Author Archives: Dean Pratt

Dean Pratt has been collecting records, CDs, books, air checks, and tapes featuring jazz, Big Bands, and the Swing Era for six decades. A trumpet player who has been on the road with the best of the Big Bands, and leads his own big band in Manhattan, The Dean Pratt Big Band, Pratt is also frequently called upon by authors for information about the genre, and interviewed as an authority in the field by such networks as NPR. His vast personal jazz collection (some 12,000 LPs, and 10,000 CDs) has also served as an aid in assisting his clients in their search for those who may owe them royalties. Pratt has served as producer, compilation producer, and liner note author for a number of Buddy Rich CDs, including the legendary drummer’s reissues on Pacific Jazz/Blue Note. He has as well acted as conductor, music coordinator, and liner note author for several projects by DMP Records, on which he also made his debut as a vocalist. He is producer, conductor, and liner note author for his own CDs: Groovy Encounters, published by Amosaya Records; and 16 Men & A Chick Singer Swingin’: Pratt Brothers Big Band Featuring Roberta Gambarini, published by CAP Records. Pratt makes his home in South Carolina, but commutes regularly to New York City to rehearse his band. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)

Essential Listening: Manny Albam

“Manny Albam was a terrific musician, composer, arranger, teacher and, best of all, a warm, funny human being and friend. I first met Manny when I was in high school in Rochester, New York, performing in an area all-star high school jazz band directed by the Reverend George Wiskirchen. One year, this high school band […]

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Essential Listening: The Brothers Candoli

“During the 1970s, Conte hooked up with another of his Kenton alumni, the incomparable trombonist Frank Rosolino. The pair made several albums together and the RCA LP ‘Conversation,’ recorded in Milan, Italy on May 25, 1973, was their first. Italian promoter Andriano Mazzoletti had been bringing over jazz musicians from America in order to feature […]

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The Essential Jazz Listening of Terry Gibbs

“On a personal note, I have for many years now been frustrated and dismayed by the National Endowment for the Arts’ inexplicable failure to name Terry Gibbs as an NEA Jazz Master. Since the creation of this honor, I can think of no other jazz musician more deserving of the award, and it is a […]

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The Essential Listening of Johnny Hodges (aka “The Rabbit”)

“One of the most recognizable sounds in all of jazz belongs to Johnny Hodges. As a young saxophonist, Hodges was inspired by the unique sound of his first idol, Sidney Bechet. Hodges said, ‘The reason I was influenced by Bechet is that he seemed quite different from everyone else at the time. The others were […]

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The Essential Listening of Sauter & Finegan

“In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, I had the honor and privilege to hold down the lead trumpet chair in The 92nd Street Y Studio Orchestra, conceived of and conducted by a dear, and sorely missed, friend and musician extraordinaire, Harvey Estrin.”—Dean Pratt Vinyl Tap By Dean Pratt “We agreed that it would not be brass […]

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Incomparable: Anita O’Day

“When she changed her name to O’Day, one of greatest exponents of the art of jazz singing came into being. Her unique sense of rhythm and dynamics quickly set her apart, and she demonstrated her great skills with the bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, and Gene Krupa. After leaving Krupa in 1946, O’Day set […]

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Woody Herman’s Thundering Herds

“My friend Audrey Mannes Mosello put this (vinyl) ball in motion when she asked me, on Facebook, to post my favorite albums on my wall over a specified period of time. Or something like that. Audrey, you know what you asked, but I doubt you expected the deluge that would follow as a result. Never […]

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