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
I'm trying to identify the band members from a 1920 photo of the Paul Whiteman Ambassador Orchestra. (see linked image)
From left to right, I have: Paul Whiteman (violin), Sammy Heise (bass), Ferde Grofe (piano) Hale "Pee Wee" Byers (baritone sax, tenor, clarinet), Gus Muller (tenor saxophone, clarinet Henry Busse (trumpet), Harold McDonald (drums) and Buster Johnson (trombone).
I'm curious if I have the names correct, and in particular the name of the musician with the baritone saxophone.
I recently acquired an instrument and the person I purchased it from said that he purchased the instrument from the grandaughter of the original owner who played with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra and this photo was in her home in Levitown, NY when he picked it up.
That was in the late 70's and he couldn't remember the name of the seller or who her grandfather was. He also purchased a flute from her that he still owns.
Any help or link to a higher-rez photo would be appreciated.
Your id of the musicians is, as far as I know, correct. The same photo appears in http://thebluemoment.com/2013/05/05/yellow-cocktail-music/
with the source specified as The photograph of Paul Whitemans Ambassador Hotel Orchestra was taken in Atlantic City in 1920; the leader is on the extreme left, a violin under his arm. It is included in the booklet to the CD Paul Whiteman King of Jazz 1920-1927, released on the Timeless Historical label.
I don't have the CD. I wonder if the liners give the names of the musicans. Does anyone have this CD?
By the way this is the band that Whiteman had in his first ever recording session on Aug 9, 1920. Four numbers were recorded, The Japanese Sandman, Avalon/Just Like A Gypsy, Wang-Wang Blues and Whispering. Only Wang-Wang Blues was issued, a composition by three of the musicians in he band (Mueller, Johnson and Busse). Here is the cover of the sheet music with the same musicians as in the photo you sent, except for the trombonist who is Sam Lewis (Johnson left Whiteman in Nov 1920).
Here is the record label of Wang-Wang Blues.
The vital statistics from the LOC website.
Ragtime, jazz, and more, Blues
Trumpet, trombone, clarinet, violin, piano, banjo, brass bass, and drums
Camden, New Jersey
This recording was originally a Victor "trial" (audition).
The music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKS8e9Mr1Pw Note that they managed to pack 3:21 worth of music in a 10-in 78. I love this record. The melody is rather bitter sweet. Great arrangement by Ferde Grofe. And get a load of Gus Mueller's clarinet part showing his New Orleans origin.
Finally an interesting photo from Ate's article in http://www.vjm.biz/articles8.htm
...and Welcome to the Forum!
I believe it is spelled Gus MUELLER (adding the "e" after the "u"). The rest appear spelled correctly, though I'm not sure about Sammy Heise.
I have a rare Brunswick coupling from Jan. 1926 by Hale Byers and his Orchestra: an all-reed with rhythm section unit, yet the sound is full and rich; you hardly miss the brass section at all! Solos are hot and many. The tunes are "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charley" and "Sea Legs" (the latter from a Musical Comedy called "Capt. Jinks").
Here's a link to "Sea Legs":
...and to "Clap Hands Here Comes Charley":
And finally the discographical info on these tracks:
Br 3092A HALE BYERS & HIS ORCH CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLEY E17736 - - 1/28/26 ROSE;MacDONALD;MEYER
Br 3092B HALE BYERS & HIS ORCH SEA LEGS ("Captain Jinks") E17733 - - 1/28/26 DeSYLVA;GENSLER "Capt JINKS"
I hoped to see you on Monday at the Iguana for Vince's celebration of Bix's birthday. Maybe you were there on Tu for Vince's birthday.
Both of the recordings are terrific. Two of the Mayhew brothers (Jack and Nye) are there. Perry Botkin is on banjo, Wayne Euchner on piano and Emory Kenyon on drums. (Rust). Indeed, no brass! What is the reed playing the low notes? Baritone sax? Rust does not mention one.
I knew about the Bix Birthday fete at the Iguana, but unfortunately wasn't able to make it. I was working late yesterday so also missed yesterday's Vince's Birthday bash (happy belated birthday, Vince!) - I'm sure Monday night's show was wonderful.
Yes, that has to be a baritone sax on "Clap Hands" - wondering if it could be Byers himself, since the early 20s Paul Whiteman photo credit had: Hale "Pee Wee" Byers (baritone sax, tenor, clarinet). Don't think the books make note of that, or the possibility of it.
All the best,
Thanks for additional background info and the links to the Hale Byers music.
I knew this was the right place to come with my questions because almost every search I did brought me back around to your forum.
From the looks of things, this fellow Hale Byers left the band in 1924 just as things were starting to take off. It makes me wonder if he was getting overshadowed by the star musicians that Paul Whiteman was bringing on as they moved into the late 20's.
I think I need to track down a reasonably-priced copy of Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music Vol.1 or find a local library that has it on the shelf.
.... the information in the Timeless CD. Thanks a lot, Albert.
The musicians id under the photo is the same as what you posted.
Thanks for all the great info - plenty more for me to follow up on.
I've ordered the timeless CD to get a look at the photo.
One more question for your group...
I saw an add for Bruescher instruments on ebay...
The ad has 1924 as the publication date.
Any idea if a band like Whiteman's would swap out all of their instruments when they signed a contract with an instrument manufacturer? That would make sense for an individual artist contract, but would it hold true for the whole band?
..... according to many, West End Blues and Singin' the Blues by Louis Armstrong and Bix and Tram, respectively.
In 1947, Frankie Laine recorded vocal versions of the two jazz classics.
West End Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTAC6jcoI3s
Singin' the Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATKpP3bDKls
Here is one of the recordings of the two together, the immortal Stardust on Sep 20, 1929.
Whether with the Wolverines, Trumbauer, His Gang, Whiteman or Goldkette, Bix added a unique and special dimension to the music the bands were playing. He composed his solos on the fly, and it is remarkable that they were so perfectly constructed. His powerful imagination produced music unsurpassed before or after him. Bix's musical contributions are unpredictable, but once I hear them I am in awe as to how perfectly they fit the context. I never get tired of listening to his music: there is always something new to discover.
