Henderson, Fletcher(redirected from James Fletcher Henderson)
Henderson, Fletcher(James Fletcher "Smack" Henderson), 1898–1952, American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist, b. Cuthbert, Ga. Henderson played piano from childhood. Short of funds after coming to New York City in 1920 to study graduate chemistry, he took a job with W. C. Handy's music company. During the 1920s and 30s, Henderson led superbly dynamic jazz orchestras. The hallmarks of his arrangements include two- and four-bar repetitions, bursting section choruses, and solo showcasing. He is considered the creator of "swing" and influenced many musicians, notably Benny GoodmanGoodman, Benny
(Benjamin David Goodman), 1909–86, American clarinetist, composer, and band leader, b. Chicago. Goodman studied clarinet at Hull House. In Chicago he had the opportunity to hear (and eventually to play beside) some of the outstanding jazz musicians of the
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Henderson, (James) Fletcher(1897–1952) jazz musician; born in Cuthbert, Ga. He was a pianist and a pioneer of big band jazz, leading his own orchestra between 1924–37 and intermittently thereafter. His bands featured many of the early stars of jazz, including Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins, and his style served as a prototype for the Swing Era. Between 1937–39, he worked as an important arranger for Benny Goodman.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.