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Musicians sought to resurrect that big band sound


Jan Swoope



Gill Harris freely admits he could talk all day about the big band era. 


From the 1970s until the mid-1980s, the Columbus man conducted a popular big band orchestra in the Golden Triangle He''s now forming a new band and interested in locating additional musicians -- particularly those capable on saxaphone, trombone, trumpet or drums. 


"The last time we (the former orchestra) played was about 1986, and still, every time I walk down the street, somebody asks, ''When are you gonna put the band back together?''" the genial Harris said. "We probably have 18-20 musicians already and have dates booked at Trotter Convention Center for May 15 and Sept. 18, 2010." 


He cited five main ingredients big band-era music -- popular from the early 1930s to the late ''40s -- has he feels most modern music often lacks, including lyrics that tell a story. "Nowadays, songs seem to have two words in them," he said wryly. "If they think of a third word, they hold it ''til the next song." 


Harris also noted the rich dynamics, rhythm, chord progression and melody typical in arrangements used by iconic band leaders including Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Les Brown and Count Basie. Their songbooks were filled with memorable numbers including "In the Mood," "Stardust," "Moonlight Serenade" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000." 


Interested musicians are asked to contact Harris at 662-327-1836, or e-mail him at [email protected] 


"This is a trial balloon," said Harris. "If the public decides to support it, we''ll keep doing it. If they don''t, we won''t."


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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