Thank you Bix, for the unending pleasure that you have brought to the world of music.
I Don't Mind Walking In the Rain
Both versions of Riverboat Shuffle. . . .
and I'm just getting started, on YouTube. Wait'll I get to the stereo and put in that splashy Wolverines cd,and Bix Restored. . . .
Happy Birthday, Bix. You made this old girl very happy with your music, discovered better late than never, and because of you I've made many new friends along the way, since 2006.
How are all of you enjoying today?
PS. Hey, anyone able to get the ebook chapter on Bix? Is it worth the read?
"Bix's musical contributions are unpredictable, but once I hear them I am in awe as to how perfectly they fit the context."
The chase chorus by Bix and Tram in Borneo is well known and often cited as a great example of a Bix and Tram dialogue. Indeed it is excellent. Listen.
There is also an excellent chase chorus by Bix and Tram in Just An Hour of Love, this one underrated in my opinion. Sudhalter describes it as "spirited" in the booklet for the Bix, Tram, Teagarden Mosaic set. Listen.
"Air Race Fever" by David Galster.
An aspiring actress, Ramona Larosa, enjoys special treatment from her "sugar daddy," Victor Hamilton. Her second cousin, Kent Stevenson, and friend, Jasmin Clark accompany her on many air shows and fun evenings at Chicago speakeasies, movies, and Victor's parties. Along the way, they encounter many different 1920s celebrities such as jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, and Hoagy Carmichael. Ramona gets entangled in a love triangle with barnstormer pilot, Doug Rayburn. After a plane crash, Doug decides to enter the Pulitzer Prize race to be held in Dayton, Ohio. Ramona tries to balance her time between the two lovers, and even manages to get Victor to loan Doug the money he needs for a racing plane.
Thanks to David for providing information about his book and for the link. You can read the first few pages online. Chapter 5 is titled "Meeting Bix."
From the Getty archives
21st October 1938: EXCLUSIVE American jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman (1890 - 1967) sits in front of the drum kit on the edge of a stage, watching American jazz trombonists Tommy Dorsey (1905 - 1956; R) and Jack Teagarden (1905 - 1964; C) play with other members of Whiteman's band at the Club El Rio, New York City. The pianist, drummer and clarinetist are unidentified. (Photo by Charles Peterson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Could the pianist be Frank Signorelli? Can anyone identify the three unidentified musicians? At lest three of the guys in the photo had connections to Bix.
Is the drummer George Wettling?
The drummer is definitely George Wettling. I agree that the pianist could be Frank Signorelli, who, like Wettling, was in the Whiteman band at the time. The clarinetist looks rather like Jimmy Dorsey!
One of the founders of the Original Memphis Five, he was a key member, the manager of the band. See this ad in Variety, Jan 3, 1924, with his co-conspirator Phil Napoleon's name misspelled!
I think Frank is underrated. He was one of pioneers, played with some of the jazz greats, composed several jazz standards. ASCAP lists 47 compositions by Signorelli, among them:
A Blues Serenade
I'll Never Be the Same
Sioux City Sue
Stairway to the Stars
Bix recorded two of these.
Gypsy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SuOG26ye8c Rayno: "uplifting muted cornet solo by Bix." With Hazlett on subtone clarinet.
Deep Harlem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1si4wku709g Bix sort of plays the blues
Caprice Futuristic is a semi-symphonic composition, recorded by Whiteman on Feb 18, 1928. Bix did not participate in this recording although he was in the studio and recorded Mississippi Mud immediately after Caprice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmlC4g-DD2c 12-inch recording
Rayno gives credit to only Matty Malneck as composer. The Victor library at UCSB gives both Malneck and Signorelli. So does ASCAP and the Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions, Part 3.
Another semi-classic compostion by Signorelli and Malneck is Midnight Reflections. Recorded by Whiteman just after takes 1-3 of From Monday On. Bix was in the studio but did not participate in the recording.
http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/whiteman/midnrefl.ra Satterfield's arrangement
Lord lists 215 recordings of I'll Never Be the Same. The first by Eddie Lang and Rube Bloom on Sep 27, 1928. Listen to this lovely stuff!
The second was by Joe Venuti's Blue Four on June 10, 1931. The title is Little Buttercup but the tune is I'll Never Be the Same. Joe, Eddie, Jimmy Dorsey and Frank Signorelli. Again, delicious stuff.
New Yorkers -
Playing saxophone with the ODJB
From the Starr Gennett website:
Gennett Records was home to many pivotal and influential figures in jazz, but if a count of all the Gennett recordings made by those artists were doubled, it still wouldn't equal the number of sides recorded by Gennett's most prolific recording group, Bailey's Lucky Seven.
In October 1921, a mere few months after the first-ever jazz release, Victor's "Livery Stable Blues," took the world by storm, the Gennett studio in New York City began a series of recordings organized by Sam Lanin to capitalize on the new interest.
Lanin, a popular bandleader and music agent, recruited the most in-demand studio musicians for many of the sessions, including Phil Napoleon on cornet, Irving Milfred "Miff" Mole on trombone, Jimmy Lytell on clarinet, Frank Signorelli on piano and Jack Roth on drums. Lanin often hired Red Nichols to add an invigorating second cornet line to capitalize on the hot sound at the time.
Though not always taking top billing, Lanin led and arranged for the ensemble under its many names, such as Ladd's Black Aces and the Original Memphis Five. Ironically, the group never included anyone named Bailey, and sometimes more or less than seven members recorded together. Additionally, no one named Ladd could be found in the all-white Ladd's Black Aces, and the five-plus members of the Original Memphis Five all hailed from the Northeast, so the origins of their band names is a bit of a mystery. Most likely, the names were chosen for their appeal to fans of race and jazz music.
clarinetist , I think is Mezz!
