Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

SAUTER, Eddie

(b 2 December 1914, Brooklyn NY; d 21 April 1981, Nyack NJ) Arranger, composer; one of the best of the Swing Era and doing interesting, intelligent work many years after its peak. First played drums, then trumpet; worked in bands on Atlantic liners, studied at Juilliard, worked for Archie Bleyer '32, Charlie Barnet '35, played trumpet and mellophone for Red Norvo '35, wrote many arrangements for the excellent band of 'Mr and Mrs Swing', Norvo and Mildred Bailey '35-9, then wrote for Benny Goodman: his 'Moonlight On The Ganges' was a real tone-poem for band, plus 'Cocoanut Grove', 'Superman', 'Benny Rides Again', 'All The Cats Join In', 'Clarinet A La King' etc as well as arrangements of pop tunes. Goodman deserved credit for buying Sauter's work, among the best he ever recorded; an album of Sauter's work for Goodman was among the first 12-inch pop LPs on Columbia mid-'50s. Sauter wrote for Woody Herman, Artie Shaw ('The Maid With The Flaccid Air' '45, etc), Tommy Dorsey, then the unusual Ray McKinley band of the late '40s: 'Borderline', 'Pete's Cafe', 'Jiminy Cricket', plus arrangements of 'Soon', 'Stardust', 'Laura' etc. He led a band backing Bailey on Majestic, and formed the Sauter/Finegan Orchestra '52 with ex-Glenn Miller arranger Bill Finegan (see below). His Concerto For Jazz Band And Orchestra was recorded for RCA. Sauter went to work for German radio '57-9, recommended by Joachim Berendt; the town of Donaueschingen had been a centre of contemporary music for decades (except during the Nazi years), and The Historic Donaueschingen Jazz Concert 1957 was released on MPS c'77 (there was also a two-LP Eddie Sauter In Germany c'80). The festival featured the Modern Jazz Quartet, André Hodeir's Jazz Groupe de Paris and the Big Band of Sudwestfunk Baden-Baden led by Sauter, whose 'Kinetic Energy' and 'Tropic Of Kommingen' used an orchestral language that was more advanced than anything else in jazz at the time. The German period was not a happy one; the radio station's bureaucrats and the musicians did not appreciate him until he was gone. He arranged Stan Getz's Focus '61 on Verve with strings, film score Mickey One '65 and Tanglewood Concerto '66 were also with Getz.