The Bixography Discussion Group
A vehicle for Bixophiles and other interested individuals to ask questions, make comments and exchange information about Bix Beiderbecke and related subjects.
Any views expressed in the Bixography Forum represent solely the opinions of those expressing them and are not necessarily endorsed or opposed by Albert Haim unless he has signed the message.
I started archiving some of the threads that have been inactive for some time.
The archived threads can be found at http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/archivesforum.htm
I started archiving some of the threads that have been inactive for some time. The archived threads can be found at http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/archivesforum.htm
Thanks for posting it here.
I think I have a decent understanding of how records were made both in the acoustic period and early electric period but I have not been able to find information about how "test pressings" were produced. Were they actually made from the matrix/master/metal stamper process used for all records but with only a handful produced or was there a more direct way of making a shellac disk immediately after recording? The latter would involve a different cutting machine separate from the one cutting the wax which would be used to make a master, one which would produce a playable disk immediately like the ones eventually common later in the 30s and were not really pressed? I have read several accounts of people (including Bix) leaving a recording session with a test pressing. If anyone could direct me to a publication or other source in which I could learn the process for making test pressings in late 1926 -1930 I would be extremely grateful.
In 1930 and long before, test pressings were made the same way as ordinary issued records: The wax was rushed to the factory, metal parts were made, and a few copies, with white labels, were punched out on the press. These discs usually were oversized (11" for a 10" master) and one-sided. They were sent around to the various departments of the company to check for possible problems with the recording, the pressing or the performance. When everyone signed off on that test, it was "passed" for issue.
N.b., I have just such a pressing from Aeolian Vocalion, (a 1923 Ben Selvin item), eleven inches wide, with a dangerously rough outer edge, on their trademark brick-colored shellac, with a beige label. The signatures of three Vocalion department heads fill blanks to "OK" each step of the vetting process.
At that time, there was absolutely no way a delicate wax master could be played back without ruining it. You HAD to wait a day or two for the processing. The protocol for handling those waxes must have been very strict. They had to be kept away from heat, and immaculately free from dust and fingerprints. There must have been some kind of "white room" at the big companies where this very exacting step was taken. I can't imagine how Victor, OKeh, et cetera, managed this on field trips, when the waxes were shipped thousands of miles to the home factory, but somehow they had it down to a science.
Norman field also has an excellent description of the process, including a "flow chart", of the steps involved between wax blank and pressed disc:
"Instantaneous" discs, the ones playable immediately without processing, were available by the later 1920s, but primarily for radio transcriptions and amateur recordings (starting in 1930, some of the more expensive Victor radio-phonographs had cutting heads designed to be used with the company's recording blanks).
Presto's lacquer-coated aluminum discs, introduced in 1934, were the first professional-quality instantaneous disc recording medium. By the late 1930s, some recording firms were using them instead of wax blanks.
Many thanks, Brad, Albert and Harold. This is exactly the information I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time to dig out so much about a process I have always wanted to know more about. The piece about the record companys decision and practice of dumping some of these treasures from their vaults is fascinating. The stories then about people leaving a recording session in the late 20s with a test pressing only to have someone sit on it on the way home must have been a reference to an awfully long day at the studio or to a test pressing from an earlier recording session. Terrific stuff!
... welcoming Bix's piano to Davenport.
The piano is in the Adler Theatre. Gerri coordinated the whole affair, people in the Adler, a piano expert who already tuned the piano, a local pianist who tried it by playing Bix's "Flashes" and the local press to provide an account of this historical event.
Thanks to Gerri and all the Davenportians who were involved in the event. I can't wait to see the piano and give my lecture. I'll be in Davenport in nine days, if everything works out as scheduled.
Unfortunately, when we came back from New York City last Friday after spending two days celebrating my younger son's 50th birthday (he came especially from Georgia with wife an children), when we arrived home, my wife tripped, fell and broke her arm. She has been in the Stony Brook hospital waiting for surgery. The celebration was such a nice affair -there were friends from high school, college, graduate school, his various positions in New York City, California and Georgia, and it ended up in an unfortunate manner. Of course, we will do our best to go to Davenport, and I am pretty sure I will, but I am not so sure that my wife will be able to make it.
I'll keep you posted.
Love the story, love the pictures and love your comments, Albert!! This is all SO exciting!!!!!!
Thank You Albert, for giving a day I will always remember. The only thing missing was Rich Johnson.
I will take my antique piano stool down to the Adler on Thursday, so it really looks like 1930.
Hope all ok well, this Friday.
--and hope she has a quick recovery -- it would be too bad to miss the Bix Fest.
Surgery is on Friday, the festival begins on Thursday, Aug 1.Very tight. We shall see.
He is the best orthopedic surgeon in Stony Brook. My wife is not so enthusiastic. Lots of pain and unable to travel on Thursday. Still in the hospital. I will be going by myself. First time I go without her since 1999 or 2000, and we have not missed one festival since then. The only reason I am not cancelling is the important unveiling of Bix' piano and my scheduled seminar. Otherwise, I would stay by her side.
We have been friends since 1949 and a married couple since 1955! This is what we looked like in 1955 in Los Angeles. She has not changed much. I have aged considerably and people who knew me as a young man would not recognize me now, but mind and body are in excellent condition.
Lovely photo, The best to you always
What a handsome couple! I'm so sorry your wife has to miss the Bix Festival.
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Concert
Saturday, August 3, 2013 12:30 pm -
Add to Calendar
4610 Queens Blvd
New York, NY 11104
Rob M. See all of Rob M.'s events »
The Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Committee, Sunnyside Shines BID and Community Board 2 invite all to an afternoon of music celebrating the short-but-prolific life of jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke, who lived nearby.
Performers include The Sunnyside Wolverines (Linda Ipanema, vocals; David Shenton, piano and violin; Jordan Sandke, trumpet; Carol Sudhalter, sax; Herb Gardner, trombone; Mark Wade, bass; and Paul Maringeli, drums and washboard), the Sunnyside Drum Corps, Svetlana & the Delcancey Five and Antique Phonograph DJ Michael Cumella, Smidge Malone & Matt Dallow.
Beiderbecke died at age 28 on Aug. 6, 1931, on 46th Street (Bliss St.) in Sunnyside.
Most recently we were told that Sofia's Restaurant will be closing. Our last night will be Tuesday, August 13th, 2013. Sofia's has lost their lease after 37 years and the Hotel Edison has other plans for our space. We feel fortunate that Vince Giordano and the Nighthawkshave had a home for over 5 years playing music from the 1920's and '30s on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. We know, in this day and age that this is indeed rare.
As a band leader, I have had the opportunity to experience a truly world-class band. Playing together frequently has refined each Nighthawk and their talents. This has led to a cohesive unit beyond my imagination. We have actually won a Grammy for our work on HBOs Boardwalk Empire and have played for Queens and Presidents and dancers and all of you!
I personally want to thank the staff and every musician and most of all the audience that has filled Sofia's these past 5 years.
We thank you for your unwavering devotion and hope to see you from the bandstand some day soon! We are ferociously looking for a new home. If you know of a restaurant that would be open to having us on a regular basis, please call me!!!
And most of all, keep supporting live music ~
watch the video there is also a recording studio up stairs.http://www.neirstavern.com
I am in New York City. Hot like h....
Back this evening.
Albert, I saw on the TV news it's going up to 100 degrees there -- please be careful. The horrid heat has a way of sneaking up in affecting people.
Pittsburgh's a nightmare too, going up to the high 90's today and as sultry as the equator here. Supposed to have storms here and "back home in Cleveland" over the weekend but I hope desperately the power does not go out -- it's like a hot mush of jungle.
If I go outside and stand on the sidewalk for more than 5 minutes, I'll probably melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. . . .
You can't be in the Big Apple and avoid walking. But we were careful and came back to the slightly less oppressively heat of Stony Brook safe and sound.
Imagine Bixie in this heat, living (suffering) in Queens, with no air conditioning.
The crude methods resorted to for air conditioning. The story goes that Bix wrapped himself in sheets he'd soaked in the bathtub and then turned a fan on himself, hence leading to the pneumonia which killed him.
(Physicians always argue that "getting cold and wet" is NOT what causes deathly illness, with which I agree, but if one is already sick with a cold virus, being out in nasty weather or any kind of soggy exposure sure doesn't help -- I can attest to that from a roaring case of bronchitis I got when I was 25, when a strong cold I caught around Halloween manifested itself into my being really, really sick, having to attend classes at Cleveland State University plus work my job at a clothing store, both downtown -- much time spent standing around outside waiting for busses during all of November 1985, when it was around 40 degrees and a very chilly, penetrating, constant rain almost every day. How I kept from pneumonia or out of the hospital I don't know, and neither did the doctor when she finally saw me and said that was a wallopping case of bronchitis I had.)
Argue what people will, at least air conditioning can be turned down and adjusted to be comfortable. And whatever fans were blowing and sheets were soaked, New York's 90 degrees in early August 1931 could not have possibly done any good for anyone with a high fever.
And I'm still sticking to my guns that Bix had somehow gotten ahold of some government-poisoned hooch, as well -- so many people dropped dead that summer and autumn of 1931 with the same alarming symptoms of intense delirium, strong enough for a few moments to run from the street into a hospital emergency room yelling for help, or in Bix's case, calling for George Kraslow in the hall and standing there in his room describing his hallucination -- before abruptly dropping dead--and all such symptoms New Yorkers suffered that way was ascribed to getting "bad hooch" which years later was found to be deliberately poisoned per the government during the last part of Prohibition. Maybe Bix thought a couple of strong drinks would knock away some of his worsening cold symptoms, who knows? We just have the tragic result to read about.
Yes, tragic indeed. In those last fateful days of Bix's life, his suffering pneumonia and delirium tremens, was the succession of visitors to his apartment, some taking in booze of dubious quality.
Louis Armstrong's assertion referring to those callers, that "they weren't his friends, they were hangers on and they killed him" sounds very close to the truth.
Not sure whether this poem by Dana Gioia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana_Gioia has ever been posted in this forum, but thought it interesting:
Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931)
China Boy. Lazy Daddy. Cryin' All Day.
He dreamed he played the notes so slowly that
they hovered in the air above the crowd
and shimmered like a neon sign. But no,
the club stayed dark, trays clattered in the kitchen,
people drank and went on talking. He watched
the smoke drift from a woman's cigarette
and slowly circle up across the room
until the ceiling fan blades chopped it up.
A face, a young girl's face, looked up at him,
the stupid face of small-town innocence.
He smiled her way and wondered who she was.
He looked again and saw the face was his.
He woke up then. His head still hurt from drinking,
Jimmy was driving. Tram was still asleep.
Where were they anyway? Near Davenport?
There was no distance in these open fields--
only time, time marked by a farmhouse
or a barn, a tin-topped silo or a tree,
some momentary silhouette against
the endless, empty fields of snow.
He lit a cigarette and closed his eyes.
The best years of his life! The Boring Twenties.
He watched the morning break across the snow.
Would heaven be as white as Iowa?
What do you all think?
I can't critique poetry, but it did grab me as interesting and without affectation.
Check out the tattoo, not a strong likeness of Bix is it?:http://jimflora.blogspot.com/2012/03/today-is-109th-birthday-of-leon-bix.html
Here is the tatoo:
Here is the model used to make the tatoo.
The model is a fragment of the cover of the 1947 Columbia album "Bix and Tram," A Hot Jazz Classic, C-144.
