Image of Red Norvo and his orchestra in action.

Red Norvo

(leader, piano, xylophone, vibraphone) 1908 - 1999

Kenneth "Red" Norville was born in Beardstown, Illinois on March 31, 1908. By the middle 20's he was playing professionally throughout the mid-west states and on radio. He worked for Paul Whiteman in the early 30's and married singer Mildred Bailey. He formed his first band in 1935 and played at the Famous Door in New York. This group was augmented the following year for an engagement at the Commodore Hotel using arrangements by Eddie Sauter who also played trumpet with the band.

For the next four years Norvo recorded for Brunswick and several of these recordings are regarded as highly important - especially "In A Mist" and "Dance Of The Octopus" - as are the many Sauter arrangements both instrumental and those written for Mildred Bailey. As the Swing Era hit its zenith in 1939 the band faltered due to internal difficulties and the public preference for the more exuberant orchestras. In late 1941 Norvo reformed with a larger band and with arranger Johnny Thompson giving the band identity it seemed as if success was at hand. However the implications of the war economy proved too much and they disbanded in mid 1942.

For the next eighteen months he led very successful sextets with stars in the making such as Shorty Rogers, Eddie Bert, Flip Philips, Aaron Sachs, and Ralph Burns. He subsequently joined Benny Goodman and Woody Herman having switched to vibraphone and in the fifties formed his Trio with Tal Farlow and Charlie Mingus. He also added class to innumerable sessions including some by Frank Sinatra.

Norvo is generally regarded as having been one of the great creators in jazz and he remained active well into his seventies. He died in Santa Monica on April 9, 1999.

His career between 1933 and 1942 is covered by 5 CDs on Hep with exhaustive notes and photographs.

Image of Red Norvo and his orchestra at Hamid's Million Dollar Ballroom, Atlantic City, N.J. circa Feb-March 1938. < Top
Image of Hep CD1019 - Red Norvo & His Orchestra - Jivin' The Jeep


RED NORVO & His Orchestra

"Jivin' The Jeep"

Recorded in New York City and Chicago during 1936-37 and featuring Mildred Bailey, Herbie Haymer, Hank D'Amico and Stewie Pletcher.

Titles - It All Begins And Ends With You / A Porter's Love Song To A Chambermaid / I Know That You Know / Picture Me Without You / It Can Happen To You / Now That Summer Has Gone / It's Love I'm After / Peter Piper / When Is A Kiss Not A Kiss / A Thousand Dreams Of You / Smoke Dreams / Slumming On Park Avenue / I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm / Remember / Liza / I Would Do Anything For You / Jivin' The Jeep / Everyone's Wrong But Me / Posin' / The Morning After / Do You Ever Think Of Me.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Red Norvo - "It All Begins And Ends With You"

Image of Hep CD1040 - Red Norvo & His Orchestra - Rock It For Me


RED NORVO & His Orchestra

"Rock It For Me"

A collection of tracks recorded during the years 1937 and 1938 in Los Angeles and New York City. Featuring the vocals of Mildred Bailey and Terry Allen.

Titles - Tears In My Heart / Worried Over You / Clap Hands (Here Comes Charlie) / Russian Lullaby / Always And Always / I Was Doing Alright / It's Wonderful / Love Is Here To Stay / A Serenade To The Stars / More Than Ever / The Weekend Of a Private Secretary / Please Be Kind / Jeannine (I Dream Of Lilac Time) / Tea Time / How Can You Forget? / There's A Boy In Harlem / Says My Heart / I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart / Moonshine Over Kentucky / Rock It For Me / After Dinner Speech / If You Were In My Place (What Would You Do).

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Red Norvo - "Love Is Here To Stay"

Image of Hep CD1044 - Red Norvo & His Orchestra - Dance Of The Octopus


RED NORVO & His Orchestra

"Dance Of The Octopus"

From the first studio recordings to his 1936 orchestra covering the period 1933-36 and featuring Charlie Barnet, Bunny Berigan, Chu Berry, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Herbie Haymer, Jack Jenney, Artie Shaw and Teddy Wilson.

Titles - Knockin' On Wood / Hole In The Wall / In A Mist / Dance Of The Octopus / Old Fashioned Love / I Surrender, Dear / Tomboy / The Night Is Blue / Honeysuckle Rose / With All My Heart And Soul / Bughouse / Blues In E Flat / Gramercy Square / Polly Wolly Doodle / Decca Stomp / The Music Goes 'Round And Around / The Broken Record / The Wedding Of Jack And Jill / You Started Me Dreaming / Misty Islands Of The Highlands / What's The Name Of That Song / Let Yourself Go / Life Begins When You're In Love / If You Love Me / I Got Rhythm / Oh, Lady Be Good.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Red Norvo - "Dance Of The Octopus"

Image of Hep CD1050 - Red Norvo & His Orchestra - Wigwammin'.


RED NORVO & His Orchestra


Conclusion of the 1938 performances featuring Red Norvo, Hank D'Amico, Jack Palmer, Mildred Bailey and the arrangements of Eddie Sauter.

Titles - Daydreaming (All Night Long) / A Cigarette & A Silhouette / (I've Been) Savin' Myself For You / You Leave Me Breathless / Put Your Heart In A Song / Wigwammin' / The Sunny Side Of Things / How Can I Thank You? / Garden Of The Moon / Just You, Just Me / Now It Can Be Told / Jump Jumps Here / I Haven't Changed A Thing / Love Is Where You Find It / I Used To Be Colour Blind / A-Tisket, A-Tasket / This Is Madness (To Love Like This) / Who Blew Out The Flame? / You're A Sweet Little Headache / I Have Eyes / St. Louis Blues / You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby / Have You Forgotten So Soon?

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Red Norvo - "You Leave Me Breathless"

Image of Hep CD1072 - Red Norvo & His Orchestra - Nuances By Norvo


RED NORVO & His Orchestra

"Nuances By Norvo"

Conclusion of studio performances recorded in New York City during the years 1938-42.

Titles - Nuances By Norvo / Undecided / They Say / Blame It On My Last Affair / I Go For That / Thanks For Everything / I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) / Kiss Me With Your Eyes / Cuckoo In The Clock / We'll Never Know / Toadie Toddle / Rehearsin' For A Nervous Breakdown / You're So Desirable / There'll Never Be Another You / I Can Read Between The Lines / Blue Evening / Yours For A Song / Three Little Fishes (Itty Bitty Poo) / Some Like It Hot / In The Middle Of A Dream / My Love For You / Have Mercy / Jersey Bounce / Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry / I'll Be Around / My Little Cousin.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Red Norvo - "Nuances By Norvo"

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