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
It just occurred to me that Whiteman did not try to hire Rollini (at least, I believe this to be the case). It is surprising, isn't it? Whiteman was always on the lookout to hire great jazz musicians. The dissolution of the New Yorkers was a good chance for Whiteman to get Rollini. Here are the 11 musicians (note 1) in the New Yorkers band:
Bix, Hooley, Rank, Murray, Tram, Davis, Rollini, Venuti, Lang, Signorelli, Morehouse. When the New Yorkers folded, Bix and Tram joined Whiteman. A couple of months later, Rank followed. A year and a half later, Lang and Venuti joined Whiteman. Signorelli had been with Whiteman just before joining the New Yorkers. 6 of the 11 were with Whiteman at one point or another. How come Rollini was not hired by Whiteman when the New Yorkers folded. Did Rollini already have his job with Elizalde lined up? Perhaps. But when Rollini returned permanently to New York in 1930, is it not surprising that Whiteman did not try to hire Rollini? Or did he? They knew each other from way back. According to Don Rayno, Whiteman went to the Ramblers Inn in the summer of 1925 and said, "I need a touch of jazz in my band. But he's got to be a real musician to play with me." Adrian Rollini recommended Ted Bartell.
Whiteman hired Art Rollini , Adrian's younger brother, in 1933 (just for one month!)
Note 1. Vince Giordano's Nighthawks also consist of 11 musicians and the instrumentation is identical to that of the New Yorkers: 2 trumpets, 1 trombone, 3 reeds, 1 bass sax, 1 piano, 1 violin, 1 guitar, 1 traps. Coincidence or a deliberate choice? I would guess the latter.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 30, 2014 3:00 PM|
Take a look at this record label: Fred Elizalde's Rhythmusicians - Directed by Adrian Rollini.
Read the story and listen to the recording in http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1301491258/A+Beautiful+and+Rare+Record-
Twice: as composer and as player. Note also that the tune is described as a "Yale Blues," a popular dance and song in England in the 1920s.
Also Chelsea Quealey and the underrated Bobby Davis on the label. Elizalde and His "Hot" Music was a band within the band: it consisted of Quealey, Davis, Rollini, Elizalde, Fillis and Gubertini.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 31, 2014 5:39 PM|
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 31, 2014 5:33 PM
Another "Yale Blues" - at least, described as such!
"Vic Berton, Arthur Schutt, Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy Dorsey and I decided that we were going to make the greatest records evere made. We took along two quarts of gin and went up to the Gennett studios. Well, we drank for an hour and a half, played about half an hour, and were then told, not too politely, to leave. We hadn't cut any records, but we didn't mind. We climbed to the top of a Fifth Avenue bus and played there, all the way home."
- also from Hear Me Talkin' to Ya. I can't stop reading it...
Note that the five guys played the same instruments as the guys in the ODJB. Were they going to recreate the ODJB? I read that Bix could play all the parts in ODJB recordings.
Brad, I don't want to throw cold water on your posting; it is worth revisiting every few years. The quote or parts of it have been transcribed in the forum several times.
Radio Program # 219. (loaded on 01/30/2014) Fred Elizalde Plays Tunes that Bix Recorded. 57.3 min
Streaming File http://bixography.com/WBIX219.ram
Download File http://bixography.com/WBIX219.rm 14.1 MB
Streaming mp3 file http://bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX219.m3u
Download file bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX219.mp3 55.3 MB
All recordings by Fred Elizalde's bands or piano solos where noted..
Clarinet Marmalade. Aug-Sep 1927.
Sugar. Jan 15, 1928.
Coquette. Jul 2-11, 1928.
Smile. Apr, 1928.
Can't Help Lovin' That Man.. May 1928. Piano solo.
Ol' Man River. Jul 2-11, 1928. Piano solo.
Somebody Stole My Girl [sic]. May 1928.
Tiger Rag. Jan 15, 1928.
The Man I Love. May 1928. Piano solo.
My Pet. May 1928. Vocal by Dick Maxwell.
Bomeyard Shuffle. Jun 1926.
Hurricane. Mar 28, 1927.
WBIX # 229 will be uploaded on Feb 28, 2014.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 1:25 PM|
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 1:18 PM
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 1:06 PM
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 12:52 PM
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 12:48 PM
Elizalde had a great band all the time, but the Anglo-American band with Rollini, Quealey and Davis was something else. At least as good, if not better, than the best hot dance bands in the US in the second half of the 1920s. "Clarinet Marmalade" is a real hot number, isn't it?
At the end of WBIX #219, I mentioned that there were other Bix tunes recorded by Elizalde that I didn't have. In fact, there are, as far as I know, two. Now, thanks to the generosity of Nick, we can listen to the two recordings. Both piano solos.
Baltimore - Mar 11, 1928.
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Aug 1927.
A bonus from Nick: a photo of Fred Elizalde with Adrian Rollini's wife Dixie (Dorothy), somewhere on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Thanks, Nick, for all your contributions.
PS An old posting about Elizalde's recording of "Dixie."
If you don't have real player, here is an mp3 file of "Dixie." Excellent sound and sight by our friend Enrico.
