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Rummaging around through some old books, I found one of the first books I ever bought. It was 1944 and the title is the same as I entitled this post:

Esquire's Jazz Book Edited by Paul Eduard Miller with an introduction by Arnold Gingrich. Price on the dust jacket, still enclosing the book -- $2.00. A note on the Copyright 1943,1944 page says, "This volume has been manufactured in accordance with the regulations of the War Production Board."

The eight chapter headings are:

Hot Jazz: Prophet Without Honor
How to Listen to Hot Jazz
Esquire on Jazz 1934-1944.
Collectors: Personalities and Anecdotes
Jazz Greats: Musicians and Bands
Historical Chart of Jazz Influence
Esquire's All-American Band
Musician's Bio-Discographies.

The first-choice band selected by Esquire's Board of Experts:

Louis Armstrong, trumpet and vocal
Jack Teagarden, trombone
Benny Goodman, clarinet
Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone
Art Tatum, piano
Al Casey, guitar
Oscar Pettiford, string bass
Sidney Catlett, drums
Red Norvo, xylophone - Lionel Hampton, vibraphone (tied)
Billie Holiday, vocal
Artie Shaw (Armed Forces)

The second-choice band was:

Cootie Williams, trumpet
Lawrence Brown, trombone
Barney Bigard, clarinet
Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone
Earl Hines, piano
Milton Hinton, string bass - Al Morgan, string bass (tied)
Cozy Cole, drums
Leo Watson, vocal - Mildred Bailey, vocal (tied_
Willie Smith, Armed Forces
Dave Tough, Armed Forces

There's a statement which leads me to think this may have been the first All-Star Band selected by Esquire, It says: "The 1944 jazz front had an auspicious beginning with Esquire's All-American Jazz Concert at the Metropolitan on January 18th. The enthusiastic responses to this event, and to the magazine's special jazz issue which appeared at that time, prompted the publication of a dollar pamphlet, now out of print.

It brought back a lot of memories....

Still happy in Tucson!

Larry Schnebly
Tucson, Arizona
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