Band Leaders and their orchestras

There as been a discussion with a new editor on crediting band leaders and conductors after the implementation of Artist Credits. Right now we have e.g. three artists for Paul Mauriat:
– Paul Mauriat
– Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra
– Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat
Other similar examples are Alain Goraguer, James Last, Glenn Miller, Ray Conniff, Mantovani, Bert Kaempfert, Henry Mancini and many more.

For Jazz Artists like Stan Getz or Louis Armstrong we have about a dozen different entries, including „Stan Getz Orchestra“ and „Stan Getz and Orchestra“

In several cases we also find releases/tracks under the bandleader, credited to „ and His Orchestra“

I think we could use some guidelines on how to treat such cases:

– can/should Artists credited as „Name+Orchestra“ or „Name+His Orchestra“ or „TheBand of+Name“ be merged? (using Artist Credits)
– how should we treat „Alain Goraguer Trio“ or „Stan Getz Quartet“?
– what about „Stan Getz All Stars“ or „Stan Getz Boppers“ or „Louis Armstrong and His Friends“
– can/should the bandleader also be credited as conductor?
Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions

see also: Best practice for the artist name pattern "artist and his band"


I don’t see this as any different from any other group with an artist’s name attached, e.g. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts or the Pat Travers Band. In my experience we don’t split those, as the rest of the band is not a standalone unit.


But at least in some cases, such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the orchestra itself continued to use the name after the death of the bandleader. Is that a separate artist?


@HibiscusKazeneko: It’s not about splitting. Exactly because the “rest of the band is not a standalone unit”. It’s about the question whether artist + orchestra should be merged into artist. Speaking of “other groups with an artist name attached”: why would we want to keep separate entries for Buddy Holly & The Three Tunes and Buddy Holly & The Fireballs instead of merging them into Buddy Holly and use Artist Credits?
@Psychoadept: This is an edge case: AFAIK the Glenn Miller Orchestra is the only orchestra that continued under the name of the leader long after his death: right now we store them as two separate artists: Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (use only for releases Glenn Miller performed with) and Glenn Miller Orchestra for the various incarnations of this orchestra after Glenn Miller’s death.

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By doing this merge, the band members would all be mixed up together, it would not be convenient at all, IMO.

@jesus2099: This is certainly true for small group like trios or quartets and probably for even bigger entities in Jazz. But is this really relevant for big “easy listening” orchestras, and if so, is the information available anywhere?

I don’t really know bands with uncredited members so I cannot speak for those. :thinking:

For me i think that in your example:

  • “Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra” should be a single group artist related to main artist “Paul Mauriat”.
  • “Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat” can be an aliases of “Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra” or a separated group depending of the purpose of this name.

I think it’s not different from any group of music. “Queen” might have been called “Freddie Mercury and his band”, for me this is the same.

Nevertheless, I just think that musicbrainz should show by default in the discography of an artist all entries related to the groups he is marked as members.


One of the problems of Paul Mauriat is the way he is pretty often credited on releases: Le Grand Orchestre de in very small letters, Paul Mauriat in very big letters (just one example here:

As a result we get inconsistencies in the way editors interpret what the release artist is: many of them have chosen what seemed to be the brand, that is Paul Mauriat (using – sometimes – “credited as: Le Grand Orchestre…”). Being a Bandleader, actually all releases we have by him are with some (mostly his) Orchestra.

Of the many vinyl albums releases that were just titled “Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat”, with a volume number: two can be found under Paul Mauriat, for volume two the release group is credited to “Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat”, while the release in this release group gives credit to just Paul Mauriat" which seems kind of absurd. Release “A Grande Orquestra de Paul Mauriat, Volume 2” by Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat - MusicBrainz

Same inconsistencies, by the way, on Discogs, where most releases named “Le Grand Orchestre…” are stored under Paul Mauriat and not under Le Grand Orchestre…

Whatever the outcome of the discussion here, I’m strongly in favor of the above suggestion by SaiyanRiku, which should maybe be discussed in a separate thread.

If it’s not a short-term collaboration, ‘Leader Name and a Band’ is still one group, no different than ‘Just a Band’. And in some cases, the only person who gets to decide if it’s the same band is the bandleader, regardless of whether their name is in front of the band. Billy Corgan can grab four random musicians, and if he says it’s the Smashing Pumpkins, we do too. Molly Hatchet’s first and tenth albums have no common bandmembers, but they’re both still Molly Hatchet albums. For major orchestras, the band members are basically irrelevant.