This comes from Nick. He writes, "This contains different solos to the issued take, most noticeably Adrian Rollini has a solo whereas he doesn't on the issued take. The original test pressing is on a flexible plastic disc that Duophone, who owned British Brunswick at the time, must have been experimenting with, though as far as I am aware they never issued a flexible recording. It is for this reason that the start is a bit "jumpy" as the disc is warped on the outer part of the grooves (due to slight shrinkage)."
Thanks a lot Nick. Nice dialogue between Adrian Rollini and a Bixian Chelsea Quealey.
PS The photo of Dixie and Fred in the previous posting was unlikely to have been taken on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. More likely in La Manche, known in the English-speaking world as the English Channel.
The official designation "English Channel" can be traced back to the second-century geographer Ptolemy, who called it the Oceanus Britannicus. Manche, on the other hand, is a department in Lower Normandy where it rains a lot.
The map below shows Northern France, Southern England and the body of water that separates them, La Manche. This is how I learned it in elementary school. And the narrow section between Calais and Douvres (Dover) is "Le Pas de Calais," known in the English-speaking world as the "Strait of Dover." The islands in La Manche are the "Iles anglo-normandes," known in the English-speaking world as the "Channel Islands." "Cap Lizard" in Cornouailles in French maps becomes Lizard Point in Cornwall in English maps. I think that the names in French are so much more romantic.
I do so agree with you about French being the most romantic language. It is epitomised for me in the singing of that great "chanteur" Jean Sablon, especially when accompanied by Django ( such ashttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6eZpHPg0ZY ). Then I think of the excellent times I have had cycling in and around Paris, stopping off at little cafes and bistros at regular intervals in order to maintain the expanding waistline. And I agree that La Manche certainly sounds more romantic than the English translation "The Sleeve".
The entente cordiale is maintained!
This is one she likes a lot (and so do I).
There you have it--the on-going love-hate relationship between the English and the French language. I had to chuckle. This discussion sent me to look up the definition of "manche," which according to the Oxford Dictionaries means "sleeve" or "handle." If you visualize Lands End as the armpit, the Channel does look a bit like a sleeve. "Handle" also works as a long extension of the sea, so both descriptives make sense as names for this body of water, as does "channel" as a narrow strip of deep water. Since "channel" is itself derived from French, I guess ze Frogs win either way!
I don't think Dr. Haim is guilty of this bit of English predilection for the French version over the Anglo-Saxon, which dates back to the days following William the Conqueror's imposition of French as the English court language and firmly entrenched to this day in native English speakers. His ancestors had no part in that little cousins' coup, but when we Anglophones are trying to sound a bit snooty, we go for the Frenchified word every time. We don't eat a big roast of cow; it's always beef, And the English language is much the richer for it!
Wow! I hadn't known until I heard this how good Fred Elizalde was, both as bandleader and pianist. It makes me lament his departure of the world of jazz for classical music, and also makes me curious to hear his work (if any of it survives) as a classical composer and conductor. What I find most interesting about this is how relaxed the Elizalde band played, how they were able to make fine and swinging music without rushing the tempi or using obvious "hot" mannerisms. A lot of groups that covered Original Dixieland Jazz Band standards like "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Tiger Rag" in the 1920's raced through them to little effect; Elizalde and his musicians play both songs in a light, swinging groove that projects them at their best and gives them a tasteful updating for late-1920's listeners and record buyers.
There have been debates back and forth on the forum before as to just how close the Elizalde versions of "Sugar" and "My Pet" are to Bix's versions, to the point where they almost count as tribute records! It's obvious Elizalde must have access to written scores of the Bill Challis arrangements of these songs; how else could he have reproduced them so accurately when the U.S. recordings had either not been made at all yet or hadn't been issued in the U.K.? I must say, though, that when Chelsea Quealey (usually an excellent musician) hits a few wrong notes at the start of his solo on "Sugar" there's a bit of a bringdown, especially compared to Bix's perfection on both issued takes of the Whiteman version.
Also, as much as I like the sound of Elizalde's band, the tracks here I liked best are the piano solos (which makes me glad you later added two more of them, "The Baltimore" and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans"). Elizalde, both on his solo records and playing piano solos with his band, is an excellent, surprisingly modern musician. His solo records remind me of the way George Gershwin played when he recorded his own songs. Next to Elizalde, his best soloist seems to have been Bobby Davis, though the reedman sounds less like Frank Trumbauer than he does like Jimmy Dorsey (not a bad model either!).
And just to clarify the connection between "Hurricane" and "Waiting at the End of the Road": "Waiting at the End of the Road" was written by Irving Berlin in 1929 for the all-Black MGM musical film "Hallelujah!," where it's heard at a giant revival ceremony on a riverbank. The film's star, Daniel Haynes (Paul Robeson's understudy in "Show Boat," cast by director King Vidor after Robeson was unavailable), starts by preaching a sermon, then goes into a kind of half-spoken, half-sung style similar to the way actual African-American preachers speak (and also an ancestor to today's "rap" or "hip-hop" style), and finally ends up fully singing the Berlin song. So Paul Mertz's piece came first and Berlin's came later, though there may be an African-American spiritual or folk tune that contains this melody and which they both copied.
Just one glitch this time: a portion of the final announcement (in which you discuss "Waiting at the End of the Road" just before the outro music) is heard twice.
My mistake this time, not yours. The glitch I referred to above was introduced by me. I copied that last announcement twice when I put the show on CD.
