Jim Galloway And His Wee Big Band

In 1979, Jim Galloway introduced his 17-piece Wee Big Band as a repertory band specializing in the music of the great bands of the swing era. Today reputed to have the most extensive repertoire of any big band in Canada.

Jim has toured as leader of several groups, carving a niche for himself through his extremely personal tone on saxophone, and his warm lyrical approach to playing. He has also recorded albums in Austria, England, Canada, Holland, South Africa, including ten for Canada’s Sackville label, with Buddy Tate, Jay McShann, Don Thompson, Ed Bichert, Neil Swainson, among others. Galloway has performed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington in 1991 and in 1993, he was the subject of a half hour CBC television profile about his life and music.

Although Jim plays alto, tenor and baritone, his main love is the curved soprano. Regarding his style of playing and his choice of music, he thinks that for a while there seemed to be a whole school of thought that said "if I play recognizable melodies I’m not in the game." Jim thinks this is changing, which is nice and inevitable.

An excellent swing soprano player with a lighter tone than Sidney Bechet, Jim Galloway has made many recordings with like-minded veterans. He played locally in Scotland on clarinet and alto before emigrating to Canada in 1965. He soon began specializing on soprano, led the Metro Stompers (1968), put together the Wee Big Band (1978), and hosted the weekly jazz radio program Toronto Alive! (1981-1987). Galloway, who has appeared at many jazz festivals and jazz parties, has recorded for Sackville, Hep, and Music & Arts along with several smaller Canadian labels with such pianists as Dick Wellstood, Art Hodes, and most often with Jay McShann.

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