A Melody from the Sky: 1932-1940

A Melody from the Sky: 1932-1940

by Bunny BeriganBunny Berigan


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From Fats Navarro to the seminal Charlie Parker, the history of jazz is full of amazingly talented musicians who were unable to overcome their demons and ended up dying much too young. Heroin was the drug of choice for Parker and Navarro; for Bunny Berigan, it was alcohol. In a perfect world, the trumpeter/bandleader would have lived to see 80 or 90; instead, Berigan was only 33 when, in 1942, he died from pneumonia and other health problems that were brought on by his alcoholism. But even though Berigan's career was much shorter than it should have been, he went down in history as one of the finest trumpet soloists of the '30s -- and this 66-minute collection offers a highly rewarding overview of his work. Technically, the title A Melody From the Sky: 1932-1940 is misleading because the 21 selections were actually recorded from 1932-1939 instead of from 1932-1940; nonetheless, this CD has a lot going for it -- not only a wealth of first-rate performances, but also good sound quality (by 78-era standards), attractive artwork, and the insightful, comprehensive liner notes of jazz critic Scott Yanow (who assembled the collection and presents the material in chronological order). Many of these performances are essential, including "Blue Lou," "Mahogany Hall Stomp," and his sublime 1937 version of George Gershwin's "I Can't Get Started" (the hit Berigan is best-remembered for). One of the most interesting tracks is Berigan's unlikely arrangement of "The Prisoner's Song," a gem that had been a number one hit for country singer Vernon Dalhart in 1925. While Dalhart's famous version was old-time country at its most melancholy, Berigan successfully transforms "The Prisoner's Song" into an exuberant, surprisingly happy instrumental. A Melody From the Sky isn't the last word on the trumpeter's legacy, but for novices and casual listeners, this disc can be an excellent starting point.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/2003
Label: Jazz Legends
UPC: 0723724554429
catalogNumber: 1007

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bunny Berigan   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Vocals
Ray Conniff   Trombone
Eddie Condon   Guitar
Bud Freeman   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Gene Krupa   Drums
Buddy Rich   Drums,Track Performer
Artie Shaw   Clarinet
Fats Waller   Piano
Ray Bauduc   Drums
Gus Bivona   Alto,Clarinet
Connee Boswell   Vocals
Joe Bushkin   Piano
Cozy Cole   Drums
Matty Matlock   Clarinet
Babe Russin   Tenor Saxophone
Edgar Sampson   Alto
George Wettling   Drums
Grachan Moncur   Bass
Georgie Auld   Tenor Saxophone
Red Ballard   Trombone
Red Bone   Trombone
L. Brown   Trumpet
Burness   Piano
Bob Cusmano   Trumpet
Charlie DiMaggio   Alto
Jimmy Dorsey   Clarinet
Tommy Dorsey   Trombone
Mike Doty   Alto,Clarinet
George   Trombone
Harry Goodman   Bass
Irving Goodman   Trumpet
Jenkins   Trombone
Dick Jones   Piano
Nate Kazebier   Trumpet
Stan King   Drums
Ford Leary   Trombone
Steve Lipkins   Trumpet
Nat Lobovsky   Trombone
Don Lodice   Tenor Saxophone
Carmen Mastren   Guitar
Eddie Miller   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Nuncio "Toots" Mondello   Alto,Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Ralph Muzillo   Trumpet
Johnny Napton   Trumpet
Allan Reuss   Guitar
Arthur Rollini   Tenor Saxophone
Clyde Rounds   Alto,Tenor Saxophone
Morey Samuel   Trombone
Hymie Schertzer   Alto
Jess Stacy   Piano
Fred Stulce   Alto
Tom Morgan   Guitar
Dave Tough   Drums
Gene Traxler   Bass
Carl Warwick   Trumpet
Hank Wayland   Bass
Helvetia "Vet" Boswell   Vocals
Martha Boswell   Piano,Vocals
Chick Bullock   Vocals
Dick McDonough   Guitar
Joe Tarto   Bass
Larry Walsh   Tenor Saxophone
George Bohn   Alto,Clarinet
Jake Koven   Trumpet
Morty Stuhlmaker   Bass
Forrest Crawford   Tenor Saxophone
Bill DePew   Alto
Harry Hoffman   Violin
Red Jessup   Trombone
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra   Track Performer
Murray Williams   Alto,Clarinet
Joe Lipman   Piano
Joe Bauer   Trumpet
Arnold Fishkind   Bass
Dick Wharton   Guitar
John Fallstitch   Trumpet
Jack Goldie   Alto
Harry Greenwald   Trumpet
Tommy Moore   Guitar
Joe Harris   Trombone,Vocals
Art Drellinger   Tenor Saxophone
Stewart Anderson   Tenor Saxophone
Jennings   Trombone
Joe Aguanno   Trumpet
Manny Berger   Drums
George Johnston   Trumpet
Mark Pasco   Trombone
Henry Saltman   Alto
Edwin Ross   Piano
Sid Pearlmutter   Clarinet
Paul Collins   Drums
Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats   Piano
Jimmy Welsh   Trumpet
Harry Walsh   Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Jenkins   Drums
Sonny Lee   Trombone
Joe Dixon   Alto,Clarinet
Joe Lippman   Piano
Dick Clark   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov   Composer
Ray Conniff   Composer
Bunny Berigan   Composer
Thad Jones   Composer
Fats Waller   Composer
Larry Clinton   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Edgar Sampson   Composer
Art Kassel   Composer
Abe Lyman   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Vernon Duke   Composer
Andy Razaf   Composer
Gus Arnheim   Composer
Bix Beiderbecke   Composer
Will Marion Cook   Composer
Arthur Freed   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Donald Heywood   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Jack Palmer   Composer
Charlie Parker   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Sam M. Lewis   Composer
Scott Yanow   Liner Notes,Track Compilation
Guy Massey   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Walter Melrose   Composer
Louis Alter   Composer
Fred Fisher   Composer
Sidney Mitchell   Composer
Porter Steele   Composer
Alfred Bryan   Composer
Mabel Wayne   Composer
Joyce Kilmer   Composer
Oscar Rasbach   Composer
Victor Burton   Composer

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