Thanks for the detailed, thoughtful and favorable review. Mark, I appreciate the time you take to comment on the WBIX programs.
I believe that radio transmission of documents was first carried out in 1921 or 22. Contracts and official documents were pohoto-radioed throughout the 1920s (and later, of course).
A fascinating application in subjects relevant to this forum is the the radio transmission of sheet music.
The Dec 22, 1928 issue of the Buffalo Evening News carried a story titled "New Song is Photo-radioed to London." Here is a facsimile of the story in the newspaper:
One of the exciting features of the story is that the great dance band/jazz/ director Fred Elizalde was present at the receiving end of the transmission.
Here are some photos. of the custom ball.
And a fantastic movie (silent, of course) from 1921:
Can you guess what is the dance. I can state with certainty that it is not a waltz.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 28, 2014 1:10 PM|
Last October, after the release of WBIX show 216, there was an intriguing discussion of the similarities between the Frank Trumbauer and Fred Elizalde recordings of "My Pet" and a lot of bizarre conjecturing about how Elizalde might have heard or got hold of Bill Challis' arrangement of the song before the Trumbauer record was released in the U.K. Could this provide the explanation -- could it be that the Challis arrangement was radio-transmitted to Elizalde before he made his record?
But Nick's suggestion is more plausible: Rollini picked up the Challis arrangement of the tune when he visited the US in April 1928.
Is it possible that Rollini was actually present in th OK studio when this number was recorded?
Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra. Apr 10, 1928. Ok 41039 (take C, released Jun 5, 1928).
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Apr 22, 1928. Vic 21389 (take 2, released Jun 8, 1928). Arranged by Bill Challis (Apr 1928, # 1743, Williams College Whiteman Collection).
The Trumbauer recording is the important one because both intro and coda were used in Elizalde' recording.
Here is information about Adrian Rollini's itinerary in April 1928.
Adrian Rollini came back to the US twice during the tenure of his contract with Elizalde. The first trip was in April 1928. Arthur Rollini writes: "We were now into 1928. Dad had taken a turn for the worse the previous fall and could no longer work. By Christmas he was confined to his bed and Dr. Cantle came daily to give him relief with an opiate. Mom stayed by his bedside constantly in order to respond to his every little wish. Dr. Cantle sometimes came twice a day. Finally Mom cabled Adrian, telling him to return immediately. Adrian took the first ship out of England and arrived home on April 3rd . Dad was in a terribly weakened condition by now. Adrian phoned Dixie, his fiancée, and she was ready when he arrived to pick her up. He drove her back to our house and they both entered Dad's room. Adrian asked, "Dad, can you hear me?" Dad nodded affirmatively. Adrian said,"Dad this is Dixie. I want to marry her, do I have your blessing?" Dad put out his hand. Adrian bent down and Dad's hand brushed his face and he nodded in the affirmative again. Adrian kissed his father on the cheek and departed with Dixie. They had a lot to talk about. It had been such a long time. Adrian and Dixie were married on 6 April 1928. During the night of April 14th Dad grew weaker and we kept a steady vigil. The nest morning, Sunday, the Baron was dead. After the funeral Adrian and Dixie took the Homeric to England."  Before returning to England, Adrian Rollini recorded two sides, on April 24, 1928, with the Dorsey Brothers -My Melancholy Baby and Indian Cradle Song.
In summary: Adrian was back in the States on Apr 3. He got married on Apr 6. His dad died on Apr 15. So Adrian was in New York when Trumbauer recorded "My Pet" on Apr 10. But with his marriage and his dad very ill and dying, it seems unlikely to me, but possible, that Adrian would have been in the OKeh studio on Apr 10. Would Adrian remember note for note the intro and coda in May 1928 when he was back in England and record "My Pet" with Elizalde? Possible, but unlikely in my opinion. It seems more plausible to me that he had a copy of Challis's arrangement.
.... was used, unless I'm dreaming, in another recording, but I can't think of the band or of the actual recording. Anyone?
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 30, 2014 11:06 AM|
This is the performance where the drummer arrives late, i.e., does nothing until half-way through!
I can't help with the coda question, but I am moved to say that almost every song I hear with Jimmy Dorsey raises my opinion of his musical abilities. He really steals the show on this one. As Bix usually did, Jimmy has a way of fitting his playing, particularly his improvisations, to that tune, bringing out its essence somehow and taking the song over the top!
I always knew he was an important bandleader and sax player in the swing era, but his work in the 1920s is so fine that I think he deserves more attention than he gets as one of the real clarinet masters of that era.
Hello Nick. This is a nice clean record which enabled me to hear one or two things I had not previously noticed. But - and here I go again riding my old hobby horse - this is not how the musicians played it. Here we have a sonic equivalent to the films of the same period where people could be seen moving around at accelerated speed. Someone at some point, perhaps during transciption, has changed the speed of the recording and this one is consequently running much too fast, a full half tone too fast. So for anyone who wishes to copy this recording and who likes to here how the musicians were really playing I would suggest using some retuning software to bring it down half a tone. Sorry about the niggle, but yes, "les humeurs noirs" do get me a bit when I hear originals adulterated.
