Annotation

History

This swing formation was founded by Chick Webb in the late 20s, from (and predating) the former Harlem Stoppers Webb's Quintet, and the Jungle Band.
During the early 30s, it was the Savoy Ballroom house band, and was dreaded as one of the Giants killer big band formation of the era (notably, the high-fly Goodman's orchestra was dwarfed during one of these Savoy "battles").
Integrating Ella Fitzgerald in its rank in 1935, the band enjoyed wide popularity and a few charts success, before Webb's dramatic death in 1939.
Ella Fitzgerald then lead the band for two more years under the name Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra, before going solo and splitting it up during the summer of 1941.
The band never really had stars in its rank (beside, of course, Ella Fitzgerald, and quick appearances of Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges) and its main strengths were its unity and Webb's amazing play.

A later Ella Fitzgerald release would "reunite" the former Webb Orchestra members during the 50s.

Listener Guide

The band discography nowadays is available in two parts, the first (prior 1939) being detailed in Chick Webb's page, the second obviously found under Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra, which modern editions tend to scatter into Ella Fitzgerald discography (in the numerous releases covering the early Decca days).

The reference for serious listeners is either the Classics' Chronological, or the Proper's boxset.

Additional Notes

The band was variously referred to as Chick Webb's Orchestra, Chick Webb and his Orchestra, Chick Webb's Band, Chick Webb and his Band, Chick Webb Savoy's Orchestra, etc.
There is absolutely no differences between these.

Annotation last modified on 2007-12-14 14:09 UTC.

Discography

Album

YearTitleArtistRatingReleases
Count Basie & His Orchestra 1937/Chick Webb & His Orchestra 1936Count Basie & His Orchestra & Chick Webb and His Orchestra1

Album + Compilation

YearTitleArtistRatingReleases
1990The Chronological Classics: Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1929-1934Chick Webb and His Orchestra1
1990The Chronological Classics: Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1935-1938Chick Webb and His Orchestra2
2000Stomping at the SavoyChick Webb and His Orchestra feat. Ella Fitzgerald1
2002Stompin' at the SavoyChick Webb and His Orchestra1
2006Stomping at the SavoyChick Webb and His Orchestra1

Single

YearTitleArtistRatingReleases
1931Heebie Jeebies / Soft and SweetChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1933On the Sunny Side of the Street / I Never KnewChick Webb and His Orchestra / The Chocolate Dandies1
1934Don't Be That Way / It's Over Because We're ThroughChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1934Heebie Jeebies / Blues in My HeartChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1934On the Sunny Side of the Street / Blue MinorChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1935I May Be Wrong / I'll Chase the Blues AwayChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1935I'll Chase the Blues Away / Down Home RagChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1935Love and Kisses / Are You Here to Stay?Chick Webb and His Orchestra1
1935Rhythm and Romance / Moonlight and MagnoliasChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1936A Little Bit Later On / Under the Spell of the BluesChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1937(Oh Yea?) Take Another Guess / When I Get Low I Get HighChick Webb and His Orchestra feat. Ella Fitzgerald1
1937Rusty Hinge / Cryin' MoodChick Webb and His Orchestra1
1937Just a Simple Melody / Holiday in HarlemChick Webb and His Orchestra feat. Ella Fitzgerald1
1938I Got a Guy / Harlem CongoChick Webb and His Orchestra1

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