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Bernie Privin
Bernie Privin
October 8, 1999
Age 80 
 Colon Cancer
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Bernie Privin Dies
[Quelle / source: The Independent]

                  Bernie Privin had to thank Glenn Miller for giving him the last 55 years of his life. As a trumpeter in Miller's Army Air Force (AAF) band he had sailed on the Queen Elizabeth for Europe on 28 June 1944. The band docked on the Clyde and Miller  escorted his men to London by train. As they came out of Euston Station a V1 bomb landed nearby. Army trucks took Miller's men, suddenly aware of the business end of the war, to their billets at 25 Sloane Street. The house had been booked  in advance before the V1 raids had begun. Miller immediately made arrangements for the musicians to be housed out of town in Bedford. The morning after the band left a V1 landed on 25 Sloane Street, killing 25 US military policemen and 70 civilians in the area. 

                  Miller had always been a strict disciplinarian, and when his band became a military organization, Privin in particular resented  what he saw as discipline for its own sake. Pianist Mel Powell and clarinetist Peanuts Hucko joined him as a rebel. Privin was particularly annoyed when Miller, with no explanation, ordered anyone in the band with a moustache to shave it off.   Some of them had spent years growing their adornments, and in Privin's case the moustache helped to cushion his trumpet on his lip when he played. The only explanation that Miller ever gave was that the moustaches made the men look like gangsters.  Privin was a remarkable soloist whose playing very much inspired the musicians around him, and he was one of the most featured sidemen of the Swing Era, playing in more 'name' bands than anyone else. Apart from his solo work, he was a remarkable lead player. 

                  A self-taught musician, he was one of ten children, and learnt to play the mellophone in an orphans' home where he lived for eight years. He first heard Louis Armstrong when he was 13 and remained a devoted disciple for the rest of his life. The two men later became friends. 

                  In 1937 Privin worked in the bands of Bunny Berigan and Tommy Dorsey, but it was when he joined Artie Shaw's band in 1938 that he really came to prominence. Shaw featured him as one of the main soloists, and it is probably no coincidence that some of Shaw's best clarinet solos were recorded when Privin was at his side. When Shaw broke up his band, Privin joined Benny Goodman for the first time in 1941. He left the next year to play lead trumpet in Charlie Barnet's group, where Bob Burnett was the established trumpet soloist. He was called up and worked as trumpet soloist with Glenn Miller's AAF band  from 1943 until he left after the war ended in 1946. 

                  Miller's huge orchestra had been based in England for some months and had broadcast from the BBC. Miller flew to France ahead of his musicians and the aircraft in which he was crossing the Channel disappeared on 15 December 1944. But the band played on, and in Paris the next month Privin and his friends clarinettist Peanuts Hucko and pianist Mel Powell recorded some outstanding small group sides with the guitarist Django Reinhardt. Meanwhile Lieutenant Don Haynes took Miller's place.   One of his first actions was to demote Privin, Hucko and Powell from sergeants to privates. This reduced their wages drastically, and they gladly played on illicit French recordings for $40 a session. Released from the service, Privin returned to  Benny Goodman's band for two years and then came off the road to settle in New York as a studio musician, working for  two years with Perry Como at NBC before settling into the  CBS staff band for the rest of his career. He continued to play jazz whenever he could and worked with Sy Oliver's band from 1949 to 1951. In 1952 he soloed on Charlie Parker's recording of 'Temptation' and in 1954 made his first album under his own name with a quintet featuring the tenor saxophonist Al Cohn.   He was the trumpet soloist the following year on an album by guitarist Al Caiola. He also recorded with Artie Shaw again and with Woody Herman during this period. 

                  He filled his leave times from the studios with jazz work and became very popular in Scandinavia visiting there several times and making his second album there in 1969. 

                  In 1974 Privin returned to Britain during a European tour by the Kings of Jazz, an all star band that included fellow trumpeter  Pee Wee Irwin and clarinettist Johnny Mince. During the tour Privin had a notable Armstrong-inspired feature on 'Someday  You'll Be Sorry'. He deputised for a while for Billy Butterfield in The World's Greatest Jazz Band, but because of his studio contract with CBS he was not able to stay with the band. However he did manage to tour Europe that year with the 'ghost' Tommy Dorsey band (Dorsey had died in 1956) and in 1975 visited Russia that year with the remarkably successful New York Jazz Repertory Company where he interpreted Armstrong's music along with the ex-Count Basie trumpeter Joe Newman. 

                  Privin continued his work in the studios and to play the fiery jazz for which he had become known until he contracted Parkinson's disease some years ago. Although his speech was severely impaired, he continued to practice the trumpet until recently.  Famous for his acid wit, he never lost his sense of humour. He was honoured a few years ago by the cream of the players at New York's Brass Conference, when each of the players took turns to play for him. 

                  When he rose to speak after the music had finished he eyed them all balefully. He spoke with difficulty. 'Is that your best?' he said   Bernard Privin, trumpeter, born New York 12 February 1919, died New York 9 October 1999. 

Steve Voce

 
NY TIMES
        
 Bernie Privin, 80, Big-Band Trumpeter

               Bernie Privin, a big-band trumpeter who performed and recorded with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Louis Armstrong and others, died on Oct. 8 in White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y.  

          He was 80 and lived in Hartsdale.  

          The cause was colon cancer, said Elwyn Walshe, a friend.  

          Privin bought a trumpet the day after hearing Louis Armstrong at the Apollo Theater when he was 13. He taught himself how to play, and six years later he joined the Tommy Dorsey orchestra, replacing Charlie Spivak.  

          In 1938 he joined the Artie Shaw orchestra at the peak of its popularity and was the soloist on "Traffic Jam," among other compositions. In the early 40's he spent two years working with Benny Goodman.  

          He spent his military service as trumpet soloist in Glenn Miller's Army Air   Force Band, and after being discharged he returned to Goodman's band;   late in the 40's he was hired by the CBS Staff Orchestra, a job he kept  for 25 years, playing behind such shows as Ed Sullivan's and Jackie Gleason's.  

          He is survived by his wife, Ethel; two daughters, Beth Ochs of Riverside,  Calif., and Amy Privin Schwartz, of Gilbert, Ariz.; three grandchildren,  and nine sisters and brothers.  

 
 

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All-Music Guide
 
Born: Feb 12, 1919
    
 A technically skilled trumpeter and an underrated trumpeter, Bernie Privin spent most of his career working in the studios, emphasizing his skills as a lead and section trumpeter. Self-taught, Privin was still a teenager when he played in the bands of Harry Reser (1937), Bunny Berigan and Tommy Dorsey (1938). He gained some recognition for his work with the orchestras of Artie Shaw (1938-39), Benny Goodman (1941-42) and Charlie Barnet (1940-41 and 1943). While in the military, Privin was an important part of the Glenn Miller Army Air Force band. After a second stint with Benny Goodman (for whom he would rejoin several times in later years for tours), Privin became a staff musician at CBS in 1950 and he worked steadily in the studios for the next three decades. The trumpeter recorded prominently with Al Caiola (1955), toured with the Tommy Dorsey ghost band and worked with the New York Jazz Repertory Company in the mid-1970's. He only led two albums in his career, a set for Regent in 1956 and a very obscure date for HMT in Sweden in 1969. -- Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide
 

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