While we are on the subject of Rollini, Nick, you once posted a question,which remaind unanswered, a good few years back, concerning Rollini and his use of multiphonics, in relation to a specific recording if I remember correctly. The question was, more or less, was it a mistake or was it intentional. I intended to reply but the subject needed a little reflection and I was short of time, so I made a note of it and the piece of paper stayed by the computer for a while before it got misslayed in a house move.If ever you could find the original question, I would still have a shot at it.
Nice to hear from you.
I think you may possibly have assumed that I am responsible for this transfer. Just to be 100% clear, this is not my transfer - I just noticed it on YouTube and copied the link!
As to the Rollini question, I'm sorry but the mists of time have rolled across to add to the general fog. But I can imagine that it's the sort of question I would pose. Rollini certainly deliberately "over-blows" when he solos (if that's what you mean by "multiphonics") and I think the effect is excellent when not over-done. He does it at the start of Venuti's "Beating The Dog". Of course, it's relatively easy to over-blow on the bass sax - I haven't heard anyone do it on the soprano sax! Jimmy Dorsey did it to good effect on alto sax in the 1920s.
I'll try and dig out the original question.
No, not for one minute did I think it was your transfer. I understood what you had done. So my criticisms were in no way aimed at you, or anyone else. I just wanted to say that speeding up a recording, especially if by as much as a half tone, transforms the sound. Its the beginning of the chipmunk effect, even if that, to be accurate, is achieved by changing the frequency and formants while leaving the speed alone. It may seem finicky, but for a musician, hearing things out of tune can be annoying even if you don't have perfect pitch.
Recordings, right from the beginning and up to the present day were a means of discovery and learning for musicians, jazz musicians perhaps more particularly. It was a tool they could use at home, to emulate and play along with their heroes. They all did it. Bix was no exception. It helps a great deal if what you hear plays in tune. Most 78s issued were to some degree out of tune. Some were way out. Having a player with which you could vary the turntable speed made things a lot easier. I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere on this site that Bix did just that at home.
The question concerning Rollini I more or less remember. It was whether a sound he made, overblown or otherwise, was a slip up or intentional. At the time, for that particular example, I was not at all sure, which is why I needed a bit of time. It sounded to me like it could have been either.
My personal interest in the bass sax started on hearing the "gang" recordings and notably certain, to me, very interesting sounds, of the type we talk, which I took at the time to be clinkers, and which may well they have been considering how easily the sound can break up when blowing hard on that instrument. In any case in those sounds (and all the others Rollini was making) I heard a potential, a depth, a harmonic richness which fascinated me. So maybe you can see why the subject interests me.
After listening to many Rollini recordings, it soon became clear that his use of what I will still call multiphonics for the moment, something he did througout his bass sax career, was indeed intended and controlled. I use the term multiphonics, because, the trick here, is to bring out individual notes of the harmonic series, from the fundamental note you are fingering and have more than one of them sounding distinctly at once. You can introduce notes not in that series using various techniques but Rollini was already well ahead of his time with what he did. You can call it overblowing too, which is also about playing a higher note, usually the octave. Rollini however, often fingers and plays a high note and lets the octave below (and its harmonics) sound. Almost a sort of underblowing. This he may do by leaving the octave key closed, although on some basses the efficacy of that key is questionable. I have played, for example, the bass you mentioned recently, Nick, a Beuscher, which once belonged to Harry Gold. You could put a bit of chewing gum in the octave key hole and it wouldn't make much diference. Also to produce these sounds it is often neccessary to blow much less, although overblowing is of course not just about blowing harder. Trying to explain how it is done is about as easy as explainig circular breathing.
You can play all the notes in the harmonic series individually on any saxophone (including the soprano) without moving your fingers from the fundamental note, although it is much easier in the lower register. Then you can bring out two or more, favouring one in relation to the others, for example.
I have forgotten how to insert a sound file into these messages so I am sending an mp3 of Tell Me, Rollini with The Louisiana Rhythm Kings, to Albert, which I think contains some good examples apropos. The pertinent bits are at about 1:53 and 2:53 A wonderfull control of the instrument.
Seen the enormous worldwide following that a site like this must have, and our discussing some saxophonist from the 1920s/30s nobody has ever heard of and who played an even more obscure instrument, and now me going on about the technicalities of playing that rare insrument, it has occured to me, that I might not be addressing a vast audience here, and I'm wondering if apart from Nick (if he's still awake) and myself, there are any other bass sax nutters who might just be interested. Come on Russell, I know your out there.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Feb 4, 2014 7:17 PM|
This message has been edited by ahaim on Feb 2, 2014 4:42 PM
...but I believe I'm probably the bass-sax nut referred to by Steve, the previous poster...
In some ways it's a wonderfully small world, the bsx. Harry Gold's Buescher, for example, was referred to -- I saw him play it many times. But eventually it was stolen, leaving Harry bass-less. So he borrowed my PanAmerican, an ancient beast, until a year later, his own sax was spotted in the window of a shop in, I think, Germany. He was able to prove paternity, and got it back -- so I got my PanAmerican back, too. Harry gave me 50 Rico reeds (two-and-a-half strength) in recompense. I'm still using them. If ever my bsx is stolen, it will always be identifiable from a mistake the engraver made -- where he meant to incise "Elkhart" [Indiana], he put "Elkart" instead. (I just hope he didn't do it every time.)
As for the multiphonics, I can't help thinking there's one example we haven't found yet -- it's a two-bar break where every note Rollini plays is ambiguous: you can read the whole thing two ways. It's similar in downward motion to the one at 1'06" in Bix's "At The Jazz Band Ball". I'm still looking.