There are four 78 rpm records in this album:
C-144-1 (37804) Singin' The Blues W-80393-B
C-144-2 (37804) Clarinet Marmalade W-80392-A
C-144-3 (37805) Riverboat Shuffle W-81072-B
C-144-4 (37805) Ostrich Walk W-81071-B
C-144-5 (37806) Way Down Yonder In New Orleans W-81084-B
C-144-6 (37806) Wringin' An' Twistin' W-81450-A
C-144-7 (37807) Take Your Tomorrow W-401133-B
C-144-8 (37807) Baby, Won't You Please Come Home W-401811-C
Jim, co-author with Rich Johnson and Gerri Bowers of Bix: The Davenport Album passed away yesterday.
There is a brief notice in the QC Times.
Jim wrote several articles about Bix in the Davenport newspapers. Here are some links.
That is indeed sad news about the death of long-time Bix booster Jim Arpy.
The bright side is that he left a body of work that greatly enriched our picture of the young Bix in his well-researched and well-written articles. We are thankful for what he left behind, and thankful that you reprinted or linked to them here for those who had not yet read them.
Posted Online: July 15, 2013, 1:00 pm
Press release submitted by TAG Communications
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society celebrates traditional jazz at 42nd annual festival
DAVENPORT, Iowa The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Society will celebrate the life and music of legendary musician Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke at the 42nd annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, August 1-4, in Davenport, Iowa.
Born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1903, Bix Beiderbecke gained fame as a self-taught jazz cornet player with a unique sound. Beiderbecke played with Jean Goldkette, Bing Crosby and Paul Whiteman.
This year's lineup will feature Johnny Crawford, jazz vocalist and actor. Crawford gained fame as a child star playing Mark McCain on the TV series, "The Rifleman."
Also performing are Cecile McLorin Salvant, Jon Weber, The Tony Hamilton Orchestra, Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang, Josh Duffee's Graystone Ballroom Orchestra, Randy Sandke's New York All-Stars, Bob Schulz's Frisco Jazz band, Dan Levinson's Roof Garden Jass Band, Dave Greer's Classic Jazz Stompers, River City 6, Jimmy Valentine Quintet with Dave Bennett, Five Bridges Jazz Band and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band.
Highlights of this year's festival include:
· Opening concert featuring the River City 6, Dave Greer's Classic Jazz Stompers, Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang, Bob Schultz Frisco Jazz Band and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport
· Lectures on Beiderbecke's childhood, his piano and the history of dance 9 a.m. Arkansas &Platte River Rooms, RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport
· Ceremony and concert at the gravesite of Bix Beiderbecke featuring the Bix Youth Jazz Band
10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, Oakdale Memorial Gardens, 2501 Eastern Ave., Davenport
· Jazz Liturgy at the home church of the Beiderbecke family featuring the Dave Greer's Classic Jazz Stompers 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa St., Davenport
Tickets are $25 for a single concert or $45 for a day pass. Concerts will be held at the RiverCenter and Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, and LeClaire Park, 700 W. River Dr., Davenport. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.bixsociety.org.
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Society was founded in 1972 to perpetuate the music and memory of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke through an annual jazz festival, jazz education programs and the preservation of traditional jazz.
Chris Tyle's comment in a brief discussion of this recording in facebook:
"Definitely not Bix. Interesting, however. If anyone doubts, however, Bix would never have repeated the same lick which opens the solo on the non-vocal take so many times. Also the lick played at 2:40 is not something Bix ever played on record."
Non-vocal version: bixbeiderbecke.com/whenawomanrwknovocal.mp3
Vocal version: bixbeiderbecke.com/whenawomanvocaljazzoracle.mp3
The late Jean Pierre Lion's comments on this recording: http://www.normanfield.com/rwk.htm
I much enjoy perusing everyone's blog entries, as always.
The Jean Pierre Lion page was interesting, speculating on how this recording date might have fit into the Bix biographical information presently known.
1st - Concerning the two or several trumpeters sounding on the Roger Wolf Kahn non-vocal waxing here, (Brunswick's RW Kahn of Jan 1930, title "When A Woman Loves A Man") notice how the one perhaps-Beiderbecke plays with a weaker sound than the other trumpeter(s), who blow much more forcefully in comparison, especially in the closing bars. Beiderbecke's playing, said to have weakened with his health during these last years of his.
2nd - The perhaps-Beiderbecke trumpeter (cornet, probably - whichever) plays his Bixian phrases with a cup mute, held with left hand in front of his horn's bell... not a plunger mute, in other words (the muted solo from ~ 2:28 to 2:50, prior to enseble close). Muted playing was something Beiderbecke nearly never did (it's been years since I read the Evans bio, pardon if i'm mistaken in this fact, but I think it's the case)... the rare known instance(s) of Beiderbecke recorded with mute come from late Whiteman-Bix sides... time period coincident with this Kahn waxing.
3rd - I must disagree with the Facebook contributor Mr. Haim cites to begin the discussion. Consider the NYC Brunswick side from June 1930 (five months after this Kahn), Mills "Strut Miss Lizzie" and listen on that track to the seconds surrounding 2:50... a flurry of cornet notes descending chormatically, followed immediately with a drumbeat burst... the same as happens on this Kahn side at 2:40. If Beiderbecke never recorded such a drum-puncuated phrase, then he doesn't play on the Mills "Strut Miss Lizzie" either.
And so, I'd have to guess it's Bix playing on this Kahn.
One more note on this redux,
My previous post focused on the Kahn Brunswick w/o vocal... Since then I've listened to the take with the vocal, and wish to add another point supporting my suggestion that Beiderbecke plays on this side.
A lick/riff/style/etc Beiderbecke employed on earlier of his pre-1930 recordings was to jump a note an octave, blowing through successive harmonics, in a fast-ascending slur. Listen to the conclusion of his "Goose Pimples" waxing, for example. Offhand I know such Dixieland jazz-context brass octave-jump harmonic slurs can be heard in some Louis Armstrong '20s waxings, also.
In this redux's Kahn side with the vocal, the perhaps-Beiderbecke post-vocal/pre-enemble-close trumpet (or cornet) solo incorporates just such an octave-jump slur, near the outset of the brief cornet solo which follows the vocal. On this take the trumpeter/cornettist doesn't use any cup mute.
There's no biographical evidence that Bix was anywhere in the area when this record was made, but apparently there's no hard evidence that he wasn't, either! The solos are both quite interesting and at least plausible as Bix items, more so than such Bix apocrypha as the 1928 Lou Raderman session (the moment I heard the double-time intro on "Why Do I Love You?," so typical of Mannie Klein and so UNtypical of Bix, it was obvious Klein was playing that solo!) and the 1929 Ray Miller "Cradle of Love" (nice solos on both takes but most definitely not Bix). As Fred points out, this player is using musical devices Bix used on his known records, so if it isn't he it's one of the many New York trumpeters/cornetists who had listened closely to Bix and consciously copied his style.
But Fred's wrong when he says Bix only used a mute on "late" recordings with Whiteman. Bix's first record with a mute is "Changes," his second Whiteman side, recorded in late 1927 when he was still at the peak of his powers.
Mark is right to point out that Bix, like most players in that time, did use mutes occasionally on recordings. Isn't "There'll Come A Time" mostly done with a mute, for example? Of course, Whiteman strove especially hard for a "layered" and varied sound, so his musicians had to be quite versatile, and Bix did a lot of muted section work there.
Yes.... I hadn't listened to some of those later Whitemans in quite awhile. The orchestral sound shadings... the brass are stoppered here and there with mutes.
If your hat is hung over the bell of your horn, does that count as 'muted'?
If you want to hear some real mute playing (as opposed to the stoppered variety), listen to King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band play "Dippermouth Blues" on Gennett from 1923... not on the '23 Okeh, and not from the later Syncopators rendering on Vocalion... but just the '23 Gennett of... Also hear "Sweet Lovin' Man" from those '23 Gennetts. And the pair of Morton-Oliver duets on Autograph, too, have real mute playing.
Hear Charlie Green and Joe Smith on some of those Bessie Smith accompaniments & Henderson bluesy sides. Now you're talking mutes.
"A definite maybe," well-put. I enjoy your posts in this forum, and they suggest you're among the documentary students of this subject - dates, places, circumstances, etc. While I've read on this subject over time, likely I don't have nearly as much documentary detail of it callable from memory as you, and numerous of the other blog posters. Instead I'd need to go back to the reference books and search around.
I'll take your word for "Changes" being the first Bix muted playing waxed, then. Muted Beiderbecke playing (on record, this discussion) is very much the exception, though. He was an open-horn player, in contrast with early jazz brass greats who were masters with mutes - Oliver, Miley, others. And most of Beiderbecke's rare muted examples come late within the '25-'30 timespan, I think.
On my point that the muted trumpeter played less forcefully than the other trumpeter, after posting I realized that could as easily have been an accident of recording... positioning players around a single microphone, recorded sonic balance among players the goal, but not always attained.
You've got me, on Manny Klein. If the Kahn track displayed quintessential Manny Klein playing, I was unaware. McConville/Nichols/Bose/many-others... wide influence of the Bix sound.
On the subject of "possibles," what's your impression of Maureen Englund's statement to researchers, latter '70s article, that Beiderbecke was among a small ensemble accompanying her vocals, on several Gennett tracks from early '25~ish? I listened to them a few times, and on that initial hearing, failed (me, listening) to hear any of the Beiderbecke sound. Still, in context, he would have been very a very new player, still developing an individual style, and among a small group supporting a singer rather than trying to stand among an instrumental session. So possibly an example of Beiderbecke playing very straight, sounding quite non-Beiderbecke.
Finally, there was something on the web a few years ago, somewhere... wish I could cite it, but failed to save... Someone authored a detailed article describing the players on the University of Wisconsin Skyrockets session, several 1930~ish Paramount tracks. Those tracks have long been named as early (or first) Bunny Berigan records, but this author's article presented a very detailed discussion of who the players were, instead, including quotes from the trumpeter recalling the session, and his dance-band-playing back then. Very interesting stuff, wish I could cite.
My reference to Mannie Klein was NOT to suggest him as a possibility for the Roger Wolfe Kahn "When a Woman Loves a Man" date. It was a reference to a particularly notorious example of a record inaccurately attributed to Bix: the 1928 Lou Raderman date at which were recorded "Oh Gee! Oh Joy!," "Why Do I Love You?" and "Ol' Man River." I posted on this a few months back after hearing the Raderman sides, on which Klein was known to have been present and insisted he had played the improvised solos. More than any other audible evidence, it's the double-time intro on "Why Do I Love You?" that marks the Raderman trumpeter/cornetist as Klein, not Bix, though playing the Raderman "Ol' Man River" side by side with the known Bix and His Gang record of the song strengthens the case that the soloist on the Raderman date wasn't Bix.
"When a Woman Loves a Man" remains an enigma. It's impossible to rule Bix out as the soloist either on musical or biographical grounds. My guess would be an imitator (albeit a highly musical, talented one!) because it doesn't scream at me "Bix!" the way the Whiteman "Waiting at the End of the Road" or the Irving Mills June 1930 date do. Nor does it scream at me "Not Bix!" as Mannie Klein's playing on the Raderman date does. And there's also an enigma surrounding the song itself (decently sung by the vocalist on the Kahn date, though whoever she is she's not at the level of Annette Hanshaw or Fanny Brice, who made the best records of this) in that it's credited to composer Bernie Hanighen. So is a later "When a Woman Loves a Man," recorded by Billie Holiday in 1937, but that's a completely different song!
I'd be interested if you ever run across that article on the University of Wisconsin Skyrockets. I have those two sides ("Dizzy Corners" and "Postage Stamp"); they're on the JSP Records boxed set "Paramount Jazz."
.... Libby Holman.
