Jean Goldkette's Orchestra - reviewed at Roseland Ballroom, New York, February 1926

by Ralph Wondraschek

Billboard, February 06, 1926, p.23


From the city of flivvers comes a Rolls-Royce among "hot" orchestras and it's styled Jean Goldkette's Orchestra. What's it's done is to split the habitues of Roseland, where it's playing a limited engagement, into two factions - a dancing element and a mob that just stands and listens, agape. Our dictionary of synonyms gives 22 words meaning the same as "hot", but they're all inadequate when applied to this outfit. The Goldketters are here primarily to record for Victor, and if the wall paper over at the Victor laboratories doesn't burn right up when they're "cutting" it's made out of asbestos. By this time the reader is evidently aware of the fact that what we're trying to say is that this flock of Ford City tooters are a fiery mob. Goldkette, who doesn't play, is called the Paul Whiteman of Detroit, and has all the big jobs in that city tied up in the palm of his hand. He plays occasionally himself at the Detroit Athletic Club, one of the choicest musical plums in the city by the lake. The most outstanding features of the Goldkette ensemble are the arrangements of Russ Morgan, the director; the sax-clarinet antics of Don Murray and the acrobatics of Ted Brown on the string bass. Morgan's scorings are futuristic to the nth degree and, more than anything else, are responsible for the Goldkette prestige. Brown gives the wise mob a thrill when he slaps the bull fiddle. What his trombone trickster was to Abe Lyman this lad is to the Goldkette aggregation. Too bad this outfit doesn't show up to any especial and equal advantage in the performance of straight or "melody" tunes. If it did it would be about the world's best, but one can't have everything. There are some who think the lads came in with a certain well-rehearsed routine of "aces-in-the-hole", but these critics are probably just cattish. It's a revelation in "hot" bands; you can't take that away from them. Roger Wolfe Kahn, Sam Lanin, Ross Gorman and Vincent Lopez were some of the bandmen who came around to do the visitors honor and to wield the baton for a "one and two". The lineup follows: Russ Morgan, director; Stanley Ryker, saxophone; Jimmy Dorsey, saxophone; Don Murray, clarinet and saxophone; Fred Farrar and Ray Lodwig, trumpets; Howdy Quicksell, banjo; Irving Risken, piano; William Rank, trombone; Spiegle Wilcox, trombone; Chauncey Moorehouse, drums, and Ted Brown, bass. Charlie Horwarth is on the job nightly as business manager. It's "Have you heard the Goldkette band?" all over Broadway these days. The boys have certainly bull's-eyed hereabout.

Let's hope that there are some more reviews of the Goldkette outfit to be found as soon as I get to October 1926 (Bix) with my "Billboard scrutinizing".

Posted on Jun 13, 2017, 3:21 AM

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