Jean Pierre Lion in his Bix biography.
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"And Bix became famous. He was hired by Jean Goldkette, then by Paul Whiteman. He took part in a huge number of recordings, and was soon compared with Red Nichols, who, until that time, was considered to be the best white cornetist.
Such comparison was a joke. It was like drawing a parallel between a skillful writer of verse and a poet of genius. One phrase played by Bix on cornet is enough to put all of Red Nichols choruses in the shade. The former was making hot jazz in a natural way, something the latter was desperately trying to give the illusion of. Red Nichols would actually soon copy Bixs playing as much as he could but with no better results."
Sure, Red was not at the level of Bix, but he was a very competent cornetist, an important figure in the history of jazz, and certainly not "a joke." He was influenced by Bix, but since when is that a sin?