Here is my analysis of the Lou Raderman sides.
.... in the ASCAP data base.
Here is the entry for the one penned by Hanighen.
10.WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN Work ID: 530047735ISWC: T0701987952
WritersIPI #Current Affiliation
HANIGHEN BERNARD D13341826ASCAP
JENKINS GORDON 15255411ASCAP
MERCER JOHN H20520152ASCAP
Performers CLAYTON-B TATE-BDINAH WASHINGTONDUCHIN EE CONDON & HIS ALL STARSFITZGERALD EGLEASON JGLEASON JACKIEHOLIDAY BKAY STARRLARKINS ENANCY WILSONSHEARING GSTARR KWASHINGTON DWILLIAMS JOEWILSON NANCY
The 78 0nline discography gives Rose and Rainger as the composers of Kahn's recording of "When A Woman Loves A Man."
4699 ROGER WOLFE KAHN & HIS ORCH COOKING BREAKFAST FOR THE ONE I LOVE 31961 - E31960 1/22/30 BILLY ROSE-HENRY TOBIAS
4699 ROGER WOLFE KAHN & HIS ORCH WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN 31963 - E31962 1/22/30 ROSE-RAINGER
22295A BERNIE CUMMINS NEW YORKER ORCH COOKING BREAKFAST FOR THE ONE I LOVE (vBM) 58618=1 - - 1/23/1930 ROSE-TOBIAS
22295B BERNIE CUMMINS NEW YORKER ORCH WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN (vBM) 58619=4 - - 1/23/1930 -
41370 ANNETTE HANSHAW COOKING BREAKFAST FOR THE ONE I LOVE 403692=A - - 1/27/30 H.TOBIAS-BILLY ROSE"BeYourself
41370 ANNETTE HANSHAW WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN 403693=B - - 1/27/30 Rose - Rainger "Be Yourself"
Both songs were featured in the move "Be Yourself." Are such identical couplings in several records common or uncommon? Can you guys cite other examples?
The evidence suggests that Bix was likely to have been in Davenport at the time of the Roger Wolfe Kahn recording of "When A Woman Loves A Man", but let's just assume for a moment that he was back in New York.
The notion that Bix, feeling unwell and out of practice at the time, would seek out the Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra and ask to sit in with the band just doesn't stack up. And the suggestion that Roger Wolfe Kahn or someone from his organisation tried to contact Bix to ask him to play on the session is equally unlikely. In reality, if the solo on the Roger Wolfe Kahn side was not played by one of the regular musicians in his band at the time, it would have been allocated to an active session musician who could play hot and in the latest style...and to my ears it sounds to be just that, in other words Bixian rather than Bix.
It is important to stress here that Bix was never a "studio musician" in the sense that Red Nichols, Manny Klein and Sylvester Ahola were. You had to be a superb sight reader to be in amongst this crowd, able to play anything put in front of you. By the late 1920s, dance bands were part of a fully formed entertainments industry and needed trained musicians like these. Mistakes and delays cost recording companies money, which is why top session musicians made so much! This was not an environment in which Bix naturally thrived. Of course, Bix took part in those famous OKeh studio sessions with Trumbauer, but these were not the quick "in the door, record the titles and out" sessions that the likes of Sam Lanin presided over, and he was often familiar with the arrangements well in advance of the Trumbauer recording sessions.
Given the above, I would have thought that the last place Bix would have wanted to be in January 1930 was inside a recording studio playing with an unfamiliar band (the same is true for January 1929, with Ray Miller's "Cradle of Love"). In fact, he was still so unwell and out of practice that he didn't even feel up to rejoining the ranks of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, a band that had been his musical home since late 1927 and which was directed by a man with a caring paternal attitude towards him.
Of course, I would dearly love for a new Bix solo to be discovered - such things are holy grails - but we must be careful not to swap rational thinking with wishful thinking, as often happens when we seek to satisfy our desires by transforming a Bixian solo into one by Bix.
Nick, your logic is impeccable. The two sides ("Cradle of Love" and "When A Woman Loves A Man") that are the most controversial deal with at a time that Bix was in poor physical conditions, require tampering with chronological documentation, and assume that Bix was willing to go to a studio to participate on the spot in a scheduled recording session by highly popular and well-establihed bands. Not rational.
Unfortunately all witnesses are gone and all we can do is rely on our ears. And that is where the controversies arise, as each Bix aficionado has a different conception of Bix's sound. The other problem is that Bix was such a pervasive influence on trumpet players beginning in 1924 that many of them made serious efforts to emulate Bix - and often they were quite successful.. With all that, we are faced with a problem that cannot be solved using objective criteria. It is subjective and each of us has a different opinion. And that, of course, gives rise to endless arguments.
To me, this subject is all about finding musical recordings I enjoy listening to. I can only offer an occasional idea/opinion, spawned from enthusiastic listening.
Anyone here dig Clyde McCoy's playing? That mute playing might have been a little excessive, Rust suggested. My mute post meant to differentiate (a) manipulating the mute with a hand to artfully sound the 'wah' inflections, versus (b) a mute implanted in the bell. Without researching to confirm, it's my impression that Beiderbecke's recorded mute work was entirely the (b) variety. Interestingly, on the non-vocal Kahn "When A Man Loves A Woman" take, the muting sounded all of the (a) type to me. Again, I hadn't heard those particular Kahn tracks before last week - you guys be the judges. Something about that brief solo phrasing, though... hesitant, restrained... sounded like Bix to me.
Yes, if I ever run across that Skyrockets article again, I'll post it here without delay. It was out there on the internet somewhere several years ago, maybe still is.
In the mid 1930's, when the subject of Bix came into fashion and he was being hailed as a National Hero, from out of the woodwork and under the stones came a succession of those who claimed to have known Bix, each with their own personal anecdotes to relate to those who would listen, and so began the Bix myths and fiction that, decades later, it was left to devoted people such as the late Philip Evans to sort the wheat from the chaff. We are indeed indebted to Phil for his years of dedication in discovering, as far as was possible, the true Bix.
So when the discussion "Is it Bix?" on recordings such as "Cradle of Love" and "When a Man Loves a Woman" arises, I can only refer to a previous Forum posting, that the members of the Ray Miller and Roger Wolfe Kahn bands, each with most of the personnel still around in the 1950's and men who had held Bix in the highest regard, with many of them attempting to copy his style, well, had Bix sat in for just one selection, for just one solo, that day would have been etched in their minds for all time.
Yet not one of them came forward to recall, just twenty or so years later, those memorable sessions. A total of around twenty five musicians in all, yet not one could bring to mind the day "when Bix sat in with us". If it was Bix present on those recordings, how come every man present on the relevant sessions had each suffered a complete loss of memory?
Indeed, where are Bix's admirers who recorded with him? It stands to reason that anyone who recorded with Bix would come forward and present his claim to fame. Association with genius is a way. for many people including yours truly, of rubbing off a tiny bit of genius onto oneself! I freely admit I have this weakness. I often mention that I spent 1961-1962 at Stanford University doing research with the great Henry Taube who, in 1983, received the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Still, there is that remark by Izzy Friedman, confessing that he, Bix, Tram, Rank, and others did some wildcatting off the Whiteman reservation. It must have been the truth, because it didn't add any luster to Friedman's sideman career to add that fact to the historical record.
We know that for at least most of his life, Bix could rarely resist an opportunity to sit in (or join up) with all sorts of bands, playing a variety of musical styles, especially with friends, even when it meant he got no sleep. Perhaps it served as a diversion, a mood lifter, for him when he was otherwise at loose ends. And even feeling bad, as he is said to have while with Whiteman on tour, he knew that he had to play to keep up his lip. So while Nick Dellow's and Albert Haim's "psychological" reading of Bix's state of mind is altogether rational and likely true, there is just that chance that Bix could have been led or drawn to be "one of the boys" pro tem when he was otherwise unemployed. Playing with a band was his life, his social life as well as his profession. The possibility of his being drawn to take an anonymous ad hoc job is what makes these recordings so intriguing.
"It must have been the truth"? As Oscar Wilde once said, "If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out." Seriously speaking though, if you are referring to Friedman's comment on page 426 of Evans and Evans, then it is all a bit vague to say the least. I don't think there is enough to go on here to be honest. For all we know, he might have been thinking of the Trumbauer OKeh sessions.
Moreover, a healthy and happy Bix sitting in with friends as part of an informal gathering is a totally different scenario to an ill and out of practice Bix joining the ranks of an unfamiliar name band during one of their routine recording sessions. A jam session is one thing, getting into a jam is another.
If we travel down the road of "what if's" and "possibilities" we can arrive at any destination our desires choose. If, on the other hand, we are guided by rational thinking and known facts, we are forced to halt in our journey when the driver says "I can't see where we are going because it's too foggy". That is when I get off the bus and try and find out where we are rather than travel on in hopeful anticipation with my fellow passengers. No doubt there will be the odd occasion when they arrive at their destination while I am left out in the cold. So be it.
Incidentally, I don't recall offering a "psychological reading of Bix's state of mind", but if I did I'm absolutely certain that Albert didn't!
You're right, Mr. Dellow. It's navigating in a fog to suppose what Bix might have done on such-and-such a day. We're just supposin' on these iffy recordings.
But surely Friedman couldn't have thought playing on the Bix & Tram recordings was wildcatting; he was with all Whiteman guys. Same is true for the Bix & His Gang recordings. He had to have known these were all PW sidemen for good reason; he worked with them daily. They all signed the same contracts. What recordings, then, was he talking about? We can't know, since apparently no one followed up on that statement by asking.
It's "psychologizing," however logical, to suppose Bix's constant state of mind was such that he would never violate his exclusive contract with Whiteman. We can't really know that for sure, even though I agree that it's likely he would not have. Being in a weakened and vulnerable state might have made that look better to him than when he was healthy.
It's all foggy. But discographies do change now and then. It's just a slight crack in the open mind window, maybe just enough to let the fog in, for sure!
It is interesting and perhaps relevant to note that Izzy Friedman says in his quote: "Bix, Tram, Venuti, Lang, and myself would do recordings with different groups". Are these "different groups" simply the OKeh sides directed by Bix, Tram, Venuti and Lang that Friedman is known to have taken part in? Apart from the OKeh sessions with Trumbauer and Bix, Friedman is listed as having taken part in just four additional non-Whiteman led recording sessions while he was a member of the Whiteman orchestra - one for Eddie Lang (OKeh, October 5th, 1929), two for Joe Venuti (OKeh, October 16th, 1929, and OKeh, May 22, 1930) and one with the Mason-Dixon Orchestra (Columbia, May 15th, 1929). This is hardly the "many" recording sessions that Friedman spoke about in the quote given in Evans and Evans.
Friedman's remark that "We would not let them use our names for the "Old Man" would really raise hell" doesn't seem to make sense, because as you point out, such OKeh and Columbia dates were not wildcatting sessions. Since 1926, OKeh had been a division (more or less just a label in fact) of Columbia, the company Whiteman had a contract with from May 1928. Of course, Trumbauer did recording sessions for OKeh before May 1928, at the time when Whiteman's contract was with Victor, but even these must have been OK'd (excuse the pun!) by Whiteman, since Trumbauer's name is on the OKeh labels (as is Venuti's, Lang's and Bix's for their OKeh sessions) and so they could hardly have been made behind his back!
If we exclude all the OKeh recordings then, as you say, we are left wondering as to what the "many" sessions Friedman refers to might be. Friedman had a very distinctive style and tone, and can be easily spotted when he solos. Hence he is immediately identified as the clarinet soloist on the Joe Candullo side "Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" (made before he joined Whiteman). So far, no recordings other than those made at the sessions mentioned above have come to light, leading one to doubt the veracity of Friedman's assertion.