Definitely Mezz on clarinet!!
Mezz a member of Paul Whiteman's orchestra? That's hard to imagine!
Perhaps that opening caption needs a little tweaking.
Don Rayno, Whiteman, vol 2, mentions this event:
"The well-known French jazz critic and scholar Hughes Panassie was in New York during a 1938 visit to America, and on October 21, Whiteman along with Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey and Roy Bargy, brought him to the El Rio Club, where the Frenchman got to hear an after hours jam session with some of the city's top swingers."
Whiteman's band did not have a gig at the El Rio Club. It makes sense that Mezz was there since he had strong connections with French jazzmen and critics. Wikipedia tells us "Mezzrow's 1938 sessions for the French jazz critic Hugues Panassie involved Bechet and Ladnier." See the information about the LP in http://www.discogs.com/Ladnier-Mezzrow-Bechet-The-Panassi%C3%A9-Sessions/release/4251642
Glenda, indeed, it made no sense that Mezz was a member of the Whiteman orchestra. It was a jam session. I wonder if some of the black musicians were also present.
Details in the next three postings.
March marks the birthday of local jazz legend, Leon Bix Beiderbecke. This year, celebrate Bixs birthday at the 20th Annual Bix Birthday Bash, sponsored by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society (BBMS). Join us at Davenport Public Librarys Eastern Avenue Branch (6000 Eastern Avenue) on Monday, March 10, at 5 pm to hear toe-tapping, LIVE jazz from the Bix All-Star Band. This is a FREE event. Enjoy free coffee and lemonade and stick around for ice cream and birthday cake.
Although Bix hasnt been alive for more than 100 years, his spirit lives on through his music, the BBMS, and the library. For more information about this event, call (563) 326-7832.
Join Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, Monday, March 10th, 2014, as they celebrate the 111th birthday of Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbecke at Iguana NYC
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks will present an evening with three sets full of Bix favorites, from the catalogues of the Wolverines, The Jean Goldkette Orchestra, The Paul Whiteman Orchestra and other outfits in which Bix and his cornet shone. Drawing on his long association with Goldkette arranger and trombonist Bill Challis, Vince will lead the band i...n original arrangements that featured Bix and his great collaborators Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, Bill Rank, Don Murray, Adrian Rollini, and many others.
Don't miss this special, once-a-year celebration of Bix, the man and his music, from 8pm 11pm, doors open at 7 pm. Music cover charge: $15 cash at the door: food/drink minimum: $20. There is a dance floor and an elevator to the 2nd floor. For reservations at Iguana, please call 212-765-5454 http://www.iguananyc.com/
Everything I recall reading about Bill Challis reported that he played saxophone.
In a pinch, he could play piano as he did in Whiteman's recording of San.
.... for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks' celebration of Bix's music. I'll be in a table with Ron "Vitaphone" Hutchinson. If you go, please stop by and say hello.
Wonderful music from Bix's repertoire with the Wolverines, Goldkette, Whiteman, Bix and Tram, Bix and the Gang, played flawllessly by the fabulous Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Incidentally, today is Vince's birthday. Happy birthday, Vince.
Next WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, my newly reformed Roof Garden Jass Band will salute Bix Beiderbecke - in honor of the cornet legend's 111th birthday - featuring the young talents of cornetist Mike Davis, trombonist Josh Holcomb, pianist Dalton Ridenhour, and drummer Kevin Dorn - along with my- (somewhat older) -self on clarinet and C-melody saxophone. This is the same stellar group that delighted audiences at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport last August, and will be returning this year for an encore performance. You may remember this gang from our appearance at the Bickford last August as "Dan Levinson's New Millennium All Stars." Mike Davis was also the dazzling and debonair cornetist at last year's Big Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash at the Bickford, as well as in my program entitled "Swingin' on a Star" at the Bickford this past October. Don't miss a special opportunity to hear this fantastic group of musicians paying tribute to the great Bix Beiderbecke!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12
THE BIG BIX BEIDERBECKE BIRTHDAY BASH!
Dan Levinson's Roof Garden Jass Band
Mike Davis, trumpet
Josh Holcomb, trombone
Dan Levinson, clarinet/sax
Dalton Ridenhour, piano
Kevin Dorn, drums
The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Rd.
Tickets: (973) 971-3706 (discount for advance purchase)
Thanks to Phil Schaap who writes,
Although it is not in Davenport, nor is it an event that can be physically attended, there is still another Bix birthday bash.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
This will be the 45th Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Broadcast all day (Eastern Time) from late Sunday night the ninth until the early seconds of the eleventh: ALL DAY MARCH 10TH!
This is on WKCR-Fm NY at 89.9 Fm and via the Internet at WKCR.org.
I will be on from 12Noon until 5PM (ET) on Monday.
One of my best YOUNG students, Charles Iselin born well over 60 years after Bixs death and just over 90 years after Bixs birth will handle 4 of the morning hours (between 6am and Noon ET).
It's great Bix is being remembered and honored on his birthday with celebratory happenings. You all have a great time at what you attend and report on the fun!
I remind you of one of the photos in http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1383339247/Do+you+remember+Frank+Black-
I stated that the pianist was Frank Black. I was wrong. The pianist is Gus Haenschen (also known as Carl Fenton). Thanks to Dr. Jim Drake for the correction.
Jim provides additional fascinating information. At one time, Jim was associated with Ithaca College. He provided additional fascinating information:
Ben Selvin and Gus Haenschen were recording and radio music directors whose stock-in-trade was performing commercial dance music, often in elaborate arrangements. Therefore they needed professionally trained musicians who were crack sight readers and could play a score they'd never seen before as if they'd been rehearsing it for weeks. Bix NEVER had that ability. That's why Selvin used Benny Goodman so often: Goodman was professionally trained, a crack sight reader AND a first-rate hot soloist. Bix was a first-rate hot soloist but it took him a long time to learn an arrangement -- which is one reason why it's so amazing he stayed on with Whiteman as long as he did. But then again Whiteman, whose group was a working live band rather than a studio outfit, had the time to get to know Bix and appreciate what he had to offer -- and though Selvin may have been Columbia's pop music director when Whiteman was under contract there, he never produced Whiteman's records or had any professional interaction with him.
