Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jimmie Lunceford - Rhythm Is Our Business (Jazz)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents a sound file of the Jimmie Lunceford And His Orchestra performing "Rhythm Is Our Business". Information about Jimmie Lunceford and the lyrics for this song are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"James Melvin "Jimmie" Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era...

In 1927, while an athletic instructor at Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee, he organized a student band, the Chickasaw Syncopators, whose name was changed to the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Under the new name, the band started its professional career in 1929, and made its first recordings in 1930...

Lunceford's orchestra, with their tight musicianship and the often outrageous humor in their music and lyrics, made an ideal band for the club, and Lunceford's reputation began to steadily grow.[7] Jimmie Luncefords band differed from other great bands of the time because their work was better known for its ensemble than its solo work. Additionally, he was known for using a two-beat rhythm, called the Lunceford two-beat, as opposed to the standard four-beat rhythm. This distinctive "Lunceford style" was largely the result of the imaginative arrangements by trumpeter Sy Oliver, which set high standards for dance-band arrangers of the time.[9]

Though not well known as a musician, Jimmie Lunceford was trained on several instruments and was even featured on flute in "Liza".[10]

Comedy and vaudeville played a distinct part in Lunceford's presentation. Songs such as "Rhythm Is Our Business", "I'm Nuts about Screwy Music", "I Want the Waiter (With the Water)", and "Four or Five Times" displayed a playful sense of swing, often through clever arrangements by trumpeter Sy Oliver and bizarre lyrics. Lunceford's stage shows often included costumes, skits, and obvious jabs at mainstream white jazz bands, such as Paul Whiteman's and Guy Lombardo's.

Despite the band's comic veneer, Lunceford always maintained professionalism in the music befitting a former teacher; this professionalism paid off and during the apex of swing in the 1930s, the Orchestra was considered the equal of Duke Ellington's, Earl Hines' or Count Basie's"...

FEATURED VIDEO - Rhythm Is Our Business

saxdad59, Uploaded on Aug 16, 2008
Here's a comment from this video's comment thread identifying key band members
Grouchy2day, 2012
"The drummer was James Crawford. Joe Thomas on tenor sax, Paul Webster on trumpet, Moses Allen on bass and the vocalist was Willie Smith (who also plays alto sax).
This clip is also given at 2:00 to 3:34 in the 6:33 video entitled JImmie Lunceford And His Orchestra

(Sammy Cahn / Saul Chaplin / Jimmie Lunceford)

Rhythm is our business, rhythm is what we sell,
Rhythm is our business, business sure is swell,
Now, if you blue, rhythm's what you need
If you got rhythm you're sure to succeed,
Rhythm is our business, business sure is swell.

He's the drummer man, in the band
Crosby's on the drums, in the band
Oh, when he does tricks with the sticks
The boys in the band all play hot licks

He plays saxophone in the band
Joe plays the saxophone in the band
Oh, when he goes up that scale
(One line of scat singing followed by saxophone break)

Mose plays on the bass in the band
Mose plays on that bass in the band
Now when he picks on those strings
Happiness to you he brings
(Short bass break)

He blows on the trumpet in the band
Steve blows on that trumpet in the band
Oh, he's the guy, hits `em high
Makes you think he's in the sky
(Trumpet Break)

Oh rhythm is our business!

(Transcribed from the Jimmie Lunceford
recording by Bill Huntley - November 2005)

Thanks to Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra for their musical legacy. My thanks also to the author of the article, the transcriber of this song, and the uploader of this featured sound file.

Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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