Finally, I didn't mean to imply that Bix would never violate his exclusive contract with Whiteman. I was just trying to make the point that an ill and out of practice Bix would in all probability not have wanted to seek out a recording session with a band he was unfamiliar with. But in any case in 1930 Bix was no longer a member of Whiteman's orchestra and so recordings with Roger Wolfe Kahn, or anyone else, would not be wildcatting.
Right! The Hotsy Totsy and Hoagy Carmichael recordings were clearly post-PW. They were not in dispute. The contracts seem to have been with the Whiteman Orchestra, not the recording companies per se, allowing recording only if all the other musicians were also in the Whiteman organization. All of the Bix & Tram and Bix & His Gang recordings were legit and are not questioned, That is granted.
Again, how can we know what Friedman meant by "many?" But given the problems that have come up about identifying Bix, a player with a most distinctive sound playing openly as himself, (e.g., on the "Strut Miss Lizzie" session, which many people once knew was not Bix, but rather Nichols or several others, and the ongoing questions about whether he played on the issued version of "Waiting at the End of the Road"), it would have been much easier for Izzy Friedman to get away with a wildcat recording. His sound was fairly distinctive, but certainly not so unique that he could be identified in an ensemble, for example. He might have been careful not to solo, so how would we know?
What about "I Like That," once believed not to be Bix?
We have to respect what is known, but there are things that are not and may never be. I still say, leave a bit of an open mind for those misty mysteries. Perhaps those computer sound analysis guys need to get to work on these questioned recordings and end these ongoing questions! Or maybe that would not end them either!
Your Occam's Razor is sharp indeed, Mr. Dellow, and it cuts to the quick.
Still: Convoluted though the scenario might be to justify Bix's presence on "Cradle of Love," let me reiterate that on musical grounds alone he remains a likely candidate for the soloist. I tried to get off the professorial hook many times, but as the alternate takes appeared, the originality of this soloist kept reasserting itself. He showed subtle trait after subtle trait we identify with Bix.
A man to be reckoned with, certainly, who is heard ONLY on this one date and side.
Yes, I admit that I do like to keep Occam's Razor nice and sharp, though only to cut a few sails lose when caution is thrown to the wind.
But in fact, I allowed the razor to blunt recently when I was caught out myself with another recording - nothing to do with Bix - and maybe that is why I am even more than ever erring on the side of caution. I won't go into details here as the story about the recording is forming part of an article I am writing - I'll send you a link to it when it's published later this year. However, I will say that as with your assertion about the soloist on Cradle of Love, this was another case where "on musical grounds alone he was the likely candidate for the soloist", with the "likely candidate" also being famous. Several other collectors concurred. Unfortunately, facts subsequently came to light that proved us wrong. It is clearly the case that "musical grounds" are not always firm enough on their own and we must therefore tread cautiously at all times!
I know I'm beginning to sound like a killjoy. But really, I'm just as passionate as anyone else when it comes to searching for those holy grail recordings. As I said in a previous message a few years ago, if the hunt also throws up some interesting Bixian records that prove what a pervading influence Bix was then even if we never find another genuine example of a hitherto unknown Bix solo the search will still have been more than worthwhile.
Bravo, Nick. That was well and fairly put. It seems that our positions are not so much all at odds after all.
Points to keep in an open mind:
1. New documentary evidence is still being located (cf. Albert Haim's recent additions to Bix's itinerary with the Goldkette Orchestra) which fills in some of the gaps left in Evans' day-to-day records.
2. Evidence from musician's memories is not infallible. Goodman and Teagarden were at first rather certain that Bix did not play on "Strut Miss Lizzie." They were there, but after decades of making so many recording sessions, their memories were wrong. Musicians like Andy Secrest say one thing, and then another. Bill Rank, apparently an emotionally and mentally solid guy, said, "That's Bix!" about "Sugar." And... he was there and given the account we have, it was a peculiarly memorable session. The majority say "No, it's NOT!" Then there were the questions on who played trombone (Rank or Mole) and piano (Riskin or Mertz). There's plenty of murky mist in everyone's memories.
3. As you pointed out so cogently, "musical grounds" (the opinions of knowledgeable second-, third- and fourth-generation listeners) come down on opposite sides often enough. We can all cite ongoing examples.
So there you have it. To mix metaphors, that metaphoric cradle may be still rockin' in the mist.
The debatable presence of Bix on "Cradle" is an unfortunate distraction from appreciating the quite admirable jazz that happens over the course of the three takes. This guy invents three very different and satisfying solos, charting a clear course of evolution, throwing light on the creative process in music. You should see the transcriptions. I lost interest in the subject when the bottom line of "is it him or not?" was all anybody cared about.
Yes it's frustrating to think you have stumbled upon a tantalising possibility of an unacknowleged Bix solo, and not have the absolute proof.I have mentioned my own "find" at least twice on this site, but, to date, there are only three or four of us who agree that it is a possible Bix item. And, mark you, this is a Sam Lanin session which he most certainly could have done; he was there in town, he had nothing else on and was not under contract to either Goldkette nor Whiteman. Furthermore, Sam Lanin confirmed that he used Bix on more than one occasion ; so not just the Broadway Bellhops tracks then ! And finally, Sam Lanin issued a cheque to him for $25 on the day of the recording. But none of this put together prove anything more than that he cannot be ruled out. The aural evidence is, I think , pretty strong. A short laid back Jazz solo, definitely reminiscent of Bix both in construction and tonal similarity, towards the end of the track. Two takes exist, both are different. The recording ? Sugar Matrix 7558 recorded 20/7/1927.(No - not the infamous one!)
The latest edition of the American Dance Band Discography list the player as Jimmy PcPartland (?). Where this came from I have no idea, as the previous edition did not list him. I believe it was pure guesswork as a) it doesn't sound like him and b) I was not aware that he ever was said to have played for Sam Lanin.
An interesting article, to be sure, and you are to be commended for following through in locating the article. I can't tell you how many times someone promises to find something, "check the files," or they don't have it handy and will check or upload something later, but they hardly ever do. What a pleasant exception this has proven to be!
I have been very busy for the last week. I was involved with the moving of the piano, with legal matters regarding the permanent loan of the piano to the Bix Museum, arranging for a trip to New York City next Th and Fr, making some additions to my article with Chris Barry about Alice and Bix, and preparing my power point presentation about Alice, Bix and Bix's piano for Aug 2, 2013 at the Bix Festival in Davenport. I have to prepare a new WBIX program for Jul 25. We will leave on Aug 1 and return on Aug 5.
And of course, I have all the work associated with maintenance of the house. I do most of the work needed, but now there is a new roof and gutters to be installed, and huge branches over the house to be removed. When I was young, I would have done the work. But at my age, a fall from a high point can be fatal. So I have been getting estimates for the various phases of the needed work.
So it is unlikely that I will be initiating new threads for the rest of the month. Of course, I will respond to postings and answer questions as needed, and I encourage forumites to post.
PS The first page of the power point presentation for Davenport.
Alice, Bix and Bix's Piano.
A Lecture by Albert Haim
Based on Research by
Chris Barry and Albert Haim
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival.
August 1-4, 2013
Sincere thanks to several members of the Weiss family:
Joan Phyllis Fabrizio (neé Weiss), Alice Clare Kimble (neé Weiss),
Raymond Weiss, Jr., Patricia Weiss, Douglas Weiss and Loretta Weiss.
46th Street between Queens Blvd & Greenpoint Ave As part of the 2013 Sunnyside Summer Strolls event series on 46th Street, we are delighted to invite you to this year's Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert in Sunnyside, Queens!SATURDAY, AUGUST 3 | 12pm-7pm | FREEWe have a phenomenal lineup this year, including:12:30PM | Sunnyside Drum Corps1:00PM | MAC & Mike, the Antique DJs (antique phonograph DJ)3:00PM | Smidge Malone & Matt Dallow (trumpet/accordion)4:00PM | Svetlana & the Delancey Five (Golden Age-inspired sextet)5:30PM | Sunnyside Wolverines (top-notch pick-up band capturing the essence of Bix Beiderbecke)+ DANCE LESSONS + PHOTO BOOTH + MORE!!Dress up like it's the 1920s and bring your dancing shoes - we're putting down a dance floor in the middle of 46th Street and we want to see you on it!Bix Beiderbecke was an influential jazz musician in the 1920s who lived his final days in Sunnyside.
Dr. Eugene's Ormandy Salon Orchestra. From Rust Dance Band Disco.
Probaly includes: Leo McConville, Manny Klein, t; Tommy Dorsey, t; Jimmy Dorsey, Arnold Brilhart, Joe Crossan, reeds; Murray Kellner, Nat Brusiloff, Sam Freed, vn; Emil Stark, vc; Arthur Schutt, p; Eddie Lang, g; Hank Stern, bb and /or Joe Tarto, sb; Stan King or Chauncey Morehouse, d.
New York, Sep 17, 1929.
402953 Go to Bed OK 41300, Par R-518..
The song was sung by Nick Lucas in the 1929 film Gold Diggers of Broadway.
The complete film is lost, but fragments have been preserved.
What a lovely song! I can't stand jazz snobs who denigrate waltzes from this period and act as those it's "unfortunate" that their musical idols were "had to" play or record such songs. They obviously have no respect for the reality of a dance during the 1920's or what, evidently, some significant portion of the dancing and/or record buying public was interested in.
2013 Picnic Pops Summer Concert Series
Every Wednesday from July 10 - August 7
Presented By: The NYCB Foundation.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket and a couple of friends, and we'll provide the soundtrack for an enjoyable evening under the stars. Arrive early to picnic and stroll the gardens.
Purchase a Picnic Pops Pass online by clicking HERE. A Pops Pass is a benefit of Membership, so Join Today!
Gates open at 5:00 pm. Dance lesson at 6:30 pm. Concert starts at 7:00 pm. $10.00 General Admission; $8.00 - 62 and older; $8.00 - members; free for children 17 and under.
Wednesday, July 10 - Vince Giordano's Nighthawks
In 30 years as a bandleader, Vince Giordano has become the authority on recreating the sounds of 1920s and '30s jazz and popular music.
"I just love the energy of the early jazz," says Giordano. "I wanted to recapture some of that." Early appearances with Leon Redbone and on the Prairie Home Companion and lending his talents to Francis Ford Coppolas film The Cotton Club, led to working with Dick Hymans Orchestra in half a dozen Woody Allen soundtracks then as a bass player in Sean Penns band in Woodys Sweet and Lowdown. He and the Nighthawks were featured in Gus Van Sants film Finding Forrester, in Martin Scorseses The Aviator, Robert DeNiros film, The Good Shepherd, Tamara Jenkin's The Savages and recently Sam Mendes film: Revolutionary Road, and Away We Go; and Michael Manns film Public Enemies; plus HBO's Boardwalk Empire.
I ordinarily go to the concert/picnic. I am not sure this year. My wife had knee surgery three weeks ago, and although recovering nicely, she is not certain she can walk from the parking lot to the bandstand. We'll try, of course.
I was happy to read this nice spread in the 7/5/13 NY Times spotlighting VG, Nighthawks, and joyful dancers in NYC:
Hey young fella, you're making lots of people smile.
First the bad news: I is unlikely that I will make it to tomorrow's concert ot Vince Giordno and the Nighthawks in the Old Westbury Gardens (Long Island, NY).