.... direct interactions of Bix with Selvin and/or Haenschen. Maybe they would not have hired Bix for a recording session. I am surprised that they would not have heard from other musicians about Bix's reputation as an outstanding member of the Wolverine, Goldkette and Whiteman orchestras. The remarkable point is that Selvin says "I don't remember anything about him" and Haenschen agrees (and elaborates), "The same goes for me. If he was that great, I can't believe that I wouldn't remember one single thing about him."
From Wikipedia: Robert Russell Bennett (June 15, 1894 August 18, 1981) was an American composer and arranger, best known for his orchestration of many well-known Broadway and Hollywood musicals by other composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.
Bennett was one of the arrrangers for
From the 78 online discography:
|2912||ABE LYMAN w CHARLES CHAPLIN||SING A SONG (vchaplin)||15872=4=5||-||LA-54?||05/??/25||Charlie Chaplin|
|2912||CHARLES CHAPLIN w ABE LYMAN||WITH YOU, DEAR, IN BOMBAY||15849=50=1||(15849/52)||LA-33?||05/??/25||Charlie Chaplin|
Here is the record label of Sing A Song.
Here uis the sheet music cover of With You, Dear, In Bombay.
The recording session was filmed (silent). Jim Drake kindly sent a link to a youtube video where Charlie is seen directing Lyman's orchestra. I recognize the voice at the beginning of the video as that of James Mason.
According to discographies, the bass saxophonist in Elizalde's "My Pet" is Adrian Rollini. No doubt in my mind. Adrian has a couple of solos and a couple of breaks on bass sax in the intro and coda. Moreover, he plays goofus after the vocal. Recorded May 1928. Listen
Bix and Tram recorded "My Pet" on Apr 6, 1928. According to discographies, the bass saxophonist is Min Leibrook.
Rollini was in England in Jan-Apr 1928. He came back to the US on Apr 3, 1928 when called because his father was dying. On Apr 6, Rollini married Dixie.On Apr 15, Rollini's father died. Al asked if Rollini could have been in the OK studio when Bix and Tram recorded "My Pet." It is certainly possible.
It just occurred to me a far-fetched possibility. If Rollini was in the studio when Bix and Tram recorded "My Pet," is it possible that he was invited to sit in and that the bass saxophone we hear is Rollini's, not Leibrook's? Listen to Tram's recording. Unfortunatley, just two bass sax breaks, no solos.
Is there an outside chance that the bass saxist is Rollini? Please listen carefully and post your opinion. Please be as objective as possible: disregard all the information and rely exclusively on your ear.
This bass sax player is playing more like part of the rhythm section (like a brass bass player) rather than a sax player who considers himself part of the front line, as Rollino often did, so for what it's worth, I think it's Leibrook.
Rollini could have been present in the Okeh studio when Tram did "My Pet". And perhaps that's how he acquired the arrangement to take back to London for the later Elizalde session. But I agree with Glenda. It does sound very much like Leibrook's more ponderous style of playing.
I'm 100% sure that the bass sax in Tram's "My Pet" is played by Min Leibrook. Compare, for instance, his break in the Intro of "My Pet" with his break in the Coda of Bix and his Gang's "Somebody Stole My Gal". Same man! A different tone to Rollini's.
Incidentally, in the mp3 of Elizalde's "My Pet" you have given a link to, the pitch is too low and the speed too slow. I believe that I supplied the original, so I hold my hands up and then wring them in confessional mode! In actual fact, Elizalde's version is taken at really cracking pace compared to both the Tram and Whiteman versions, and it needs to be as there is an additional 32 bar section after the vocal taken up by that solo sequence featuring Rollini on goofus (16 bars + 8 bars of Rollini on goofus, split by 8 bars of George Hurley's violin).
Nick, your recording seems to be around 14% of a semitone flat, which means it needs a speed correction of less than +1% to get it up to A=440 Hz. Approxiamtely 0.5 RPM... I'd say, that's pretty darn good - and certainly nothing to wring your hands about!
Excellent sound quality as well, by the way!
I thought also that it was Min Leibrook in the recording of "My Pet" by the Frank Trumbauer orchestra. But sometimes, it is worth thinking "outside the box" and sharing the excentric thoughts with youse guys.
The story goes that Rollini achieved a "light" sound on his instrument buy substituting, i.e., welding a baritone sax neck onto the bass. By comparison, Min's tone is crude.
Adrian Rollini actually used a standard bass sax neck on his instrument, but he had it slightly modified. The baritone aspect you mention has to do with the mouthpiece rather than the neck, since Rollini always used a baritone mouthpiece and reed. As to the modifications carried out on the bass sax neck itself, I am guessing somewhat here, but perhaps Rollini had the cork end of the neck made slightly longer than normal so that the tuning was improved when using the smaller baritone mouthpiece. However, I'm wondering if, in fact, the only modification needed was to sand the cork down a bit, since the neck pipes of 1920s Conn (and Buescher) bass saxes are of a diameter that allows baritone sax mouthpieces to be fitted without any further modification! Moreover, as far as tuning is concerned, alto saxophonist and mouthpiece designer Arnold Brilhart (see below) seems to contradict the need for modification of the bass sax neck when using a baritone mouthpiece, even suggesting that the bass sax is more likely to be out of tune using the standard bass sax mouthpiece and reed! It's over to the bass sax players to answer this conundrum! In the meantime, I will just add that all photos I have seen of Rollini holding or playing his bass sax show what looks like a completely standard bass sax neck, so if there were any modifications they must have been relatively minor ones.
