categorization. Sauter originally played trumpet and drums, and later learned the mellophone. He studied at Columbia University and Juilliard, and from 1935 to 1939 he made a stir in the jazz world as the arranger for Red Norvo’s Orchestra. He worked as a freelancer during the remainder of the swing era with his most notable work for Benny Goodman, writing some of the most advanced music that the clarinetist ever played. In addition, Sauter contributed arrangements to the bands of Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman and (in the postwar years) Ray McKinley. In 1952, Sauter joined forces with fellow arranger Bill Finegan to form the innovative Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. Sauter continued as a freelance writer for stage, film and television, including several collaborations with saxophonist Stan Getz. In the late 1950s and 1960s Sauter also wrote contemporary classical music, including several works for saxophone: Q.T. for the New York Saxophone Quartet, Tanglewood Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra, and Piece for Tuba and Saxophone Quartet.

© Tim Ruedeman

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