Next the good news: the reason why I won't go. Bix's piano has been in storage in Farmingdale, Long Island since I purchased it last October. I was waiting to hear from the Bix Museum folk. I learned, several weeks ago, that the piano is to be shipped to the Adler Theatre in Davenport in time to be used during the Bix Festival. I made arrangements for the piano to be picked up and moved to Davenport several weeks ago. I just heard from the piano mover. He is coming tomorrow to pick up the piano in Farmingdale and I am to meet him there. The schedule is not firm and I must be available on short notice at any time tomorrow.
If the whole transaction is done early, I might be able to make it to Westbury. But, I would not count on it. Albert
I got there too late to take photos of the piano being loaded. The piano should arrive in Davenport on Jul 22.
Let's hope the piano arrives in Davenport safe and sound (no pun intended). It should be there around Jul 22, 2013. Forum friend Gerri is the contact in Davenport.
For those of us who are planning to be at the Bix Festival, I extend our thanks to you (and to Gerri) for your good offices in bringing Bix's piano home!
The concert has been rescheduled for Aug 14.
Within a period of 30 minutes we had torrential rain, thunder and lightning, a completely cloud covered sky and patches of blue. I was driving back from Farmingdale, and at one point, the rain was so heavy, I could not see and had to pull over.
Some fascinating stuff.
.... in the Out to Lunch program of Phil Schaap about Bill Challis.
My Heart Stood Still is a song written by Rodgers and Hart for the 1927 production of A Connecticut Yankee.
Pathe 36719/Perfect 14900 is a recording of the song ostensibly by the Golden Gate Orchestra. There are problems with this recording according to Rust. He writes in "Jazz Records":
"The following may have been made at the above or nearby session, or it could conceivably not be the California Rambers at all; it is labeled Golden Gate Orchestra."
My Heart Stood Still PA 36710, Per 14900
No matrix number, no date in Rust or the 78 online jazz discography.
This recording is track number 3 in The Big Broadcast # 7. What does Rich Conaty say about this recording in the liners?
Listen to the recording. (The alto sax player certainly had been listening to Tram.)
I don't think that the recording outfit is the Goldent Gate Orchestra. What do you think? If not the Golden Gate/California Ramblers, who are these guys?
The alto sax soloist on My Heart Stood Still sounds like Pete Pumiglio to me - though it's not one of his best solos - and there is a bass sax pumping away under him (and which otherwise can be heard throughout the track) that sounds very much like Spencer Clark.
Compare this track with a known California Ramblers Pathe/Perfect side from a nearby session, one on which Pumiglio and Clark are both listed as being present. Here is For My Baby:-
There's the same bass sax....Spencer Clark! It's definitely Pumiglio soloing on alto on For My Baby of course, but is it him on My Heart Stood Still? I think so.
This would seem to suggest that it is a California Ramblers side. And it is labelled as by the Golden Gate Orchestra after all! As far as I am aware, the Golden Gate Orchestra pseudonym on Pathe/Perfect was only ever assigned to the California Ramblers.
So why is there so much mystery about this recording? No matrix number, no date, Rust's commentary ...
I think it may have been the case that Brian Rust only had partial information given to him, and also probably never had the opportunity of hearing the side.
Certainly, if he'd have owned the 78, or had a chance to examine someone else's copy, he would have taken down the matrix details and these would have allowed him to date the record with reasonable accuracy. In the absence of full details he didn't want commit himself.
Is this side listed in the Ed Kirkeby papers that Steve Hester has access to? If it's listed here then we could be certain that it is a California Ramblers side. (Do the Kirkeby papers contain ALL the Ramblers' sessions?)
I asked Steve Hester in the Red Nichols facebook page. I'll report as soon as I hear from him.
Thanks to Steve Hester for the following from the facebook Red Nichols page.
Stephen Hester Kirkeby ledgers have 11/4/27 "Russin, Weil, Fellini, Clark, Pumiglio, Quealey, Ruby, Philburn, Don Moore, Lloyd 'vocal rej' " Tell Me Little Daisy remade 11/18; Is She My Girl Friend remade 11/18; Among My Souvenirs remade 11/18; Cobblestones no remake; My Heart Stood Still. Woody's notes for session: "Cobblestones by Robison on Perfect 14903 and My Heart Stood Still No remake 14900 as GGO (Golden Gate Orchestra)."12 hours ago ·
Stephen Hester Kirkeby ledgers for 11/18/27: "Fallon, Duffy, Philburn, P. Hart, Russin, Weil, Fellini, Quealey, Pumiglio,Clark. 'remakes' " Tell Me Little Daisy; Is She My Girl Friend (107911); Among My Souvenirs (107913); For My Baby.12 hours ago ·
Albert Haim Thanks very much, Steve. That is terrific information. Let me digest it.12 hours ago ·
Stephen Hester Apparently either Kirkeby wasn't happy with 11/4 or Perfect/Pathe was having trouble. Woody and dad made no other comments about Cobblestones, and I don't remember hearing it. They both think it's possible that My Heart Stood Still was from 11/4 and was released and not remade. I can't get to the crates to see if it is packed or any other further notes they made.· Edited ·
Stephen Hester Dad and Woody were working on a California Ramblers discography to publish in Record Research. They had a dozen or so articles written that were never published and have drafts for several others...including 1929-1935.
Stephen Hester Between the 11/4/27 and 11/18/27 were the following: 11/14/27 for Okeh; 11/14/27 remake of 10/31/27 JC Flippen for Pathe; and 11/16/27 for Okeh. The Flippen session: "11/14/27 Clark, Russin, Quealey, Fellini Pathe remake 10/31 'FLIPPEN not CR' OH My Operation". For the 10/31 session that was rejected add Pumiglio. Why am I mentioning this? Many believe that Red Nichols is on Oh My Operation, but he is not. Another interesting session took place 11/3/27 for Cameo: "11/3/27 Cameo Rusin, Weil, Fellini, Clark, Pumiglio, Quealey Ruby, Philburn Acc Viola McCoy. All titles rejected. Sister Kate, Good Man Is Hard To Find, I Ain't Got Nobody".11 hours ago
Stephen Hester For Rollini fans a memo entry: "6/30/27 Rollini at Pathe all day. Hanshaw."11 hours ago
Stephen Hester It really is a shame that Woody and dad never did publish more of their research. I have seen in the files drafts of Miff Mole, Sam Lanin, etc. etc. When both dad and Woody read the draft of the first 3 chapters of the Nichols book, they both told me to finish it and if I wanted work on the other projects they started.11 hours ago ·
Stephen Hester Before logging off...CR recorded three sessions of Christmas records backing "Mixed Quartet" 10/20/27 Pathe; 10/26/27 Okeh; 10/27/27 Pathe. (including for the Okeh session Rusin, Weil, Quealey, Fellini, Clark, Pumiglio, Philburn, and one that is unreadable.)10 hours ago ·
Albert Haim Thank you for all that, Steve. Clearly, Rust's speculation about the band that recorded "My Heart Stood Still" had no basis. It was, indeed, the California Ramblers.
Thanks Albert and Steve for the comprehensive, detailed information. As you say, there seems to have been little basis for Brian Rust calling into question the attribution of "My Heart Stood Still" as a California Ramblers side, though I do understand his hesitancy, bearing in mind the limited details he had when compiling the entry for Jazz Records (and the fact that he almost certainly hadn't heard the side).
Neither Rust nor the 78 online disco gives an exact date for the Hanshaw-Rollini session. With Steve's notation from Kirkeby's ledgers, we now can asssign that session to June 30, 1927.
A remarkable series of recordings by four of the most talented musicians of the 1920s: Rollini, Venuti, Lang and Berton. Add the incomparable Annette and you have an event of historic proportions with sublime music.
I'm Somebody's Somebody Now.
I Like What You Like.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd-dX8fMjeE (1927, not 1932)
Ain't That A Grand And Glorious Feeling?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVPneS-CBU4 (echoes of Debussy in the intro)
Who-oo? You-oo. That's Who.
Under the Moon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5WO0kATepM (1927, not 1932)
The You Tube poster has it wrong: it's Bobby Davis performing the alto sax solo on "For My Baby"; of course Quealey on trumpet, and I presume Al Duffy on violin. A wonderful side, BTW! (John Ryan is the vocalist).
Also agree with Nick that the Golden Gate side of "My Heart Stood Still" is indeed the Cal. Ramblers.
Bobby Davis was a member of the New Yorkers beginning in Sep 1927. He had left the California Ramblers and had been replaced by Pete Pumiglio. Rust gives Bobby Davis's last session with the CR on Aug 26, 1927. From the until the end of 1927 Rust gives Pete Pumiglio in the sessions of Sep 19, Sep 27, Sep 30, Nov 4, Nov 16, Nov 18, Dec 6, and Dec 28. Jimmy Dorsey was added for the Oct 7 session.
I listened again to the alto sax here, and it does indeed seem to be Pumiglio. Around this time Davis and Pumiglio share some of the same characteristics at times, and it gets a little hard to differentiate between them - but the solo does favor Pumiglio.
I posted before I had a chance to see your correction.
Pumiglio it is.
An interesting article in the online journal "Current Research in Jazz."
- In Ken Burns' jazz biographies page, http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/ Bennie Moten is not mentioned.
- In Geoffrey Ward's "Jazz" (companion book to Burns' jazz pbs series)Bennie Moten is mentioned a few times but there is no essay on him or any biographical information.
You might argue that this is the result of Ken Burns' limited knowledge and understanding of jazz. However, Gunther Schuller ("Early Jazz") has very negative comments about the early Bennie Moten Band. Moten is mentioned only once (and in just a list of "selected musicians") in Gary Giddins' and Scott Deveaux's "Jazz." Moten is barely mentioned in Ted Gioia's "History of Jazz" or Alyn Shipton's "A New History of Jazz." Most of the time, Moten is cited because of the outstanding musicians he had in his band such as as Walter Page, Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham, Ben Webster, Buster Smith, Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing and because his band was the precursor of Count Basie's band..
I think that Bennie Moten had a terrific band in the second half of the 1920s. What I want to do here is show the evolution of the band in the 1920s and to bring in some of Bennie Moten's recordings that I like very much. But before, I give a link to the Wikipedia article about Moten, concise, well-written and very informative.
- The Stone Age. Sep 1923.
Elephant's Wobble. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6B_WwM0Beo
- The Middle Age. Nov 24, 1924. The strong brass bass beat is already present.
- The Renaissance. Dec 23, 1926. The typical Moten sound is already here.
Yazoo Blues. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQfpTpC6LNs
Kansas City Shuffle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzlbK9Tbwn8
- The Fulfillement. June 12, 1927.
Moten Stomp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fx-qoRS-OE
- Another Mature Moten. Sep 7, 1928.
Kansas City Breakdown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzj027XyF0
Two of My Personal Favorites.
In My Opinion A Tribute to Bix and Tram (with two, count them, two pieces of Tram's Singin' the Blues). Jul 17, 1929.
Rite Tite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eRWoS_4Mew
A great arrangement of Pinkard's Sugar. Jun 1, 1927. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtBd6l43Tvk
If I have time (and get enough courage) I will go on into the 1930s.
Asking jazz' academic and critical community to appreciate Moten is asking an awful lot. To them his music is not fully developed, only a stage on the way to something immortal, pure and transcendent. Remember that in the romantic notion of art, greatness is not only rare, but concentrated in certain times, places, and practices.
Welcome and apologies in case you posted before.
Sketch(click to enlarge)
The soundtrack was fantastic. (Two friends of the forum were members of the orchestra that recreated Bix's music, Vince Giordano and David Sager.)
I first saw this film in Paris. I arrived at the theatre towards the end of the movie and heard from the lobby Tom Pletcher doing Bix's "Singin' the Blues." I had goose pimples.