I was quite surprised to learn that the use of a baritone mouthpiece was not unusual amongst bass sax players, even in the 1920s. In 1990, Arnold Brilhart was interviewed for a saxophone journal and spoke about the use of the baritone mouthpiece on bass saxes:-
"I owned and played a bass saxophone in my high school band days, and even at the time the instrument, when played using a regular bass saxophone mouthpiece, sounded very stuffy and out of tune. I chose a good baritone mouthpiece, and using baritone reeds its transformation into a good playing bass saxophone which played in tune in all registers was amazing!
When I worked with the California Ramblers (around 1924), Adrian Rollini played a baritone mouthpiece and reed on his bass sax. In my opinion, and that of many other musicians, Adrian was probably the best bass saxophone player of all time. He even played a complete line of altissimo harmonics on the bass sax, which at the time was a rare occurrence. But even before my experience with the California Ramblers, I worked with the Yerkes Flotilla Orchestra (1921-22), and our bass sax player was Dominick Cifarrelli, who also played a baritone mouthpiece on his bass sax."
Incidentally, Rollini also used stronger springs for some of the higher keys on the bass sax, to stop air leakage. Arthur Rollini stated that his brother used "extra thick piano wire" for this purpose.
I can think of only one recording with a bass sax solo by Min: Whiteman's "San."
Can anyone think of another recording with a bass solo by Min?
Min Leibrook solos on bass sax on the following sides:-
Bix and his Gang: "Thou Swell" (on both the issued take C and originally unissued take A, with small variations)
Bix and his Gang: "Wa Da Da" (two solos)
Paul Whiteman Orchestra: "Oh! You Have No Idea"
The above three sides, together with Whiteman's "San", are the only recordings Min solos on, as far as I am aware, though he takes short "breaks" on bass sax here and there on other sides (such as on Irving Mills' "Strut, Miss Lizzie", Trumbauer's "Bless You, Sister" and "My Pet" and Bix and his Gang's "Somebody Stole My Gal").
By the way, in the last edition of "Jazz and Ragtime Records" (6th edition), Brian Rust states that "Adrian Rollini, bsx, replaces Leibrook" for the January 20th, 1928 session that produced Tram's version of "Mississippi Mud". But it is obviously Leibrook on bass sax on this side, and anyway Rollini was in London with Fred Elizalde at the time, firmly ensconced at the Savoy Hotel (Rollini recorded with the Elizalde band on January 15th, so he could not have been in New York on January 20th). All previous editions of Rust's discography (when it was known simply as "Jazz Records"), going all the way back to the early 1960s, correctly give Min Leibrook for the January 20th session. Why did Rust suddenly change the personnel to give Rollini instead of Leibrook? This obviously wasn't just a typographical error - it was a deliberate alteration. Albert, I don't have Lord's discography - what does it say? Leibrook is correctly listed in J.P. Lion's discography on the Bixography site.
Lord gives Min Leibrook as bass saxophonist in Bix and Tram's Mississippi Mud. Very strange that Rust makes the "correction" to the old editions and gets it wrong.
The booklet that accompanies the Mosaic set on Bix, Tram and Teagarden reads as follows for the discographical information: " Personnel confirmed from the ledgers of Frank Trumbauer. Some discogaphies list Adrian Rollini, but he was in London with the Fred Elizalde band at the time."
Thanks, Nick, for the additions to the recordings where Min plays solos on bass sax.
There is a glitch in the software for the forum. "Forum Owner" appears in all my posting although I deleted the phrase in the text I want posted.
Born in Montgomery City, Missouri, July 24, 1901. In the mid-'20s, the trombonist was associated with a variety of Missouri territory bands, including the Newway Jazz Hounds, Jesse Stone's Blues Serenaders, and Bill Lewis' Dixie Ramblers. In 1927, Bess hit the Kansas City jazz scene and began collaborating with Chauncey Downs. Walter Page's Blue Devils snapped up Bess, by now sounding like a seasoned veteran, and he stayed with this outfit from 1929 until 1931, when it evolved into the just plain Blue Devils. During the ensuing decade Bess tried out various Midwest bases, the latter band name shadowing him. His Minneapolis sojourn with the Grant Moore-Pettiford Orchestra involved two winters that would turn anyone's lips blue, but by the mid-'30s Bess blew into St. Louis where Eddie Randle's Blue Devils offered a gig that lasted three years.
There is an interesting interview of Druie Bess in http://shs.umsystem.edu/stlouis/manuscripts/transcripts/s0829/t0033.pdf
Here is the section of interest in connection with Miff Mole.
Now, I play better jazz now than I played ten, twelve years ago. Right now I play, well, it's just something
I feel. I pick up my horn and I play it...just something I feel, just something I do to the notes.
Something I feel toward different notes and things. It's just different than playing what you
hear somebody play. See, you hand just slides, you're not feeling anything. You just play
what you hear. Well, it comes out the way it was, that's jazz. You are playing jazz. You're
playing the same thing he's playing. Just like when I started playing trombone, I mean later
on, about jazz I'm talking about, I didn't have no kind of a style. I heard a record one day
with Miff Mole on it. I sounded so good to me because he used good tone. He used good tone
and he moved on his horn fast. I guess you all heard of him, haven't you?
CORTINOVIS: The name sounds familiar.
BESS: Miff Mole. Now I copied him. At that time he was quite a trombone player. Played
with Paul Whiteman and all of them. Well, I looked, I studied music quite a bit, I knew what
he was playing. He was playing thirds, a lot of thirds. It was easy to copy. But it sounded
good. It was good swing but it was good sound. I played it for a long time and they called me
"Miff," nicknamed me "Miff" all the time I was playing with the Oklahoma Blue Devils. I
said, "Well, from now on I ain't gonna copy nobody, all the way. I'll just take a piece of
somebody." And then probably I'd make a style of my own. But, they all copied.
I wonder what record of Miff Mole. Original Memphis Five, Five Pennies, accompanyng Leona Williams?
