The Quintette represented Scott’s attempt to revitalize swing music through tight, busy arrangements and reduced reliance on improvisation. He called this musical style “descriptive jazz,” and gave his works unusual titles like “New Year’s Eve in a Haunted House,” “Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals,” and “Bumpy Weather Over Newark.” While popular with the public, jazz critics disdained it as novelty music.
Although Scott rigidly controlled the band’s repertoire and style, he rarely took piano solos, preferring to direct the band from the piano and leaving solos to his sidemen. He also had a penchant for adapting classical motifs in his compositions; he was criticized by some serious music authorities who dismissed such practices as “trivializing the classics.” The public, who bought his records by the millions, loved the clever arrangements.
The Quintette existed from 1937 to 1939, and racked up numerous big-selling hits. One of Scott’s best-known compositions was “The Toy Trumpet,” a cheerful tune that is instantly recognizable to many people.
|Powerhouse||Raymond Scott Quintette||1937|
|The Tobacco Auctioneer||Raymond Scott Quintette||1937|
|In an 18th Century Drawing Room||Raymond Scott Quintette||1937|
|The Quintette Plays Carmen||Raymond Scott Quintette||1939|
|The Penguin||Raymond Scott Quintette||1937|
|The Toy Trumpet||Raymond Scott Quintette||1937|
|War Dance for Wooden Indians||Raymond Scott Quintette||1939|