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Published on Nov 8, 2014
Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra play "New King Porter Stomp."
The disc's label reveals something noteworthy: Henderson grabbed songwriting credit for this even though Jelly Roll Morton is famous for his "King Porter Stomp." Henderson did add "New" to the title though the song is given much the same arrangement as in earlier years.
Does Henderson deserve songwriting credit due to the elaborate arrangement that Jelly Roll Morton never envisioned for the tune? That is for individual listeners to determine for themselves. Did Jelly Roll Morton feel cheated?
Henderson recorded "King Porter Stomp" more than once--for example, he earlier recorded Jelly Roll Morton's stomp on March 14, 1928.
The version we are hearing now was recorded on December 9, 1932. It was issued on Okeh 41565 (also Columbia 35671--matrix 152325-1).
Fletcher Henderson directs the musicians and provides piano. Claude Hopkins is the arranger. Trumpets are played by Russell Smith, Rex Stewart, and Bobby Stark.
J. C. Higginbotham and Sandy Williams are on trombones.
Russell Procope is clarinet and alto sax.
You can hear that this established a template for Benny Goodman to follow when Goodman later recorded his extremely famous version.
The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra was the most popular African-American band of the 1920s and the most influential with the possible exception of King Oliver's outfit. Henderson's sound was more important than Oliver's if one considers the big band sound of the 1930s, which Henderson helped to shape.
On the other hand, Oliver's may be viewed as the more influential jazz giant of the 1920s if one prefers Dixieland revivals outfits.
Henderson's Orchestra played at the Club Alabam on West 44th Street in New York City from 1922 to July of 1924.
It then moved to the Roseland Ballroom
In 1924 Henderson hired Louie Armstrong on cornet to replace Joe Smith on trumpet.
Henderson also employed Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone, Buster Bailey on clarinet, Don Redman on alto saxophone and--well, Henderson's men nearly make up a complete Who's Who of jazz. Rex Stewart, Tommy Ladnier, and so on...
Henderson (unlike Oliver) recorded for many record companies, using various and confusing names and pseudonyms--Henderson's Dance Orchestra, Henderson's Club Alabam Orchestra, The Dixie Stompers, Henderson's Happy Six Orchestra, Fletcher Henderson and his Sawin' Six, Louisiana Stompers and the Connie's Inn Orchestra.