Rust lists only one recording session of Druie Besss: Apr 27, 1927 in St. Louis with Jesse Stone and His Blue Serenaders. Only two numbers were issued: "Starvation Blues" and "Boot to Boot," Okeh 8471.
Here is "Starvation Blues." Druie does not sound anything like Miff.
And here is "Boot to Boot." Again no trace of Miff in Druie's solo.
Maybe Druie was influenced by Miff earlier. By 1927, he had his own style. Both numbers very hot; I hear the Kansas City sound.
Lord lists a few sessions in the 1940s with Earl Hines.
Bix Beiderbecke - Mar 10
Paul Whiteman - Mar 28
Jean Goldkette - Mar 18
Miff Mole - Mar 11
Chauncey Morehouse - Mar 11
Vince Giordano - Mar 11
Albert Haim - Mar 19
If Jimmy Dorsey had not been born on a leap year, he would have been a March boy.
Who did I miss?
was born on March 16th, 1868. He died on March 11th, 1940, five days shy of his 72nd birthday.
See you in Davenport for the Bix Festival. Five months to go.
Born: March 15, 1907, Chicago, IL
Died: March 13, 1991, Port Washington North, NY
Born: March 20, 1918, Slough, United Kingdom
Died: August 20, 2013, Port Washington, NY
Born: March 13, 1906, Kansas City, MO
Died: March 1, 1932, Chicago, IL
Pee Wee Russell
Born: March 27, 1906, Maplewood, MO
Died: February 15, 1969, Alexandria, VA
...violinist, bandleader, singer & Muzak founder Ben Selvin, who was born on March 5 from 1898. Selvin of course has a connection with Bix as he used the Dorsey Brothers (Tommy & Jimmy) and Benny Goodman, who of course worked with Bix.
Hope this helps.
Javier Soria Laso
.... of a concert to be presented at the Old Town Hall in El Segundo, CA.
We enthusiastically welcome - for the first time - this immensely talented quartet with whimsical music and colorful stories of saxophone groups from a bygone era.
From vaudeville origins to ragtime, dance bands and swing, through the jazz era, this musical journey will feature transcriptions of seldom-heard, rare wax cylinder and out of print 78 recordings, as well as arrangements from the most notable songwriters of the period.
Delve into the music that inspired the saxophone craze and experience the transition into swing and big band sounds. Our journey will end with a very special local history and the melodious sounds of West Coast 'Cool' renditions of popular songs from the previous eras. We can't wait!
Show Begins at 7:30 PM
All Seats: $20.00 (cash or check only)
Thanks to William "Bill" Wilson for providing this interesting information. To learn more about the City of Angels Saxophone Quartet, visit
Bill kindly sent a scan of this article about Merle Johnston in the Radio Review of Jan 1930. Thanks Bill.
Baby, Oh Where Can You Be? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnJUlDqt2go (from Enrico)
Do Something - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Q9seP7izQ (from Enrico)
Bix's mother was a wonderful musician in her own right and nurtured Bix's musical gift incessantly. She was a devoted wife and mother to her three children. A beautiful person inside and out.
March 1, 1870 - September 5, 1952
.... in the April 25, 1928 issue of "The Davenport Democrat and Leader" with a story about Bix Beiderbecke. The article was discovered by Rich Johnson in March 2001. The most important statement by Agatha is, in my opinion,
"We can always tell when Bix's horn comes in," says his mother."We know everytime Paul Whiteman's orchestra is on the air and Leon knows we'll be listening in. The air is carried out by the other cornetist but the sudden perky blare and the unexpected trills-those are the jazz parts and they are Leon's."
Oh, but that all Bix fans who mistakenly feel Bix was ostracized from his family, would read Agatha's comments and remember it. There's always been a great injustice to Bix's family, as you know, Albert, concerning how proud they were of him and his talents as a musician and as a composer. There's a lot of misinformation out there that continues to be perpetuated. It's very frustrating, but I guess that's one of the costs of fame. I'm just glad Bix had such a loving family.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about Bix floating around. I do my best to debunk them. You may remember my lecture "Bix: the Man, Not the Legend" at the 2008 Bix Festivsl in Davenport. The power point presentation is available in the Bix website. See
You will need Power Point (part of Microsoft Office) or Power Point Viewer. Power Point Viewer is available free from
Hello To all The forumnites!
Had to say it, but as March is the month on which Bix Beiderbecke & Ben Selvin were respectively born on 1903 & 1898, I found on RAEPRODUCTIONS.COM two of the the 3 recordings made by Ben Selvin's Bar Harbor Society Orchestra on February 3 from 1926 in New York according to both Rust's American Discography & Richard Johnson-Bernard Shirley's American Dance Bands on Record And Film, 1915-1942.
Those two recordings are "Thanks for the Buggy Ride" & "So Does Your Old Mandarin", both issued on Columbia's budget label Harmony 118-H. "Thanks for the Buggy Ride" was also issued on british Regal G-8600 as Corona Dance Orchestra. The vocalist on both recordings is Selvin himself under the name of "Bob Sylvester" according to Johnson& Shirley.
Click here for both recordings:
The website for both recordings states that the trumpet soloist on both recordings is from Red Nichols, but this is totally wrong as the lead trumpet on both recordings is Earl Oliver.
Click here & you'll know what i mean:
If you need to know, The Harmonians name are found below Byron Harlan's name in the section Ha of the website.
The personnel for this recording according to Johnson & Shirley's American Dance Bands on Record And Film, 1915-1942 on page 192 from the 1st volume is:
Ben Selvin (v) dir. Earl Oliver, Herman "Hymie" Farberman (tp), Sammy Lewis (tb), Jimmy Johnston (cl,sax), Larry Abbott (cl,as,ss), ?Herman "Hymie" Wolfson (ts), William "Bill" Perry (p,arr), ?John Cali (bjo), ?Hank Stern (bb) & Milton Sands (d).
Hope you'll enjoy!
Javier Soria Laso.
