You've sold me

by Mark Gabrish Conlan

I just set my computer to play "Barnacle Bill, the Sailor," take 1 of "Deep Down South" and take 2 of "Bessie Couldn't Help It" in that sequence, and you've sold me. I hadn't questioned the Phil Evans-William Dean-Myatt identification of Chauncey Morehouse as the drummer on Bix's last date but had noted he seemed to be playing quite differently than he'd done on his previous records with Bix. Right now it certainly SOUNDS like the same drummer on "Deep Down South" and "Bessie Couldn't Help It," and I applaud Chris Tyle's detailed analysis of the records, including how the same drum patterns and licks appear in both. If Tyle hadn't made his case so meticulously I might have assumed that "Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Album" compiler Warren Scholl might have put Krupa's name on "Bessie Couldn't Help It" because Krupa was a far better known drummer than Morehouse in 1936 (Krupa was attracting attention as the driving force of Benny Goodman's rhythm section and within two years he'd strike on his own), but it makes more sense to conclude that the drummer on "Bessie Coudln't Help It" is Gene Krupa playing in his regular 1930 style than Chauncey Morehouse playing atypically.

Posted on Dec 1, 2017, 11:24 PM

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