Incendiary Abe Lyman

by Brad Kay

HOW CUM NOBODY writes about this record?? Abe Lyman's "Those Longing For You, Blues" (Nordskog 3018) should be, must be, MUCH better known! Especially by now.

It's the very first (Sept. 1922) truly, terrifyingly, satisfying hot record ever made by a white band. It features an uptempo, swinging 4/4 beat all the way through, propulsive riffs, uncompromising solos by Ray Lopez on cornet and Slim Martin on Trombone, a two-cornet break right out of the King Oliver playbook, and an astounding go-to-hell finish with Martin and Lopez taking no prisoners, with Lopez blowing a climactic break that will leave you breathless.

You get the feeling that the Lyman band had worked over this tune for months on the stand before the record was cut. The Coconut Grove must have been wild, especially late at night. This record easily is on a par with "Ory's Creole Trombone," recorded for the same label only three months earlier.

"T.L.F.Y. Blues" was a successful pop tune that had already been covered five or six times on other labels by other bands (e.g., The Benson Orchestra of Chicago did it for Victor). But none of them hint at the hotness of this Abe Lyman. Here is incontestable evidence that all the elements of hot jazz were in place, as early as September, 1922, in exotic Los Angeles.

The transfer you chose, Albert, sounded awful! Here's a slightly better one:

Posted on Jun 16, 2017, 12:41 AM

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