Gracias, Javier. Certainly Earl Oliver, not Red Nichols. Here is the record label for one of the titles.
I haven't heard the third title of the session, which is "Tentin' Down in Tennessee", issued on Harmony 123-H as the Harmonians (as it happens with the first two titles), Silvertone 3218 as Silvertone Dance Orchestra & british Regal G-8631 as Corona Dance Orchestra.
Selvin, who was playing at the Café De Paris in New York, also recorded that tune for Vocalion on January 30 from 1926, but with vocal refrain by Selvin himself.
Anyway, you're right about Oliver as being the soloist.
I always thought that Larry Abbott was the lead alto sax on the later recordings from the Bar Harbor Society Orchestra and not Nathan Glantz according to the American Dance Band Discography.
Javier Soria Laso
Radio Program # 220. (loaded on 02/28/2014) The California Ramblers Play Tunes that Bix Recorded. 55 min 4 sec
Streaming file http://bixography.com/WBIX220.ram
Download file http://bixography.com/WBIX220.ram 13.5 MB
Streaming mp3 file http://bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX220.m3u
Download file 46.3 MB bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX220.mp3
All recordings by the California Ramblers except where noted.
Big Boy. Jun 30, 1924.
Copenhagen. Oct 23, 1924.
Tiger Rag. May 4, 1925.
Blue River. Sep 19, 1927.
Bless You Sister. Jul 27, 1928.
Changes. Dec 15, 1927
Clementine. Aug 10, 1927. Goofus Five.
High Up On A Hill Top. Sep 19, 1928.
When You're Counting the Stars Alone. Sep 13, 1929.
San. May 12, 1926. University Six.
Slow River. May 25, 1927. University Six.
WBIX # 221 will be uploaded on Mar 28, 2014.
From The Height (Boston College student newspaper), Oct 29, 1929.
Even contemporary accounts had errors! Don't believe everything you read. Bring in a good dose of healthy skepticism and a critical approach.
From Ron Huchinson's facebook page
I believe this is part of a documentary about Vince Giordano, the foremost preservationist of 1920s and 1930s music.
Vince is, in person, exactly as what you see in the preview: a dedicated musician/historian/collector, an authentic and modest individual who lives for his music. Vince loading and unloading the instruments from his truck is exactly as I saw him doing in Davenport a couple of years ago. He is a hands-on man. I remember that three of four years ago, Vince was not satisfied with the position of the piano on stage in one of his Westbury, NY summer concerts, and he moved the piano himself to a better position.
In one blog, Vince was described as "obsessed." Paul L corrected the blogger: Vince is a man with a passion, an unwavering commitment to preserve and disseminate the great music from the 1920s and 1930s, a rare individual with an unprecedented musical talent to match his dedication.
A few years ago, Vince was described as a "national treasure." Indeed, this documentary represents a highly deserved acknowledgment of his numerous contributions and his unique standing as the foremost guardian of the popular music of the 1920s and 1930s.
We all owe Vince a huge debt of gratitude for all he does and for the happiness that he brings to our lives.
I do not use the word "hero" lightly: Vince is one of a handful of heroes in my book.
Well said. Vince is a hero to a lot of us.
Can't wait to see the finished product!
for those who might remember micki grant and her waterfront 6 always playing somewhere on long island. sorry to report she passed away. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC3xSeq5XrI http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsday/obituary.aspx?n=micki-grant&pid=169746320&fhid=27293
The Oct 8, 1924 issue of Variety included a review of Sam Lanin's Roseland Orchestra.
The musicians in the band are listed in the article. Note the number of guys with connections to Bix: Vic Berton, Ray Lodwig, Ed Sheasly [sic], Joe Tarto.
Another connection: in the review of Jan Garber's band, there is mention of a "robust jovial chap." That is Harry "Goldie" Goldfield who was a member of Whiteman's orchestra at the same time as Bis.
Note also, in the right-hand bottom corner, an announcement of the
There is a review of Benny Krueger's band. I did not know that Red Nichols was, at one time (Oct 1924), a member of Krueger's band. i wonder if Red Nichols is one the trumpet players in the Oct 28, 1924 Krueger recording of "He's the Hottest Man in Town."
Red had recorded the tune with George Olsen a few months earlier.
Note also on the bottom right-hand corner the announcement of the Oct 11, 1924 opening of Harold Oxley's band at "Cinderella Dancing". That day was the last appearance of Bix with the Wolverines.
Just one page of Variety and look at all the connections to Bix. Bix was already quite an important presence in the jazz scene of 1924.
.... by Richard Crawford and Jeffrey Magee lists 21 Bix recordings in their list of "Jazz Standards." Only commercially issued recordings. Hence, the Wolverines' "Tiger Rag" is not included.
Margie - Bix and His Gang
Royal Garden Blues - Wolverine Orchestra
Royal Garden Blues - Bix and His Gang
The Jazz Me Blues - Wolverine Orchestra
The Jazz Me Blues - Bix and His Gang
Ol' Man River - Bix and His Gang
Ol' Man River - Paul Whiteman
Somebody Stole My Gal - Bix and His Gang
San - Paul Whiteman
Sugar - Paul Whiteman
Coquette - Paul Whiteman (Coquette, a jazz standard?)
Sweet Sue - Paul Whiteman
China Boy - Paul Whiteman
My Melancholy Baby - Paul Whiteman
Clarinet Marmalade - Frank Trumbauer
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Frank Trumbauer
A Good Man Is Hard To Find - Frank Trumbauer
Baby Won't You Please Come Home - Frank Trumbauer
I'm Coming Virginia - Frank Trumbauer
Rockin' Chair - Hoagy Carmichael
Georgia On My Mind - Hoagy Carmichael
No "Singin' the Blues"?
.... Crawford and Magee. As a matter of fact, Lord only lists about a dozen recordings of "Singin' the Blues" up to 1942. Remember that the title of the book is "Jazz Standards on Record, 1900-1942: A Core Repertory."
