American Songbook: Big Band/Broadway/Jazz
I went to Rocky Mountain High School in Ft. Collins, Colorado, where I played tenor saxophone in the jazz band. One day a chart arrived for "Stardust" that included lyrics. On that fateful day, my best friend Diane (who sat next to me on alto sax) said, "Hey, let Rex sing this!" I found an old 78 rpm of Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey band, and nearly wore out the grooves studying young Frank's vocal style. "Stardust" became an important song for me -- it got me into the Harvard Krokodiloes, and when I met Princess Grace the next summer, I sang it for her because she knew Sinatra. In college I started learning the great American Songbook, and haven't stopped. What I still find most surprising is how much a simple song -- chords and melody -- can be transformed into fireworks and fun by a great arranger, a great band, and a great singer. I hope you have as much fun listening to these as I did singing them!