Gene Puerling

Gene Puerling, the leader and primary arranger for the Hi-Los, died March 25 in the San Francisco Bay area, where he had lived for decades. In his writing for the group, Puerling crafted complex arrangement that took them beyond anything previously heard from vocal quartets in American popular music. He formed the Hi-Lo's in 1953. Their source material came from the classic era of great American song writing, their harmonic inspiration from the riches of bebop, the perfection of their … [Read more...]

Medium But Well Done, Part 2

The charms and opportunities in bands of six to eleven pieces attracted jazz composers and arrangers eight decades ago, as they do to this day. For an overview and links to recordings of early mid-sized groups, go to the first installment of Medium But Well Done. Separated by the width of the United States, in the second half of the 1940s two medium-sized bands working with different inspirations and source materials arrived at strikingly similar results. In New York, Miles Davis became the … [Read more...]