Could it be that Rollini's two-bar break at the start of Beatin' The Dog by Joe Venuti's Blue Four is the multiphonic phrase you are searching for? Here is a link to the break, followed by the two-bar break in At The Jazz Band Ball:-
The "At The Jazz Band Ball" example you give is exactly what made my ears prick up and sparked my early interest in Adolf's first born (in that family).
In the phrase in question, the first two notes Rollini brings out the 4th harmonic (3rd overtone), two octaves obove the fingered fundamental, low C, followed by three chromatically descending normal, full blown notes, E, Eflat and D in the low register. Then he plays D again but this time accenting the 3rd harmonic, high A, followed by three times low C, again with the 3rd harmonic dominant, high G.
I tried the Buescher at the home of the musician who bought it from Harry Gold and the naughty man (Gold) claimed that it had belonged to Rollini and that it was the instrument he had used while in England. Or maybe he bought it from someone who had convinced him of that. To suply all the musicians I have met over the years who claim to have, or to have had instruments belonging to Rollini, the guy would have had to be buying a new one every year. I think, however it is now recognised that Vince Giordano has the Conn once owned by Rollini .
I would really prefer to avoid the risky subject of reeds, where nuttiness can become coloured with obsessional overtones, but I am puzzeled as to how 50 reeds can be made to last so long. Is there some longevity trick I don't Know about? do you bake them in the oven, or soak them in vinegar as per conkers? (apologies to those unfamilier with this other nut and its uses)
.... housed Rector's Restaurant, one of the lobster palaces in New York City.
On Oct. 1 1914 Rector's agreed to pay $180 annually to ASCAP for the right to have ASCAP music played in the restaurant. One of the bands playing in Rector's in 1916-17 was Earl Fuller's. Here is an ad in Variety in Nov 1917.
What kind of dance music did Earl Fuller play in 1917 at Rector's. From Variety, Nov, 1916. Fox-trots, one-steps and waltzes:
From Variety, March 1917.
"Rector's is preparing a Jazz (capital J in the original document) band for the ballroom floor. Earl Fuller is placing the combination together."
.... sold his interest in the restaurant: it became the Cafe de Paris.
That was so popular during the 19-teens and 1920's.
Goldkette had a petite symphony orchestra, a group of serenaders and the Victor recording orchestra.
From Radio Digest, Dec 12, 1925.
From Variety, Sep 2, 1925.
Here are 21 images, most so-so to my taste.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 27, 2014 1:05 PM|
Thanks for the so-so endorsement! There are a lot of other things on my site besides the Bix items, including many sheet music covers from my collection. Also many things related to movies, fashion, baseball, advertising and the like - please take a look!
Here is a link to my full website that I omitted on the previous posting: www.mel-thompson.artistwebsites.com. Thanks!
Hello. I have enjoyed reading the Forum for years. Now I have a query. The latest Coen brothers film, "Inside Llewn Davis", is based loosely on the life of the folk musician Dave Van Ronk. This side of the Pond the Guardian ran a profile on him. He wrote an autobiography, "Mayor of MacDougal Street", in which, according to the Guardian, Van Ronk claimed that"Lessons came from a neighbour who had played with Jean Goldkette's band and knew Bix Beiderbecke".Who was this guitarist?
my only time with Dave Von Ronk was a recording session ...near the end of his life. Sorry to say , I didn't get to talk with him that much. It was just casual chatter...I had NO idea he would know someone from the Bix / Goldkette crowd !
It was worth a try.
Look forward to the Feb 12 concert. We have seats in the first row.
- Jimmy Blythe
- Cookie's Gingersnaps
- Joe Candullo
- King Oliver
- Freddie Keppard
- Fess Williams
- Bob Haring
- Jimmy Lytell
Composed by Johnny St. Cyr and Charles "Doc" Cook (also spelled Cooke; he had a Doctorate in Music, hence the nickname "Doc"), the name of the song came from the slow dance/rhythm "Messin' Around."
Perhaps my favorite rendition of this song is that by Cookie's Gingersnaps, a small band within the larger Doc Cook outfit.
Thanks to Professor Hot Stuff for telling me about this recording.
There was a Broadway musical titled "Messin' Around" that lasted only for on month in April/May 1929. I don't know if the Doc Cook/St. Cyr song was included in the show. I doubt it.
..Dixie Syncopators did have a go at "Messin' Around" in 1926 (on the "Tack Annie" session), but at the time, the attempt was rejected. Has it emerged since, as their "Doctor Jazz" did?
Recorded for Vocalion on Jul 23, 1926, but unissued. Thanks, Russell, for pointing this out.
Another clarification: the recording by Jimmy Blythe and his Ragamuffins is not the tune composed by Cook and St. Cyr, but a different song composed by T. Smith and Jimmy Blythe.
On Sunday evening, February 9th, at 7:30 pm, I will face off with the giant Boesendorfer piano at Old Town Music Hall, in El Segundo, for a solo concert, my first in several years.
The first half will feature just me, in a brace of original songs and instrumental pieces (mood music and rags), improvisations and a certain amount of snappy patter.
