Tony Newstead's "Singin' the Blues"

by David Tenner

I'm always on the lookout for versions I haven't heard before. This one was recorded in Melbourne in 1949: gives the following personnel:

Tony Newstead's South Side Gang Singin' The Blues
Bass [String Bass] – Ray Simpson (5)
Clarinet – George Tack
Piano – Keith Cox (3)
Trombone – Ken Ingram
Trumpet – Tony Newstead

Newstead was part of the quite lively traditional-jazz scene in post-World-War-Two Australia. (Pianist Graeme Bell and his trumpet-playing brother led the band that was perhaps best-known outside Australia.) In this recording, Newstead stays fairly close to Bix's solo but George Tack's clarinet solo doesn't sound like an imitation of anyone.

Decades later, Newstead did an album (which I have not heard) with Bill Rank called "Bix's Gang Lives." The personnel for that were listed as Bill Rank, trombone ; Tony Newstead, cornet ; Max Kaminsky, trumpet ; Tom Gwaltney, clarinet ; Spencer Clark, bass saxophone ; John Eaton, piano ; Gene Mayl, bass ; Skip Tomlinson, drums ; Johnson "Fat Cat" McRee, vocals.

Posted on Oct 27, 2017, 11:10 AM

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