Scenes from the Italian version.
The soundtrack CD
Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend.RCA PD 74766.
This is the original soundtrack from the 1990 film. The soundtrack is conducted and directed by Bob Wilber. The musical producer is Lino Patruno. The musicians are Tom Pletcher; Bob Wilber; Kenny Davern; David Sager; Vince Giordano; Andy Stein; Keith Nichols; Lino Patruno; Walter Ganda; Fabrizio Cattaneo; Cesare Poggi; Fabiano Pellini; Marcello Rosa; Al, Claudio and Mario Corvini; Eric Daniel; and Enrico Fineschi.
Here is track # 11 from the CD, recorded by a big band. I will give the names only of a few, selected musicians: Tom Pletcher, cornet; David Sager, trombone; Bob Wilber, clarinet; Keith Nichols, piano; Lino Patruno, guitar; Vince Giordano, bass; Andy Stein, violin. Recorded in Rome on May 15 and 18, 1990. Tom's solo is perhaps his best recorded solo.
I never saw the film on the screen, only a commercially issued video tape, which, I believe, did not include the scene in the Gennett studio. All new to me! Pretty neat.
David, I truly enjoyed this film and have it in my collection, but it is affirming to hear what you say about the absence of the Gennett scene. I do not think it is included in my DVD, either.
This movie was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the scenes that caught the essence of the era and what it must have been like back in the day. I enjoyed, obviously, seeing some of the Davenport scenes and recognizing people I knew in "bit" parts.
I didn't appreciate the over-emphasis on Bix's drinking (he was not late not drunk at his sister's wedding for example) and wish they wouldn't have strayed so far from Bix's actual story. If you know the story well you kind of cringe at some of the inaccuracies (Bix meeting Hoagy as they both attended Lake Forest etc., etc.)
I wish they would have included Bix playing "In A Mist" at a packed Carnegie Hall. That had to have been a thrill for his parents. I think the strain between Bix and his Dad was overplayed also.
In summary, I'm glad the movie was made and I wish I would have known that house could have been purchased for $35,000 if I read what Albert provided us with correctly!
See my review of the film in the main bixography website.
There is a short Gennett scene on YouTube of the Wolverines trying to record "Jazz Me Blues" and being interrupted by a train. The continuity seems strange, however: It begins with a man posted near the tracks to watch for a train, followed by an approaching steam locomotive and cars. The lookout turns and trots back into the Gennett building. The scene cuts to the sound engineers preparing the disk and counting down to signal the band to begin.(All of this in Italian, of course.) Then the lookout appears, the train is heard, and the recording director (Ezra Wickenmeyer, presumably?) opens the recording both and yells "Stop!" (in English, strangely).
The film then cuts to Bloomington, Indiana, with the Wolverines at a dance, playing "Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down." (a song by Ray Lodwig and Howdy Quicksell, not written until 1927.) This sort of anachronism bothers me just because it shows sloppiness in script writing that could have been avoided. (Granted, it was easy for me to check, because we now have Google)
Some of the "co-eds" in the dance scene have ponytails, which may have been around in that period, but I can't recall seeing anyone dressed for a dance with a ponytail in photos from the 1920s!
Similarly, another video clip shows the "Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra" advertised on a marquee, and we know that in Bix's time, the band was solely a studio group.
The music is superb, spot on, though. And some attempt was made to find actors who had some resemblance to the musicians.
Debbie, I don't know if this is the Gennett scene you all were discussing. If it is, you can look it up by the title "Jazz E Cinema BIX soggetto de Avati e Patruno" and look through the choices.
Note that the video of the month is one of the many terrific videos coming from the creative mind of Lisa Ryan, a friend of the Bixography.
My Favourite Things
Trombone player and bandleader Tony Milliner shares with us another of his favourite tracks.
Tony s favourite track this month comes from guitarist Ry Cooders 1978 album Jazz. The track is Ry Cooder playing Bix Beiderbeckes Davenport Blues. Click here for the album track, it is quite short, just over 2 minutes, but one commentator calls it exquisite.
The album, released on the Warner Bros. label was produced by Ry Cooder and Joseph Byrd who also arranged and conducted. The recording has a long personnel list across the tracks, three of which were Bix Beiderbeck numbers (In A Mist and Flashes were also featured).
Click here for the full personnel list (including Earl Hines and Red Callender) and other details. Tony Milliner picks out for particular mention David Sherr (bass clarinet), Harvey Pittel (alto), Tom Collier (vibes) and Tom Pedrini (bass).
We can also watch a video of Ry Cooder and the band playing the number to a receptive audience, although the sound and picture quality are not so good - click here. The Andre Previn lookalike on marimba is Tom Collier.
People tend to think of In A Mist as being cornettist Bix Beiderbeckes notable piano composition, but his tune Flashes ('A Modern Composition For Piano') is hauntingly beautiful. This months video is a real find. The piano is played by Bernd Lohtz set to a slide show of pictures of Bixs early life in Davenport, Iowa. He is instantly recognisable as a child, and I for one, did not know all these pictures existed.
Click here for this month's video.
One commentator says:
'Beautiful montage. My friend introduced it to me. She told me it was her "End of Summer, Beginning of Fall" song. We were sitting with our cafe mochas in the Nordic Bakery just off Golden Square in Soho, London. We indulged in people watching as they passed by the big window in the wet blustery day outside. Our tummies warm with cocoa and caffeine and the smell of cinnamon rolls. She was right, that really captured the moment.'
Pianist Bernd Lhotzky plays "Flashes, "Candlelights," and "In the Dark" at a slower tempo, opening out the chords so they can be appreciated. He and Dick Hyman both have interpreted these pieces similarly and beautifully, lingering over Bix's beautiful chords, in contrast to Jess Stacy's recordings, played faithfully at a similar pace to Bix's recording of "In A Mist."
We've discussed at length the topic of whether or not such interpretations as Hyman's, Sutton's, and Lhotzky's are legitimate, "as written." They all have their merits, but for non-musicians, these slower ones really bring out the beauty of the pieces. They are haunting.
Bix left us just enough of his pianism on record to give a fair idea of what performance attitude he had in mind for his compositions. For me, his best and most characteristic-sounding piano is on "For No Reason at All in C." He sounds completely at ease, just knocking around with Tram and Eddie, and plays at the same tempo at which he tackled "In A Mist" for OKeh a few months later.
He swings with a propulsive beat on all his piano records. His touch is neat, unhurried, crisp, with a clear attack and release, and easy on the Legato. Not much pedal, either. When he slows for the coda on "In a Mist," he does so with a minimum of fuss, not dragging it out, but slowing just enough to show that it IS the coda. In short, Bix was a no-nonsense pianist who didn't indulge in sweeping Romanticism, either in tempo or attitude.
On the records of both "C" and "Mist" he deploys these rapid-fire eighth-note runs of big extended chords, like fireworks. He told Edna Fischer, a pianist I met in San Francisco in the '80s, who had an "unforgettable" piano lesson with him in 1928, that the idea of these rapid runs of big chords was to produce a cumulative, meta-harmonic effect, bigger than the sum of its parts. He called it "persistence of hearing" - according to Edna - which he likened to "persistence of vision," which makes a succession of still photos into a Moving Picture. "Candlelights" also has a couple of these "P. o. H." chordal runs.
The individual chord voicings Bix devised are often so fascinating all by themselves that one can't blame Ralph Sutton et al for lingering over them, squeezing out all the harmonic juice they can get. Bix left a treasure trove of these voicings that are applicable to myriad musical situations, a veritable compendium of "out there" harmony. A few of them, such as the climactic, lingering, nearly atonal, stillness that happens near the end of the third section of "Candlelights," he cribbed straight from the Debussy Preludes.
Of course his piano pieces are open to every kind of interpretation, and who's to say which is "right" ? But I can tell from the records that there was a peculiar and transcendent "Bix Effect" on piano that also permeates his published pieces. If you play them too slowly, rubato-ey, with too much pedal - you'll never hear it.
P.S. and n. b.: Jess Stacy said Bix at the keys was fast.
--what he does with Big Boy. Tour de force hardly describes it. He just swoops down and pounds that keyboard with such flourishing vigor -- of course we all love the novelty of Bix quickly going from piano to cornet and showing he excels at both. It's as if someone could throw anything Bix's way and he'd play it for all he was worth.
I also prefer Bix's tunes at a slower tempo -- especially "In The Dark."
I think pianists, arrangers, and such knowledgeable people can likely take in what is played at a faster pace. I have to say that I like listening to Stacy's version of the three pieces much more since I've heard them quite a few times played more slowly. I guess it's the training wheels effect (not for you, Laura--for me).
I just finished listening to Ralph Sutton's 1950 recordings of the Bix piano compositions, which are quite frankly my favorite versions of them (aside, of course, from Bix's own "In a Mist" recording). I love Jess Stacy but I think he could have done much more justice to "in the Dark" and "Flashes" if he'd been able to devote a 78 rpm side to each composition instead of having to tear through them at warp speed to fit them both on one side.
From Brad in facebook: (I wish I could go!)
The title of the evening is, "BRAD KAY, 'Consulting Musician,' and his MUSICAL CLIENTS."
I realized at one point that with the demise of the Music Business, being a "musician" hardly qualifies anymore as a legitimate profession. But a "Consulting" musician, with "Office Hours" and "Clientele" is a different deal altogether. People at least knit their brows and think it over for a minute before pronouncing you a bum, which otherwise they would have done instantly. That minute's worth of credibility can be a real asset, say, if you're fifty cents short.
.... Merle Johnston.
We discussed him extensively in the forum. See for example
In http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1357162582 Amanda mentioned that she has lots of photos of Merle Johnston. I asked if she could send me some, and she did. Thank you Amanda.
I will upload one per posting following this.
Amanda has a blog with lots of interesting photos of jazz musicians. See http://jazzjunkie.tumblr.com/ The one that caught my particular attention is that of Willard Robison.
this is Mike Riley and Ed Farley with the bass trumpet they used for The Music Goes Round and Round hit
What is the recording that is played for a few seconds at the beginning of the Betty Boop cartoon of
"The music goes 'round and around"? I know it extremely well but I can't think of the recording. Help! My brain is going!
the opening song is the Pay Off by the California Ramblers
I was going bananas. Great recording.
Composed by Howdy Quicksell.
Thanks to Rob for his generosity, here is the article mentioned in
Quicksell about Goldkette in the May 1939 issue of Swing Magazine. Rob is looking for the continuation in the June issue.
Thanks very much, Rob, for all you do for the bixography.
These guys never made it into Goldkette's Victor Recording Orchestra.
- Pianist Al Evans
- Trombonist Paul Van Loan
- Trumpeteer Charley Edwards
I will research these three guys and report.
He had a band that recorded for Cameo between 1923 and 1925. Evidently, Van Loan had left Goldkette by October 1923 when he first recorded for Cameo (Kitchen Stove/ You Can't Cry-Baby Me.)
Here is the label of one of his recordings.
youtube has several of his recordings. Here is one
According to Rust, Red Nichols made three recordings with Van Loan (Nov 30, 1925).
Previous postings about Paul Van Loan in the forum.
Paul Van Loand is the composer of Crazy Quilt. Ascap lists 127 compositions by Van Loan. Lots were done for movies.
He was mentioned by Russell B. Nye in
- Peter van Steeden in 1926
- Rudy Vallee in 1933.
Here is "You Gotta Know How To Love" by Van and His Orchestra, June 23, 1926.
Nothing else I could find.
4 and 5 are Apeda Studio photos.
Unfortunately, not. Does anyone recognize any of the guys in the photos I posted?