After intermission, Ill be joined successively by special guest vocalist DAVID BARLIA, for some rousing Vaudeville duets; and then special guest drummer BRION TAJIRI, for some of the hot speakeasy jazz weve been dispensing in a certain basement in Venice since July.
All in all, this evening will be a random Mission Pak Sampler of the music Ive been creating and involved with for the last few years. If youve been spoiling for the chance to watch me make a spectacle of myself, mostly alone, on a concert stage, here it is. Mark your calendar!
The Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo is one of the great, venerable (since 1968) venues for vintage music and entertainment. It is famous for its giant Wurlitzer pipe organ, which you should make a special trip to hear - - on some other evening, since I wont be using it.
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.
According to the Radio Mirror of November 1934:
"Annette Hanshaw is now one of the highest salaried girl vocalists on the air. She gets $1,400 a broadcast on her new cigarette program."
Has the same buying power as:
Lots of lettuce.
the same as the Frank Fay here?
and singing "Nobody Cares If I'm Blue." From the Michael Curtiz film "Brighlights."
We know that Smith Ballew was in Saltzman's Restaurant in the summer of 1931, when Bix visited him. That was the time that Rex Gavitte took Bix to his apartment in Long Island where Rex's wife Alice could take care of Bix.
Smith Ballew's orchestra also played at White's Restaurant and at Rudy Valle's Villa Vallee (on East 60th Street; formerly known as Versailles, and later became the famous Copacabana Club). According to
http://www.classicjazzguitar.com/articles/article.jsp?article=34 (an excellent site about the Eps family)
Smith Ballew's orchestra "would work at White's restaurant from six to nine, have two hours off, then reassemble at singer Rudy Vallee's club; Villa Vallee, where the band would play from eleven until four in the morning." I understand that Rudy Vallee asked Smith Ballew to substitute Vallee in Villa Vallee while Vallee was abroad.
The reference to Villa Vallee is also found in advertisements for the appearance of Smith Ballew's orchestra in the Piping Rock Restaurant, Saratoga Springs. Here is an ad from the Saratogian, Aug 28, 1931.
And a postcard from flickr
According to Joseph Cushall King in "The Burning of The Piping Rock,"
Piping Rock Casino was a vital part of Saratoga Springss mix of horse racing, illegal gambling, high society, and the mob. Stars of Broadway and Hollywood performed at Piping Rock, while millions changed hands over the gaming tables. The casino was fronted by mobsters Joe Adonis, Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello, whose silent partners were from the Oyster Bay/Locust Valley area of Long Islands Gold Coastthe original location of the Piping Rock name.
Musicians did not discriminate against mobsters. They had to make a living and played for whoever would pay them. Some enterprising young man should write a book or construct a website about bands playing in mobster-owned clubs.
.... under the name of "Smith Ballew and His Piping Rock Orchestra>"
New York, June 9, 1931.
Making Faces at the Man in the Moon - Col 2479-D
Under Your Window Tonight - Col 2479-D
New York, Jul 23, 1931.
I Love Louisa - Col 2503-D
What Is It? - Col 2503-D
New York, Sep 25, 1931
Yime On My Hands - Col 2544-D
You Call It Madness - Col 2544-D
I like "What Is It?" a lot. Composed by Harry Barris and Henry Tobias. Here is the youtube video. Nice and sweet.
Here is the cover of the sheet music with a photo of Bing.
And from the soundtrack of a movie (I can't remember which!), Bing and Loyce or Lois Whiteman with Gus Arnheim.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 25, 2014 11:35 AM|
Join us for this historic concert at the Town Hall in NYC on February 12th
Help us spread the word please forward this announcement to your friends!
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks with Conductor Maurice Peress present the
90th Anniversary Celebration of Rhapsody in Blue
Paul Whitemans historic Aeolian Hall Concert will be recreated on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at The Town Hall, NYC, on the same day and same block as the original concert 90 years ago
Program features solo pianists Ted Rosenthal, Jeb Patton, and the 22-piece Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress; Jazz Age concert will feature music of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern and Zez Confrey
Wednesday, February 12th
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street, NYC
Tickets: Ticketmaster 800-982-2787 or
The Town Hall box office 212-997-1003 http://thetownhall.org/
Did you read the article by Tom Buhmann in the last issue of the IAJRC Journal? Tom does an excellent job of researching all that is known about the story of Bix putting out all the money in his pockets when he was listening to Bessie Smith in Chicago. At the end, Tom goes into speculation regarding Bessie going from New York to Chicago during the period May 6 to May 14, 1925 and appearing in the Paradise Gardens. Bix was in Chicago with Charley Straight's band and that is when Bix went to see Bessie.
The first part of the article is impeccable, what other musicians have reported. Then some facts: Bessie was on tour late in April 1925 in Kentucky and left abruptly. Bessie made recordings in New York City on May 5, 6, 14, 26. But here comes the speculation: Tom tells us that Bessie was not ready "to return to her home and husband Jack Gee" and accepted an invitation form her friend Richard Morgan "to spend time in Chicago until the heat subsided."
I'll have to look through my Bessie Smith bios at home and see if there's any mention of it.
Didn't find anything. The revised "definitive" bio of Bessie doesn't even mention Bix, nor "All Night Party" about 1920's women writers and jazz artists, and a couple of paperbacks just mention Bix tossing money to hear her sing.
This story of Bix throwing money to hear Bessie sing some more is surely yet another one of those many far fetched myths that sprang up in the 1930's.
