Composed for string orchestra, Jazz Pizzicato was completed as a work for String Orchestra in May of 1938. It is 1 minute and 45 seconds long. It was first performed on May 23, 1938 as an extra at the Boston Pops, with the composer conducting. It was orchestrated for full orchestra by the composer in 1948. Jazz Pizzicato was first recorded June 29, 1939 by Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. It was first recorded by the composer in September 9, 1950 in analog monaural sound. It was re-recorded by the composer in analog stereo on June 11, 1959.
"While taking graduate courses in German and the Scandinavian languages preparatory to a career teaching languages, I was play in and conducting orchestras part time in and around Boston. One Spring after a performance of the Hasty Pudding Show (note: musicals put on by the Hasty Pudding Club of Harvard) which I had conducted Mr. George Judd, the manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, came up to speak to me. He said he had heard my arrangements played by the Harvard Band at the Stadium football games and asked me to make a symphonic setting of Harvard songs for the 25th reunion of his class and to conduct the number at the class' special night at the Pops. Thus I met Mr. Fiedler, who conducted the concert except for the "Harvard Fantasy", to which he listened offstage. After the concert I went to the librarian's office and found Mr. Fiedler examining my score intently. 'This is very good', he said. 'I'm glad to find someone who has ideas and knows how to orchestrate'. Then he urged me to write more for the Pops concerts, especially original compositions, and promised to perform my music if he thought it suitable."
"I did this piece (i.e. "Harvard Fantasy") and Arthur Fiedler took a look at it backstage and said, 'Anderson! You orchestrate well!' I didn't know if he was accusing me of something or what; that was his blunt, direct manner. But then he said., 'How about doing something for us?' A year or so later, I came back to conduct again, (note: Hasty Pudding Show arrangements) and brought a little piece called 'Jazz Pizzicato' to do as an encore. Fiedler liked it enough to play it for two years - and that's how I got started."
"The next thing I knew through Fiedler's efforts a publisher in New York wanted to see me. And in 1939 'Pizzicato' was published, my first piece."