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Have It Ready

Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra


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James Fletcher Henderson Jr.
(December 18th 1897 - December 29th 1952)


Recorded in New York City on January 22nd 1927 featuring Joe Smith, Russell Smith, and Tommy Ladnier trumpets, Jimmy Harrison trombone, Buster Bailey clarinet & alto sax, Don Redman clarinet & alto sax, Coleman Hawkins clarinet, tenor, & baritone sax, Fletcher Henderson piano, director, & arranger, Charlie Dixon banjo & guitar, June Cole tuba, and Kaiser Marshall drums.

*"Have It Ready" was composed by Fletcher Henderson.

James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson Jr. was born in Cuthbert, Georgia on December 18th 1897.

Although he was a talented pianist his true passion was to become a chemist and after graduating from Atlanta University in 1920 he went on to pursue his Masters Degree in Chemistry at New York's Columbia University.

Discovering that racial discrimination would make finding work as a chemist impossible, Fletcher began working as a musician and became recording director for the Black Swan label between 1921 and 1923.-During this period he also began providing piano accompaniment on the recordings of numerous blues singers.

In 1922 Fletcher Henderson formed his own band first taking up residency at the Club Alabam before successfully graduating to the Roseland Ballroom.

Following Louis Armstrong's brief stay as a member of his band in 1924, Henderson was inspired to start composing more and writing his own arrangements, and in doing so would revolutionize the way large jazz assemblies perform.

As a composer Fletcher Henderson's works drew on diverse regional styles from across the country representing, California, New Orleans, Chicago and Kansas City.

Fletcher Henderson was a uniquely gifted arranger who along with Don Redman established the formula for Swing; breaking his band into sections that work together in supportive roles.

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