Eddie Sauter

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Eddie Sauter
Ralph Burns, Edwin A. Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947 (Gottlieb 856).jpg
Clockwise from left: Eddie Sauter, Edwin Finckel, George Handy, Johnny Richards, Neal Hefti, and Ralph Burns at the Museum of Modern Art, New York c. 1947[1]
Born (1914-12-02)December 2, 1914
Died April 21, 1981(1981-04-21) (aged 66)
New York City
Nationality American

Edward Ernest Sauter (December 2, 1914 in Brooklyn – April 21, 1981 in New York City) was a composer and jazz arranger who achieved renown among musicians during the swing era.


Sauter studied music at Columbia University and the Juilliard School. He began as a drummer and then played trumpet professionally, most notably with Red Norvo's orchestra. Eventually he became a full-time arranger for Norvo. He went on to arrange and compose for Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, and especially Benny Goodman, earning a reputation for intricate, complex, and carefully crafted works such as "Benny Rides Again," "Moonlight on the Ganges," and "Clarinet a la King".

From 1952 to 1958 Sauter was co-leader of the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. Between 1957 and 1959 he was Kurt Edelhagen's successor as leader of the SWF orchestra in Baden-Baden, Germany. In 1961, he worked with tenor saxophonist Stan Getz on Focus, a unique collaboration for which Sauter---at Getz's commission---wrote a suite of string compositions (Roy Haynes, the jazz drummer, appeared on "I'm Late, I'm Late," the only selection to feature a non-string instrument other than Getz) without primary melodies, the idea being for Getz to improvise them in his customary lyric style.

Sauter and Getz collaborated again during Sauter's work composing the score for the 1965 film Mickey One, which starred Warren Beatty. His television composing includes the third season theme to Rod Serling's Night Gallery. In 2003 he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Although Sauter is best known for his jazz music, he also orchestrated a number of Broadway musicals, most notably 1776, but also including The Apple Tree and It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman.[2] His composition "World Without Time" is used as the theme music for the public affairs show The Open Mind, which was originally hosted by his fellow Columbia College alumnus Richard Heffner.


Sauter died of a heart attack in New York City April 21, 1981.[3]

Selected discography[edit]

External links[edit]