Jazz ensembles are basically the same, even if they’re led by and named after a bandleader. Whoever Dizzy Gillespie put in a room when the tape started or the curtain was drawn was his band. If there were four people on stage, it was the Dizzy Gillespie Quartet. If there were seven, it was the Dizzy Gillespie Septet. When the person counting ran out of fingers, it was the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band; if he ran out of toes it was His Orchestra. Occasionally Gillespie or somebody at the record company would drop in the phrase “All Star” for some reason.

Years later people making compilation albums would use whatever they wanted. Nobody could keep track of how many different releases of the same sessions or concerts were made, let alone what exact phrasing was used at the time. Music DB sites like ours or Discogs want to error on the side of caution, so we just make new profiles and pretend we’ll sort it out later.

I’d suggest this for jazz or big band or easy listening bandleader, just using Gillespie as an example: keep a solo profile for Gillespie as a person. File any solo releases under that and use it for any place he’s credited as a guest with another ensemble, relationships, composition credits, etc., same as we do now. Then take any artist pages that are “Dizzy Gillespie [band]” and merge them into a single artist, keeping the existing artist credits, or updating them to match what’s on each release. Gillespie would still be a member of this band – probably the only continuous member, so these would still use one artist credit: [“Dizzy Gillespie bands” as “Dizzy Gillespie’s All-Star Debacle”], not [“Dizzy Gillespie”]'s [“Dizzy Gillespie bands” as “All-Star Debacle”].

The only exception would be if the bandleader treats a specific lineup and band name as a special group. If the group lasts a long time with the same core members, the bandleader uses a different band name if it’s not that group, and/or if it’s a specific kind of music that’s a departure from his than his other groups, then an argument could be made that that’s a distinct artist based on AI.


Related discussion here:

Where the majority on here, at this stage, don’t agree with taking this approach as default in all cases.

That would basically be my approach, too. Not quite certain for jazz, where trios, quartetts, quitetts and even bands are more often a specific project that probably can’t and shouldn’t be merged into just one “orchestra”, but certainly for the Easy Listening Band Leaders like James Last, Mantovani, Caravelli or Paul Mauriat.

It has been done this way, for years, for a revival band of the dance music of the thirties, with an annotation Palast Orchester mit seinem Sänger Max Raabe - MusicBrainz

I’m proceeding this way right now for Teddy Stauffer Search results - MusicBrainz , merging the 4 existing group entities into one (using Artist Credits, based on Teddy Stauffer/Diskografie – Wikipedia) and moving the (orchestra) releases stored under the person Teddy Stauffer to the group. I will probably add a similar annotation as above.

Same procedure to be done for James Last where most of the releases should probably be moved from the “person” to the “person+orchestra”

What we really need is a way to have search results presented like they are on the individual artist page. For example, allow a user to do an advanced query search for RGs where artist:“Dizzy Gillespie” and have the results arranged into album, single, etc. like the standard discography section. Then then next step would be allow users to include members of bands as part of the query.

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I (finally, after thinking about it for years) made a ticket to add an “eponymous” flag to the “member of” relationship.

I think this is a quick/easy way to identify bands that should (arguably, optionally) appear in a person-artist’s discography.


Note that if we would use Artist Credits for those, the cases would be solved by themselves. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Those appear in linked artist discographies:

How would e.g. Simon & Garfunkel be represented?

I know it’s not liked but, simply: Simon & Garfunkel. ;-p
If we want their records to appear on both sides.
But I know we are not many to like extreme AC.

Or just Simon & Garfunkel, if it’s the same case as Zappa Plays Zappa.

If we used ACs, the artist’s page would still only show solo releases and release from eponymous bands. It wouldn’t show bands he/she was a member of that didn’t bear their name.

If we split Simon & Garfunkel into separate artists, “Simon & Garfunkel” in an artist search won’t find them. There’s also the problem of having to link to every other DB that considers S&G a unit on both pages.

Exactly, artist pages show release where the AC mentions them, that’s the aim of AC.

That seems like a really arbitrary thing to want. I’d rather see just the artist’s solo work or everything from any band he’s been in. Having a list that show, for example, Robert Fripp, Fripp & Eno, and Giles, Giles & Fripp but leaves out King Crimson and the League of Gentlemen doesn’t seem particularly useful.