There’s a moment on Tommy Dorsey’s RCA Victor recording of “Marie” when time seems to stand still. It’s when trumpeter Bunny Berigan steps forward to the solo microphone after Jack Leonard’s vocal and creates one of the memorable moments of the swing era. It’s a solo of such symmetry, lyricism and logic that Dorsey later had it arranged for the whole trumpet section, making it stand out in almost luminous brilliance. Yet until Robert Dupuis’ biography little was known of this apparently charming man who treated his huge gift so lightly that he was dead through drink by the age of 33.
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