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Spud Murphy

Spud Murphy had a long career in music, being important to jazz in two very different periods. He studied clarinet and trumpet (the latter with Red Nichols' father). He played with Jimmy Joy (1927-28), Ross Gorman and in 1928 recorded on oboe with Slim Lamar in 1928. Always more important as a composer-arranger than as an instrumentalist, Murphy contributed arrangements during the 1930-34 period to the bands of Austin Wylie, Jan Garber, Mal Hallett and Joe Haymes among others. He was a major staff arranger for Benny Goodman during 1935-37 and also wrote charts for the Casa Loma Orchestra. Murphy led his own big band during the 1937-40 period, recording 14 selections for Decca and Bluebird in 1938-39. Spud Murphy settled in Los Angeles in the 1940's, wrote for the studios and developed an influential 12-tone system. Although primarily involved with classical music and movie work from the mid-1940's on, Murphy did record two adventurous jazz sets (for GNP/Crescendo in 1955-57 and Gone With The Woodwinds for Contemporary in 1955) that displayed his 12-tone ideas with top West Coast jazz musicians. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: An Anthology Of Big Band Swing (1930-1955)

Disc 1

1. Rockin' In Rhythm

2. House Of David Blues

3. Saratoga Drag

4. Savage Rhythm

5. Chant Of The Weed

6. St. Louis Blues

8. Down South Camp Meeting

9. Avalon

11. The Darktown Strutter's Ball

12. Polka Dot Rag

13. Stompin' At The Savoy

14. Peg O' My Heart

15. One O'Clock Jump

16. Casa Loma Stomp

17. South Rampart Street Parade

18. Liza

19. Dunkin' A Doughnut

20. You Rascal, You

Disc 2

1. Panassie Stomp

3. Jamaica Jam

4. Okay For Baby

5. Blues In The Groove

6. Murderistic

7. Swingmatism

8. Savoy

9. Blue River

10. Chicago

11. Fish Market

12. Gambler's Blues

13. I've Got You Under My Skin

14. Skyliner

15. Million Dollar Smile

16. Midriff

17. Bear Mash Blues

18. The Continental

19. The Blue Room

20. One O'Clock Jump

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