Image of Jack Jenney with his trombone.

Jack Jenney
(trombone) 1910 - 1945

Jack Jenney was born in Mason City, Iowa on May 12th, 1910. This was a musical family with mother a concert pianist and father a military bandmaster. He first gained recognition with Austin Wylie in 1928 before moving on to Mal Hallett and Isham Jones in the early 30s. He soon entered the charmed circle of radio musicians in the New York Studios along with Glenn Miller, Chick Bullock and Red Norvo. He took part in the famous Red Norvo recordings of 1934. Following the breakup of the Dorsey Brothers band in 1935 he often helped Jimmy Dorsey on some committments calling for difficult trombone solos. He also worked with his wife the famous vocal arranger Kay Thompson.

At the height of the Swing Era in 1939 the appetite for new bands was such that he was persuaded to form his own. It was a good band with a young Hugo Winterhalter on saxophone and main arranger. It was Winterhalter who arranged the spectacular version of Stardust which has come to define Jenney's place in musical history. There are two versions, both on Hep CD 1045, that feature the extraordinary departure from the theme virtually creating a different song. His tone and execution remain as good as anything the more famous trombone playing bandleader - Tommy Dorsey did in his much longer career.

Jenney was not really equipped to fulfil all the requirements of a busy bandleader and soon fell into crippling debt and had to disband. He subsequently joined Artie Shaw's new string orchestra in Hollywood in October 1940 and again his solo on Shaw's famous "Stardust" recording reaffirmed his artistry. The war years were not especially rewarding although he briefly led the Bobby Byrne Orchestra when Byrne was called up for military duty. Then Jenney himself was called by the US Navy to lead a service band. Following a medical discharge in 1945 he returned to radio studio work on the west coast and was part of the orchestra accompanying the highly successful Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest Show.

A long established alcohol problem aggravated by acute appendicitis caused an operation in December of 1945 from which he did not recover. He was only 35. His considerable reputation seems to rest on very few recordings, but anyone hearing his solo on Stardust immediately realise that here was a unique voice.

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Despite the paucity of recordings Jack Jenney's trombone styling and tonal quality have come down the ages as a benchmark of excellence. Studio Performances from 1938-40.

Titles - Swingin' The Apach' / The Night is Blue / I've Gone Romantic on You / In The Shade of the New Apple Tree / What More can I Give You / Got No Time / Moonray / High Society / Stardust / What is There To Say / The World is Waiting For The Sunrise / I Walk Alone / City Light / Cuban Boogie Woogie / I'll Get By / If You Knew Susie / What Can I Say / Since You Came Into My Dreams / I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise / Where's My Sweetie Hiding / Little Old Lady / I've Gone Romantic (alt) / Stardust (alt) / Cuban Boogie Woogie (alt).

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Jack Jenney - "Stardust"

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artists @ Hep Jazz