.... let me point out that there are several first hand accounts, very similar to each other in many details.
- Eddie Condon
- Bud Freeman
- Mezz Mezzrow
There is also information about the roster of musicians in the band consistent with the recollections of Bix's buddies.
Tom has the following sentence in the concluding section: " I find it difficult to dismiss totally the recollections of Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman and Mezz Mezzrow, so I think there is convincing evidence to support that Bix Beiderbecke saw and heard Bessie Smith perform at the Paradise Garden in Chicago."
I have difficulties myself:
- recollections of events years or decades after they took place are notoriously unreliable. Probably, Condon, Freeman and Mezzrow saw and heard Bessie Smith in Chicago. Was Bix with them? Condon's account would have been much weaker without Bix turning "his pockets inside out and putting all his dough on the table to keep her singing." Mezzrow does not mention Bix, but gives information about the band that accompanied Bessie Smith consistent with what Condon and Freeman give. I also note that Condon's "We Called It Music" was published in 1947 and Freeman's "Crazeology" in 1989. Is it possible that there was some "copying" of interesting Bix stories?
- my main difficulty is the asssumed trip of Bessie Smith to Chicago for a few days between recording dates in New York City. Bessie had a grueling tour beginning in February 1925 and had abruptly ended the tour in late April 1925. During the tour she was stabbed and there was an incident with her favorite dancer in the show, Eggie Smith. After months of traveling -and with serious problems- does it make sense that Bessie Smith would take a quick trip to Chicago between recording dates?
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 26, 2014 12:10 PM|
Several anecdotes mentioned that Bix often carried all his cash haphazardly crammed in his pockets, which would have made "turning them" inside out a good way to get at the various bills and change there regardless of the purpose. If that was true, it wasn't a necessarily a flamboyant gesture, just impatience to turn up enough money quickly to tempt Bessie to sing longer.
PICTURE YOURSELF at a ringside table in 1925, taking in a set by "The Empress of the Blues." She's ten feet away from you. That voice - so compelling, so arresting on her records - would, live and up close, be a thousand times more vivid and majestic, with personality and moves to match. The band would be a lot hotter and less inhibited than what we hear on record. It would be a transcendental, mesmerizing, devastating experience, with people fainting, or blindly walking toward Bessie in a zombie-like trance, as many have reported.
Then imagine you are Bix Beiderbecke, gifted with the finest ear in jazz, allied with the most creative and composerly sensibilities, who in the presence of any great music (think N. O R. K.) customarily sits transfixed and goggle-eyed.
I have no trouble whatever seeing Bix in this situation, oblivious to everything but that voice, and probably juiced (make that DEFINITELY juiced if he was with Condon), committing a random act of fiscal largess. Even if it DIDN'T happen, that's exactly what WOULD have happened.
Thanks, Brad! If there was a function of "thumbs up" here, you would have had plenty from me.
That's exactly how I'd see it too, Brad.
I must come from another planet. I am interested in what did happen, not what could happen. I want facts about Bix, not mythology, even if it is romantic and captivating.
Albert, I did consider the possibility that Bud Freeman's account could have been inspired by Condon's. But Freeman does not copy Condon's recollection. He tells his own story. And I do not believe one second that Condon would take his inspiration from Mezzrow or vice versa.
It was the unanimity between Condon, Mezzrow and Freeman regarding the band personnel AND the venue, that made me go deeper into the research. I am not saying that there is rock solid proof that it did happen. My conclusion is just that if it happened then May 1925 in Chicago was the only time and place, that it could have happened.
I just want to make a clarification. I did not use the word "copying" in its literal meaning; I put it between quotation marks to suggest that it was, as you put it, an inspiration.
OF COURSE you disagree. I expected nothing less. I stick my head in a noose here whenever I veer even slightly off the path of True and Verifiable Fact.
Nevertheless, Bessie Smith hoodoo-ed the crap out of ordinary listeners (never mind Bix!) at all her appearances. Here's a first-person recollection of that, from N. O. guitar great Danny Barker:
"Bessie Smith was a fabulous deal to watch. She was a pretty, large woman and she could sing the blues. She had a church deal mixed up in it. She dominated a stage. You didnt turn your head when she went on. You just watched Bessie. You didnt read any newspapers in a night club when she went on. She just upset you. When you say Bessie - that was it. She was unconscious of her surroundings. She never paid anybody any mind. When you went to see Bessie and she came out, that was it. If you had any church background, like people who came from the South as I did, you would recognize a similarity between what she was doing and what those preachers and evangelists from there did, and how they moved people. The South had fabulous preachers and evangelists. Some would stand on corners and move the crowds from there. Bessie did the same thing on stage. She, in a sense, was like people like Billy Graham are today. Bessie was in a class with those people. She could bring bout mass hypnotism. When she was performing, you could hear a pin drop."
-from Hear Me Talkin' to Ya Nat Hentoff & Nat Shapiro, 1955
Brad, you've got my number. I surrender.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 29, 2014 4:36 PM|
Thumbs up, Brad! You did it! Getting Dr. Haim to agree that something could have happened without a document notarized and signed by at least five sober witnesses is quite an achievement. I had to hit the invisible Like button, too!