"Singin' the Blues" not a jazz standard? Hasn't it paid its dues yet? Seems like SOMEBODY plays it at every jazz festival I've been to.
If "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" qualify, then so does "STB." Case closed.
Ninety years in solitary for Crawford and Magee!
looks like singin' the blues will be singin' the blue until it becomes a standard
.... the website http://www.jazzstandards.com/ (I believe this is Chris Tyle's site; at least he has lots of contributions)
And Chris Tyle and Jeffrey McGee are certainly a well-respected jazz scholars, not idiots. At least, I have great admiration for their contributions to jazz history.
One of the two sources I cited restrict jazz recordings to 1900-1942. And perhaps, both restrict their attention to compositions that became jazz standards in the period ending with the beginning of World War II. There are about a dozen recordings of the tune in the 1920s and 1930s. Thus, maybe it does not fulfill one of the requirements for a "jazz standard," e.g., widely recorded in 1920-1940.
I agree with you Albert. American popular songs came our way from, very often, the great Hollywood musicals via Tin Pan Alley.
Jazz numbers are somewhat different. I have yet to pass by someone in the street whistling Bix's famous chorus from "Singin' the Blues". Although I have to admit I have done it myself once or twice.
"Singin' The Blues" seems to have fallen under some sort of numerical cut-off point! I counted 11 commercially issued recordings of the number up to 1940, while the majority of other titles in the list were recorded at least 20 times during the period under discussion. That's a shame, because I'm sure "Singin' The Blues" would have been regarded as a "jazz standard" by the mid-1930s, certainly amongst jazz musicians, both in the USA and elsewhere (Nat Gonella recorded a version in 1936 in London, though my favourite is Adrian Rollini's, recorded in New York in 1938).
The Wolverines' "Copenhagen" surely should be listed!! I counted at least 35 commercial recordings of the title within the period 1924-1940. There are a number of recordings made in 1924, at least 4 in 1925, 2 in 1929 and many more waxed in the mid to late 1930s after it was "revived", becoming a standard number within the repertoire of bands.
The term "jazz standard" is obviously a subjective (and dynamic) one!
I read the other day, in internet, that Beiderbecke & Armstrong played together, in a studio. As in that period of time , segregation, did not allow them to play together in public, they called on the studio, and played. No record, pics taken. Nothing at all?
I told a friend about that, she asked details..I cannot find the site anymore.
Can you help me?
I am afraid I don't know of any studio session of Bix and Louis. What is well-documented is a visit of Bix and other Whiteman musicians to the Sunset Cafe in Chicago in July 1928 for a jam session. See Evans and Evans, p. 384.
I would be skeptical of internet accounts unless they are confirmed by independent and reliable documentation. There is an incredible number of inaccuracies about Bix floating in the internet. I have tried to debunk some of these, but sometimes I feel it is a losing battle. Often I send a correction to the webmaster of a website and my mail is ignored.
It seems that Bix and Armstrong recorded in Chicago for Okeh at different times on the same day. Bix recorded with Trumbauer in Chicago on July 5 and July 7, 1928, when Armstrong was in town. Perhaps in the way of humans, the story began with that factoid and grew from there.
In the way that Condon and Teagarden's "Knockin' a Jug" session came about at the time Armstrong was scheduled to record with Lang and Luis Russell's band (Louis did that session, the famous "Mahogany Hall Stomp" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" later that day), perhaps there was some wishful thinking that Bix and Louis could have done the same switch that day in Chicago.
.... broadcasting studio in 1922.
Courtesy of Mark Berresford, with his permission. Thanks, Mark.
Is that a young Richard Himber on Violin?
.... Five Kings of Syncopation with Sophie Tucker, but I believe it was earlier than 1922. Here is a photo of Himber
Doesn't look to me like the violinist in the photo in the broadcast studio, but that photo is of limited quality and it may be hard to say definitely.
.... this photo was taken in 1922 at a radio station in Arlington, Virginia.
The scene in the top picture lacks only a few Tesla sparks and Boris Karloff stretched out on a table.
.... this is the band in the Sophie Tucker picture - Eddie Richmond , trumpet, Bobby Jones, sax, Irving Rothschild, violin, Jules Buffano, piano and leader, Danny Alvin, drums, Al Beilan, vocal.
The 92nd St. Y's Lyrics and Lyricists SeriesbyAlbert Haim
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23
2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24
2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The 92nd St. Y's Lyrics and Lyricists Series
Robert Kimball, artistic director and host
Peter Yarin and Vince Giordano, co-music directors
The Gershwins, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake - these and other star songwriters created the best toe-tapping, mood-busting, uplifting music ever written - in the heart of the Great Depression, just when people needed it most.
The 92nd St. Y
1395 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY
Tickets/Info: (212) Y-CHARGE or http://www.92y.org/Uptown/Event/L-L-Sweepin-the-Clouds-Away.aspx
I attended a couple of the Lyrics and Lyricists concerts in the past. Highly recommended.
Leaving mid morning and returning late evening.
I attended the 2 pm "Lyrics and Lyricists" concert at the 92nd St. Y. First-class show, excellent singers, great songs from the late 1920s and early 1930s and the incomparable Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Life is good.
I will write a review in the next few days.
This is a "Command Performance" wartime video on how 78 rpm shellac records were made. It's an interesting counterpoint to the above video on the manufacture of vinyl LP's.
Marc Conlan, thanks for those very interesting films.
Except for the flashbacks the 1942 film engendered to the dozens of "Encylopaedia Britannica Educational Films" (announced in those stentorian tones they used to favor) that I watched in elementary school days, there were actually more similarities than I expected between the making of the shellac 78s and the LP vinyl records. The mastering process was similar, and both materials came to the stamping as "biscuits." Both films foster appreciation of those impressive technologies.
Very enlightening, especially how they got their name! Still in business, apparently.
Glenn Miller had to have a good sense of humor too write this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJDLsRpj5_I this is different then the brunswick