Harry Warren was my great uncle on my father’s side of the family. My great grandparents were Leon Charles Munro and his wife, Mamie (or Mae as my grandfather called her). Mae’s maiden name was Guaragna. Her parents where Antonio and Rachel Deluca Guaragna. They changed their last name to Warren after coming to America. Harry was one of Mae’s brothers. I never got the chance to meet Harry in person but my grandfather often talked about him. I knew I wanted to do a project celebrating his music.
Harry Warren was the first major American song composer to write primarily for film. Every song on this CD is form a movie (except for the two songs I wrote). All of this music (except Nagasaki 1928) is from the 1930’s and 40’s. The songs are arranged in the hot swing style made popular by the great guitarist Django Reinhardt with violinist Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club de Paris. The main body of work from Django Reinhardt is from the same time period. It was an easy marriage of styles taken from the same point in history on two diffeernt continents.
The scope of this project was a bit daunting, it took almost 3 years to refine the concept, pick the songs, write the arrangements and record/film the music. The music was recorded live in four sessions with four different groups. We recorded a lot of songs, of which 16 are presented here.
Master musician and guitar virtuoso Doug Munro is an established veteran of the New York music scene. Since 1987 he has released 14 albums as a leader and has appeared on over 75 recordings as a sideman, producer, and arranger working with a diverse array of artists including Dr. John, Michael Brecker, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Doug has over 75 original published compositions and over 300 recorded arrangements performed by some of the finest players in the world. His current hybrid DVD is a groundbreaking multi media experience called Loop-Mania!
In the performance arena Doug covers a lot of ground. He has released recordings in many jazz styles including: Soul-Jazz, Organ Trio, Latin and Gypsy Jazz.
In the recording field Doug has received two Grammy nominations and two NAIRD awards. Amazon.com picked Boogaloo to Beck , on which Doug performed, arranged, and co-produced, as one of its Top Ten Jazz CD’s of 2003. Doug also did orchestration work on the Oscar winning documentary When We Were Kings.
Doug has written 4 books on jazz improvisation for Alfred Music Publications, including one entitled, From Swing to Bebop, that won the Music and Sound Retailers instructional book of the year award in 2000.
As an educator Doug created and was Director of the Jazz Studies Program at The Conservatory of Music at Purchase College from 1993-2002. He continues to teach there as Director Emeritus. This esteemed jazz program boasts a faculty that includes John Abercrombie, Todd Coolman, Jon Faddis, Eric Alexander, John Riley and many other top jazz performers.
Having worked with a veritable Who’s Who of Jazz and Soul artists Doug has garnered high praise from both his fellow artists and the press.