Radio Program # 212. (loaded on 06/28/2013) Bix's Fellow Musicians: Recordings of Frank Marvin. 55 min 27 sec
Streaming audio file Download file. 12.9 MB
Streaming mp3 file http://bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX212.m3u
Download file bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX212.mp3 38.0 MB
All vocals by Frank Marvin.
I Lost My Gal From Memphis. Bubber Miley.May 16, 1930.
Without You, Emaline. Bubber Miley.May 16, 1930.
St. James Infirmary. King Oliver. Jan 28, 1930.
When You're Smiling. King Oliver. Jan 28, 1930.
How Long Has This Been Going On? OKeh Melodians.Nov 11, 1927.
That's My Weakness Now.Nat Shilkret. Jun 7, 1928.
Eleven Thirty Saturday Night. Fess Williams. Apr 18, 1930.
Then Someone's In Love. McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Jan 31, 1930.
My Gal Is Good For Nothing But Love. Duke Ellington. Apr 11, 1930.
I Was Made To Love You. Duke Ellington. Apr 11, 1930.
Get Out and Get Under the Moon. Frank Marvin accompanied by own ukelele. May 12, 1928..
WBIX # 212 will be uploaded on July 26, 2013.
I LOVED this WBIX episode! I hadn't known about Frank Marvin's country-music background and his association with Gene Autry (though I've probably seen him lots of times in Autry's films without making the connection), but it's pretty obvious on some of his vocals here, especially "When You're Smiling" and "I Was Made to Love You." He was a lot better than most of the horrible white singers who got inflicted on otherwise great jazz and dance records in the late 1920's. Certainly not many white singers got to record with Black orchestras at the time, and even fewer did so without embarrassing themselves.
Judging from the personnel that are known, I suspect that the Bubber Miley band on the first two tracks was actually Luis Russell's orchestra, which did a lot of session work in New York in 1929 both under its own name and backing King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and other stars. That makes it likely that the third "unknown" trumpeter was Henry "Red" Allen, and the short open intro on "I Lost My Gal from Memphis" before Miley comes in on plunger-muted trumpet certainly sounds like Allen to me.
Also I'd happened to play the Sylvester Ahola "Rare and Personal" CD the day before I heard this episode, so the recordings of "How Long Has This Been Going On" and "Eleven-Thirty Saturday Night" on that disc were fresh in my mind when I heard these versions. This version of "How Long Has This Been Going On" is way better than the one on the Ahola disc; it's slower, less raucous and Marvin's vocal is far more pleasant and musical than Harry Hudson's. (That said, the song is pretty mediocre and probably sounds worse than it is when you inevitably compare it to the Gershwin masterpiece with the same title.) It was also amusing to hear the additional lyrics added to "Eleven-Thirty Saturday Night" to sell the song to the "race" audience, and it's a testament to the precision with which McKinney's Cotton Pickers played that they certainly don't sound Black on "Then Someone's in Love." (Most Black bands of this period more than made up in spirit, swing and drive what they lacked in precision, though some Black bandleaders like Alphonso Trent and Jimmie Lunceford drilled their players to play as precisely as those in white bands.)
Just one teeny error: Duke Ellington's bass player, Wellman Braud (who adds a lot to "My Gal Is Good for Nothing but Love," which swings a LOT harder than it would have with a tuba or brass bass) was a New Orleans Creole whose last name was originally spelled "Breaux." Therefore it should be pronounced "Bro."
For years I uploaded WBIX programs, and 99 % of the time I received no comments of substance, usually, minor remarks such as a name missing or suggestions of themes for future programs. As you came on the scene, Mark, I am under a microscope, and I tell you, it feels good. I was getting sloppy, now I am on my toes and more careful about what I present and what I say. I am grateful for all your feedback.
Breaux is a good old rural name from out in the Cajun country: Breaux Bridge is an interesting small town near Lafayette, La. It's been known for some time as "The Crawfish Capital of the World". Wikipedia says (though I never heard this when I was there) that "It is also known for its unusual listing of nicknames in its telephone directory." Does anybody know any examples?
Apart from sharing its name with Wellman B., Breaux Bridge's best jazz connection is a modern one: Branford Marsalis was born there.
..Red Nichols's 1929 version of Irving Berlin's "Say It With Music"? It features Scrappy Lambert intoning in front of an amazingly mournful trombone choir. They had tried out the arrangement several weeks before (when Teagarden, Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey were present), but it was rejected at that point. By the time it was remade, Teagarden was gone, but Glenn Miller was still buzzing away in the furry, funereal background. Jazz On Line has it here:
What got into them, I wonder?
Red goes back to the Music Box Revue of 1921 for this interesting Berlin song. The arrangement is by Glenn Miller. A wild guess. Red was looking for a new sound. Enough of the small group chamber jazz, onward to bigger and better (?) things with Miller experimenting with his arrangements. In the notes for the Jazz Oracle Nichols 9 CD set, Sudhalter writes, "The blend on Say It With Music is a bit approximate with one of the trombones not blending with the other two." Two of the trombonists are known, Glenn Miller and Herb Taylor. The identity of the third trombonist is not known. This was recorded on Sep 9, 1929. A few months later, on Jan 24, 1930, Red had tried something similar, somber and slow, at the beginning of Sometimes I'm Happy."
Thanks for this very unusual (to say the least) record. A lot of times jazz musicians who worked in bands for which Glenn Miller arranged -- Ben Pollack's, Ray Noble's and Miller's own -- complained that his arrangements were too strict and didn't leave them enough freedom to express themselves. This surprisingly lugubrious record is a case in point. (No wonder Jack Teagarden bypassed the remake session.) I hadn't heard it before and wasn't able to listen to the "Sometimes I'm Happy" performance Albert posted a link to since my YouTube connection decided to give me only a second or two of it at a time, and then silence. That's why I usually don't bother with YouTube posts! I have a Nichols performance of "Sometimes I'm Happy" in my collection, but it's a considerably livelier and more spirited rendition from the 1920's.
If so, try this
It didn't work. I got a pulsing sound throughout both this and another .ra file I'd downloaded earlier.
I see what you mean about "Sometimes I'm Happy", if we're talking about this version:
The whole thing is indeed a sombre trudge through the melody, with "sometimes I'm blue" predominating. It makes me wonder (though it's a strange thought) if an attempt was being made to appeal to sufferers from the newly established Depression -- "folks are miserable, let's give them miserable (but determined) music they can empathise with." For this session it was Charlie Teagarden who dropped out of the line-up, and Glenn Miller too...
According to the discography with the Oracle Jazz Red Nichols set, Glenn Miller plays trombone and wrote the arrangement.
Maybe the Miller legend is true, that he was seeking that "special sound" by this time. His hotter arrangements weren't so draggy, (cf. his scoring for "Beale Street Blues" with Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden on the vocal), but listening to that trombone harmony, I was really reminded of "Moonlight Serenade," which relies on harmonies in the reed section for its charm. Maybe the band was looking for something different and Miller took his chance to try out some ideas on this one. He might even have been thinking of the trombone quartet in Whiteman's "Sweet Sue."
I can see having this arrangement in the book on dance dates to let the dancers a rest and give the sweethearts a chance to snuggle up close and "slow dance." As a recording, it's atypical for a Nichols group.
Maybe this tune could have used a bridge into a faster tempo somewhere along the way, as in Whiteman's recording?
Does B.B. really play on Jubilee, a "modern" composition with virtually no improvising? By the same token, we know that he is absent from Hoagie's Just One Night... In neither case does the trumpet/cornet sound like him.
The OKeh label
The Odeon label. (Robison's name misspelled).
The music file.
Jan 9, 1928 was the first recording session by Bix and Tram since they joined Whiteman. Two numbers were recorded, There'll Come a Time and Jubilee, a composition by Willard Robison. This was no longer the Bix and Tram group of Goldkette-New Yorkers days. Bix and Tram were now members of the Paul Whiteman orchestra and when recording on their own, they had to use Whiteman musicians. Thus, the band that recorded Jubilee was a bit "new" to Bix and Tram. They had Jimmy Dorsey, Chet Hazlett and Rube Crozier on reeds, Rank on Trombone, Lennie Hayton on piano, Carl Kress on guitar, Min Leibrook on bass sax and Hal McDonald on drums. This is a rather advanced composition by Willard Robison who also wrote the arrangement. As you point out, the musicians stick to the written score and there are no improvisations or written solos. It is a different Bix and Tram recording than the ones they made in 1927. The whole sensibility of the recording is new. I hear Bix in the ensemble and in particular on his own at 0:46 and 1:06.
I am glad that you brought up. It made me listen more carefully to this recording, a rather advanced and complicated arrangement that needs complete attention on the part of the listener.
Not only is Robison's name misspelled, but take a look at the maestro of the orchestra, Franklie Trumbauer! Tram was a true-blue guy, but not serious enough about sincerity to change his first name!
I'm with you on Bix's playing that little bit at 1:06 ff. Both horns are distinguishable at 2:19, and to me it sounds like the two horn players take turns on the two little variant phrases at 2:46-48 until the trombone comes in on the third echo phrase. It certainly could be Bix at 2:36-39 as well.
This is a very interesting piece with some outstanding horn parts. Those writers who claimed that Bix couldn't navigate a complex score would have to admit that however he came by it, he played flawlessly on this one, right by the book.
This side and the flip side, "There'll Come a Time" are remarkably tight numbers, considering that this was a group who hadn't performed together for very long. These guys were pros!
My mother was a great fan of Maurice Chevalier and when I was a child in Paris in the early 1930s, she played several of his records. Here is one of my favorite.
I know now that Chevalier was accompanied by an orchestra under the direction of Leonard Joy. There is no much biographical information about Leonard Joy. I would like to learn more about him. But right now, my to-do list is enormous, and I don't have time to research him thoroughly. Just three items.
- From the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings:
|Name||Recording Date Range||Occurrences|
|Leonard W. Joy (director)||1927 - 1929||594|
|Leonard W. Joy (session supervisor)||1927 - 1929||42|
|Leonard W. Joy (instrumentalist: piano)||1926 - 1928||22|
|Leonard W. Joy (conductor)||10|
|Leonard W. Joy (instrumentalist: celeste)||1926 - 1927||7|
|Leonard W. Joy (arranger)||1928||6|
|Leonard Joy's All String Orchestra (Musical group)||2|
|Leonard W. Joy (composer)||1927||2|
|Leonard W. Joy (instrumentalist: bells)||1928||1|
- From archive.org
Complete Collection of Dance Orchestra Recordings by
The High Hatters 1928-1931
Conducted by Leonard Joy
- From the New York Post, Oct 27, 1941.
Connection to Bix: Joy was assistant director in the Whiteman recording session of Jan 12, 1928, the session that gave us the immortal recording of San.
1900 - Leonard W. Joy, born in New Hampshire in Aug 1894; living in Claremont Village, Sullivan County, NH with mother Ida B. age 26, born in Vermont; Frank E. father, age 29, born in Mass, bookeeper; the family lives in the household of maternal grandparents.
1910 - Frank and family live in their own place; everything is the same, only everyone is 10 years older and Frank is now a newspaer reporter.
Another of Chevaliers song that I like a lot!
The French Version by Maurice Chevalier. March 7, 1930. Personne ne sen sert maintenant.
Description: Male vocal solo, with orchestra
Instrumentation: 2 violins, cello, bass, 2 saxophones, 2 cornets, trombone, guitar, piano, and traps
Master Size: 10-inch
Authors and Composers
The English Version by Maurice Chevalier. Jan 2, 1930. Nobodys Using It Now.
