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.
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Discography

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 The Chronological Classics: Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1929-1934 Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1990 The Chronological Classics: Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1935-1938 Chick Webb and His Orchestra 2
2000 Stomping at the Savoy Chick Webb and His Orchestra feat. Ella Fitzgerald 1
2002 Stompin' at the Savoy Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
2006 Stomping at the Savoy Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1

Single

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1931 Heebie Jeebies / Soft and Sweet Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1934 Don't Be That Way / It's Over Because We're Through Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1934 Heebie Jeebies / Blues in My Heart Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1934 On the Sunny Side of the Street / Blue Minor Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1935 I May Be Wrong / I'll Chase the Blues Away Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1935 I'll Chase the Blues Away / Down Home Rag Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1935 Love and Kisses / Are You Here to Stay? Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1
1935 Rhythm and Romance / Moonlight and Magnolias Chick Webb and His Orchestra 1

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