Bunny Berigan

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by wayne, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. wayne

    wayne New Friend

    Nov 19, 2004
    putnam valley new york
    Does anyone think much of Berigan playing?He was my grandfather.I seldom hear of his playing as it relates to other trumpet players.I heard some really great trumpet players in person ,i heard Blue Mitchell and Freddie Hubbard.And some other great ones but when i hear Bunny on CD or records i really feel he is a great trumpet player.
  2. talcito

    talcito Piano User

    Feb 18, 2004
    I have always loved his tone. Big, fat and just great.

    If I remember correctly, he appears in "the Trumpet Kings Video" and truly looked like a movie star. He made it look too easy.

    He was your grandfather? I would love to hear a bit more about him from someone who knows him at your level!
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Wayne, do you have a relative named Kay Berigan? He taught band in the 70's at a high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know he is related to Bunny, but I can't remember how.....

  4. crazyhorns

    crazyhorns New Friend

    Nov 9, 2003

    Wayne... I recently started re-creating I Can't Get Started at wedding reception gigs. People love it, and I get a kick out of playing it - for sure. We don't do it as a vocal feature ... "C" is a bad key for me! But the intro and release are a gas. I found a new respect for Bunny when I learned his solo... He was fantastic. I've also delved into his other recordings, and it's wonderful to hear the control he had. He helped pave the way for guys like Sonny Dunham, Randy Brooks, Harry James, Charlie Spivak, etc.

    ~Steve Hyde~

  5. wayne

    wayne New Friend

    Nov 19, 2004
    putnam valley new york
    Hi Mike,Yes i once email kay Berigan and he told me he was Bunnys cousin son.My older brother got to meet him a few years ago.He has the berigan family looks, Thanks Wayne
  6. wayne

    wayne New Friend

    Nov 19, 2004
    putnam valley new york
    Re: Bunny

    Steve i know you must have done that tune justice.I once was in White Plains New York at a street fair and there was a trumpet player who was working the fair with a small band.Well he shock me when he played I Cant Get Started solo by himself.He sounded great on a bach 72.I told him who i was and how good he played it.He also plays at a club in Manhattan and invited me to come hear them but i lost his card.The guys who played with that kind of tone to me sound better.Thanks Wayne
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Bunny was to me, (and MANY others) the best big band era trumpet player of them all.
    I have all his albums and many, many 78's with him as leader or sideman.
    He was consistantlyvoted "Top Trumpet Player" in the polls in the 30's.
    I also do "I Can't Get Started" with our 15 piece swing band in Detroit.
    I especially like the key change cadenza from C to Db.
    There is a great book about him called

    Bunny Berigan: Elusive Legend of Jazz
    by Robert Dupuis

    His solos are something you don't hear now....they all started somewhere and went somewhere, they told a story.
    Listen to
    I Can't Get Started
    Mahogony Hall Stomp
    The Prisoner Song--the best!
    King Porter Stomp--Benny Goodman
    Marie--Tommy Dorsey
    A Song Of India--Tommy Dorsey
    and on and on.....
    I have a tape with Bunny and the Dorsey band doing Marie live...
    first a radio check 3 weeks before the commercial recording
    then a radio check 2 weeks before the commmercial recording,
    then the commercial recording,
    then 3 years later when Bunny went back to Dorsey's band and Sinatra was singing Marie.
    Tommy introduces Bunny on the radio check. Bunny was inebriated but still played Marie better than anyone else could!

  8. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Bunny seemed to play every solo with such passion . . . like it was the final time he'd be able to say something important with his horn.

    He died waaaaay too young.

    Unlike the slick commercial musicians of any era (past, present and future), Benny didn't play the same solo, the same way, every night. If he heard something in his soul that was new, he was not afraid of "walking the tightrope" to see if he could pull it off. I love a player who will play the passion from his soul.

  9. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I agree Tom,

    You should hear his different versions of Marie. Each one different, yet unmistakenly Bunny.


Share This Page