Maurice "mo" Purtill
Maurice "Mo" Purtill became famous as the drummer with the Glenn Miller band, during the height of its fame from 1940 until 1942. In 1937 and 1938 he worked with Red Norvo's band, being part of a nucleus of intelligent musicians like clarinetist Hank D'Amico, tenorist Herbie Haymer, trumpeter Stew Fletcher and above all arranger Eddie Sauter. Mo's deft stick and brush work on "Jivin' The Jeep", an Eddie Sauter arrangement from March 1937, gives Norvo's subtle band just the right lift on this serious swinger. Mo Purtill worked with Kay Kyser after the break-up of the Glenn Miller band and worked for a while with the Glenn Miller memorial hand led by Tex Beneke, after which he freelanced in New York.
Lengthy drum solos hardly existed before 1937. Occasionally drummers took short solo breaks to display their technical ability, although the resnlts often lacked in musical substance. All this changed when Gene Knipa recorded "Sing, Sing, Sing", with The Benny Geodman Band on July 6, 1937. Krupa combined technique with musicianship in this six minute opus, on which he mostly plays floor tom-tom. "Sing, Sing, Sing", became one of the most popular recordings of the swing era; Gene Krupa singlehandedly advanced the role of the drummer and put it on even level with front line