Everything the same with two exceptions: Henri Bataille not listed; Victor 22285
The English Version by the High Hatters under the direction of Leonard Joy. Dec 3, 1929.
Everything the same as Chevaliers English version with two exceptions: Frank Luther, male vocalist, tenor; Victor 22232.
I think I hear Mike Mosiello and Andy Sannella.
PS There are other versions of this song.
Ray Miller archive.org/download/RayMillerOrchestra-11-20/RayMillerHisOrchestra-NobodysUsingItNow1929.mp3 (I believe the mystery soloist in Cradle of Love plays here.)
Coca Cola Signature
Versatile Piece Of Music
In modern times, musical jingles have played a key role in the advertising of Coca Cola. Some of those jingles have become classics in modern advertising. While music is important in todays Coca Cola advertising, it was also important for selling Coke on radio during the golden age.
On a Wednesday evening in 1930 (exact date unknown) at 10:30 PM, the radio listeners heard the first broadcast of THE COCA COLA HOUR on NBCs Red Network. The program had an unusual combination of sports and music. Graham McNamee and Grantland Rice interviewed famous sports stars of the era, and Leonard W. Joy with his 31-piece string symphony handled the music. The program also had the rare distinction (by 1930 standards) to air from coast-to-coast.
Joy wrote the theme music for the program. It didnt have a specific name, so the music was simply called "The Coca Cola Signature." In radio terminology, "signature" meant theme song. It consisted of only a few bars and it never finished. The music faded out when the program began. Joy created the signature to serve as the programs theme music, but little did he know The Coca Cola Signature continued to be heard on radio into the 1950s.
The Coca Cola Signature served as the theme music on all radio programs sponsored by Coca Cola for the remainder of radios golden age. Not only that, the music also served another purpose--- it was in some cases, Coca Colas commercial.
As a breath of fresh air to those radio listeners who hated radio commercials, Coca Cola didnt have lengthy commercials, excitable announcers, or silly gimmicks. The commercials were brief, to the point, and presented in a professional manner. In some commercials, all was heard was The Coca Cola Signature, the opening of a bottle of Coke, and the announcer saying the program was presented by Coca Cola. That was it. Although the commercials didnt have much context, they were effective in convincing the radio listeners to open a bottle of Coke and feel refreshed.
For a piece of music that was designed to open and close THE COCA COLA HOUR, The Coca Cola Signature did its part in selling Coca Cola for over 2 decades. Its unassuming music provided the inspiration that music sells Coca Cola--- and it has to this very day.
Fascinating stuff. All-string orchestra!
In the late nineteenth century the definition of a Gentleman was "A man who owns a saxophone but never plays it".
In this 1930 broadcast the announcer proudly informs the listeners "It's an all string orchestra, not even a saxophone".
From the Denton Journal, April 9, 1932.
Now in his early thirties, Leonard Joy was born in Claremont, N. H. ... Organized and played in threepiece orchestra country square dances there... Went to Dartmouthwhere in addition to being active in musical organizations, played basketball and baseball . . . Served in Air Corps during war . . . Moved to Florida and played about in orchestras there . . . Began career in New York writing musical scores for burlesque at $100 a piece . . . Soon after recording for Victor and has been doing so ever since . . . In 1928, organized and directed unique all-string orchestra on Grantland Rice NEC program . . . Was made one of two musical directors of RCA Victor, a position he still holds . . . Now conducts orchestra on Friday night chocolate program on NBC . . . Lives with wife and year and a half old son in Glen Ridge, N. J.
Born Aug 12, 1894. Dartmouth class of 1916. While at Dartmouth he was associate editor of the Aegis and Jack o' Lantern. Middle name was Wakefield. His birth certificate gives his ethnicity as Canadian. His WWI Draft Registration Card, dated June 5, 1917, gives brown hair and blue eyes. living at 273 W 73rd Street in New York City. In 1942 he lived in Essex NJ with his wife Katherine and was employed by RCA Victor at 155 E. 24th Street, New York City.
Siegel Wright Judd was born in Leoti, Kansas, 19 June 1895. He entered Dartmouth College in 1914 and graduated in 1918. While at Dartmouth, he and classmate Gene Markey, and Leonard Joy, Class of 1916, collaborated on many Dartmouth musicals, with Judd and Joy as composers and Markey writing the book and lyrics. After graduating from Dartmouth. Judd received a law degree from the University of Michigan and practiced law in Grand Rapids. Judd was married to Dorothy Leonard and had two children. In 1931, he formed the law firm of Warner, Norcross and Judd. He died 2 September 1982, in Grand Rapids.
Gene Markey was born in Jackson, Michigan, 11 December 1895. After graduating from Dartmouth, Markey wrote novels and screenplays, was a film producer in California, and later in life was well known in thoroughbred racing circles. He was married four times, to actresses Joan Bennet, Myrna Loy and Hedi Lamar, and in 1952 to the owner of Calumet Farm, Lucille Parker Wright. Once, when there was a dispute over the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby, Markey was represented by Judd in the lawsuit, which resulted in a win for Calumet Farm. Markey died 1 May 1980 in Miami, Florida.
Nice of Leonard Joy to remember how nervous the musicians were at Eddie Cantor's Victor session on Black Friday. It probably didn't calm them any as he recorded "Eddie Cantor's Tips on the Stock Market":
"Nowadays when a man walks into a hotel and requests a room on the nineteenth floor, the clerk asks him: 'For sleeping or for jumping?'"
Just ran across this on the Web: a fascinating interview with George Avakian, jazz reissue producer and liner note writer:
All Bixophiles owe Avakian an enormous debt of gratitude. For years the four LP's of Bix reissues Avakian produced in the 1950's and 1960, the three volumes of "The Bix Beiderbecke Story" on Columbia and "The Bix Beiderbecke Legend" on RCA Victor (the last containing the first issue of the 1924 test pressing of "I Didn't Know" by Jean Goldkette with Bix), were virtually the only Bix material readily available. These LP's made many people into Bix fans, including me when I first collected them in the early 1970's.
A photo of George with yours truly.
George Avakian: 2010 NEA Jazz Master
Marc Myers Interviews George.
Indeed, we owe George a great debt of gratitude. By the way, George put up postings in this forum.
Avakian's LPs in the '50s were my introduction to Bix.
The "Blog Supreme" interview with George Avakian contains a mistake which, since it occurs in parentheses in the text, I assume to be the author's, Felix Contreras, rather than Avakian's. It lists the 1936 "Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Album" on Victor, produced and annotated by Warren Scholl, as containing five 78 rpm records. In fact it contained six, making 12 songs in all. They were:
"Barnacle Bill, the Sailor" from the first Hoagy Carmichael session, May 21, 1930 (take 1)
"Bessie Couldn't Help It" from the second Hoagy Carmichael session, September 15, 1930 (take 2)
"Deep Down South" from the Bix Beiderbecke and His Orchestra session, September 9, 1930 (take 2)
plus nine Paul Whiteman recordings featuring Bix:
"Louisiana" (April 23, 1928) (take 3)
"You Took Advantage of Me" (April 25, 1928) (take 1)
"Mississippi Mud" (February 18, 1928) (take 2)
"Lonely Melody" (January 4, 1928) (take 3)
"From Monday On" (February 23, 1928) (take 4)
"Changes" (November 23, 1927) (take 2)
"San" (January 12, 1928) (take 7)
"When" (March 12, 1928) (take 2)
"Sugar" (February 28, 1928) (take 1)
The press release.
This is really incredible news! I look forward to hearing more about this instrument's history and your remarkable discovery.
There will be more information in tomorrow's edition of the Quad City Times. I will provide the pertinent link.
Congratulations! A great acquisition!
A few years ago at the New Orleans Jazz Collection Museum in the old U.S. Mint building, I saw an old upright piano that was purported to have been Beiderbecke's. I assumed it was the piano that was borrowed from Pat Ciricillo and was in the apartment at 46th and Queens Boulevard. Is this the piano you acquired or is it another one? If it's another, what is that piano in New Orleans?
Pat Ciricillo's piano was always in the 44th Street Hotel. It was never in Sunnyside. It is now in the New Orleans Jazz Museum. I have some information about Pat's piano in my article about Bix's piano compositions.
Great job, Albert! This is great news and an amazing find.
I look forward to seeing it someday whenever I finally get the chance to go to Davenport.
Aw shucks! I got a pretty picture of the piano, but NONE of the article would print. Puzzling. I wanted to scrapbook it!
After fumbling around and getting the right "inner key"
No pun intended, snicker smirk. . . .
Pat sitting at his piano
The piano in the jazz museum in NO.
How did Pat's piano find its way to New Orleans? From IAJRC Journal, Vol 43, No 1, March 2010.
Early in the 1970's Pat Ciricillo offered to sell his piano to record collector and Bixophile Joe Giordano for $50. Joe was interested, but had no room for the piano in his apartment in New York City. In 1978 Pat and his wife decided to move to Florida. They sold their house in Scarsdale; the closing on the house and Pat's funeral took place on the same day, May 13, 1978, Pat having died at that time from a massive heart attack. Frank and Connie Smith purchased the house and several items, including the piano. They paid $40 for the piano and $75 for a lawn mower! In the 1980's, Frank and Connie Smith offered to donate the piano to the Smithsonian, but the authorities in charge refused to accept the gift. In 1987, they donated the piano to the LouisianaStateMuseum where it is on display presently.
Albert, you tracked down this piano in exemplary Dragnet style ("Just the facts, Ma'am!"), not only finding the instrument but establishing its chain of provenance.
Just one question: How did Bix fit this baby grand in his tiny apartment? I assume this is the place that ("Bixing" legend has it) was so small that Babe Ruth had to remove the door from its hinges to get in? Actually, that scans: Tiny room. Big piano. Door only slightly openable.
Probably an example of "Bixing." Two threads of interest.
A true story about the Babe and Pops.
Great work in all respects, Albert. I'm proud to know you!
Couldn't be happier for you -- not only do you thoroughly revere and appreciate the piano, you'll have it available for others to do so, as I've seen the Beiderbecke family do with their inherited Bix relics (kindly sharing photos on-line, donating items to Putnam museum for viewing, etc.). This is something truly special.
I'm so glad some covetous "collector" didn't get their hands on that piano to hide away and keep off-limits.
No no, everyone, there's no one I'm hinting about or pointing at, honest -- it's just out there in the world there ARE collectors of specific icons of historical note who just might keep such a thing stashed away as their own special acquisition. Albert being a true Bixophile knows this piano will be something to share and enjoy in the proper archive.
I'm pleased to know that those with an interest in earlier music are much more generous than, let's say, many collectors of silent and early talking films in sharing their acquisitions. It might be, to some, an apples and oranges comparison, but I don't think so. Bix's last piano is just as rare as one copy of a film. Thankfully, it's not inflammable, as nitrate film is.
But let's not forget that had it not been for Chris Barry's identification of the mystery woman in Bix's last summer on earth as Alice Weiss, none of this would have been possible.
It was indeed serendipity for Chris Barry to identify Alice, but you took advantage of that piece of fortune with some good sleuthing and generosity in offering the piano to the Bix Collection so that we call all see and hear it.
Well, not MY good and faithful servant, obviously ,but Bix's, in so many ways.
Thank you, Albert, for your sleuthing, acquisition, expenditure and especially, your generous permanent loan of such an important artifact of Bixie's. Wow!
To have this piano displayed (in the near future) with all the other Bix artifacts in downtown Davenport will be an astronomical addition.
I can't wait to see it on display during the Bix fest this year!
My hat is off to you once again.
Kudos also to Chris Barry!
Been outa the loop. Very exciting development. I'm surprised it was so cheap.