Some revere him as the "king of Jazz" others formally call him Mr. Whiteman, and his friends simply call him Paul. In 1915 Paul joined the San Francisco Symphony, and during WW1 he was the conductor for an army band. At a ripe age, just pushing 30, Whiteman is in his prime when it comes to writing music and performing it. He is now called by some the "King of Jazz", which is not to far from the truth. Most of us by now have been graced by the sound of his rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue", a song that he performed with George Gershwin. .
Paul will only commission the best musicians of all genres of music and all different instruments. He himself plays the Viola and Violin. The "King" while paying top salaries only allowed some improvisation from his band, he encourages them to record jam sessions on the side as well though. Some of you who have heard of a new up and coming star by the name of Bing Crosby might not have known that he got his start with Whiteman and his orchestra.
His highness claims that he is "making a lady out of jazz" and he isn't much into the popular improvisation of jazz. Whiteman says, "sure some improve is great in certain parts of song and more elaborate ones that need a break here and there, but he says that when a whole song is put together on the fly that it sounds sloppy and uncouth. .
For starting out as a musician in a California symphony, then going on to be conductor of an army band in WW1, now conducting his own band and orchestra and making records that will be remembered for all time, going down in the history books for this decade's greatest jazz musician I"m sure is Paul Whiteman. His music will continue to delight us and entertain us for some time. .