It is hard to believe that Bix Beiderbecke would not have gone to hear Bessie Smith in person if he could! Extensive witnesses put him in all the right places to hear the greats of the time. With three diverse witnesses telling similar stories of that occurrence, that certainly makes it seem likely that Bix went rummaging in his pockets for a tip to get her to sing a few more, and the independent story of how Bessie affected ordinary listeners similarly corroborates the high possibility that it did happen pretty much as told.
I will file this rare Professor Haim Provisional Speculation Acceptance Award along with my Boy Scout merit badges and Captain Midnight Ovaltine Secret Decoder Ring.
Born: January 23, 1910, Liberchies, Belgium
Died: May 16, 1953, Fontainebleau, France
Full name: Jean Reinhardt
Evidently, Achille-Claude Debussy was an influence on Bix's piano compositions. Not only the music, but maybe even the titles. Debussy, just like Bix, wrote several pieces with titles related to light and darkness: "Nocturne," "Clair de lune," "Fireworks." Compare with "In the Dark," "Candlelights," "Flashes."
Debussy: "Brouillards;" Bix: "In A Mist."
.... responsible for the titles of Bix's piano compositions. The source: Bill Challis told him.
Do any of you remember if Challis mentioned this in any of the interviews I have in the Bixography website? Or in any other source?
PS The various stories about naming "In A Mist" are available in http://ic.sunysb.edu/Faculty/alhaim/recordingsinamist.htm
It was sublime, and indeed, very nuanced for a 1911 acoustical recording. I'd love to think Mrs. Agnes Beiderbecke had that recording in her home and played it for Bickie (or played the piece on the piano for him, certainly, since she liked Debussy) -- somehow, I can't quiiiiiite buy the idea that the Beiderbeckes didn't purchase a Victrola until Burnie brought one home in 1918 when he got out of the service. A passionately musical family such as that, even owning two pianos, surely would have been collecting records and buying some sort of available gramophone earlier in the 1900's, as soon as they were commerically available.
But truly a gorgeous and delicate piece of music -- and you know, can any of you guess which passage seems to sound as if it might have at least slightly inspired Bix for In A Mist?
.. two passages in that remarkable recording, the one around 1'30" for its "rumbling" quality, but then also the little whole-tone phrases around 2'13"/2'14" and onward. If you put it together with the Greig "Albumblatt" (Op. 42), which I've drawn attention to before:
-- you have a lot of the "mood" qualities, and some of the chordal preferences, of "In A Mist". I didn't know Debussy's "Brouillards", or "Mists", which suggests exciting similarities -- and it's a striking piece: but much more "painterly", like an attempt to reproduce a Whistler "nocturne" in music.
I do hope there was a music-player of some sort in the Beiderbecke household, early in his life. Clearly he was gifted with a wonderful ear, but you do need something the ear can get to work on.
Bix's mother was a pianist and organist for the First Presbyterian Church. Bix's grandfather (Charles Beiderbecke) was the president of the German Musical Society and director of the German Choral Organization in Davenport. Charles died before Bix was born.
15 inches of snow; the actual temperature is 10F but with strong winds it feels like -8F. I had two sessions with my crack snow blower (Ariens, 205 cc, 24-inch) and cleared the driveway, all around my Jeep (4-wheel drive) and around the mailbox. And we are still in January!
And this is nothing compared to what is going on in the midwest or in New England.
Why did I ever live California after my post-doctoral year at Stanford Univeristy? What a dumb move! And why did I not take the offer from the University of California in San Diego in 1964, after having spent two years in the middle of Pennsylvania where the temperature reached -16F in the winter of 1963? What a dumb decision.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 22, 2014 9:23 AM|
It has indeed been a miserable winter. I actually have worn a winter coat (not a fleece hoodie, which usually suffices) more this winter that in the last ten years put together! If it makes you feel better, it's going to be in the single digits here tomorrow night. Still, it's much better than what you Midwest and Atlantic Coast dwellers have had to deal with.
I can see why the Sun Belt is looking better and better to you! Picking your own oranges beats snow blowing any day!! Best wishes!
There Ain't No Land Like Dixie Land to Me!
They're not having much fun down in Dixieland, either. And here in Armpittsburgh -- wooooooooaaaaaah, it's -- around 7 degrees right now. I haven't been out for a walk on my lunch hour in over a week. Pitt campus looks like Siberia and the birds are so cold they cry; I sneak to the building doorways whenever I can with scraps of bread and steamed rice. Every morning at home the birds line up on the railing of our back deck until my husband or I run out to feed them -- there's nothing sadder than a shivering, bright red cardinal with his little square beak pursed in a heart-rending pout, peering into the window and fluttering his wings to beg. I wish we could bring all the outside birdies into the house. (But so does our cat.)
I USED to live through winters just like this in the 1970's -- Cleveland was slammed every year for the entire decade -- except 73/74/75 --- with bitterly cold, sub-zero, blizzardy winters, and even as a stringy little kid and later a teen, they were hard to take. I used to trudge to school and my after school job at the public library in snow up to my waist, often with sharp blizzard snowflakes and a bitter wind stinging my face.
But what seemed like a grisly adventure when we were kids now just seems like tiresome, frightening, obnoxiously difficult weather to deal with. Rick doesn't like driving our old car on the hilly roads and we always dread ice under the snow, which the salt truck plow can't keep up with. It's a chore to drag to work every day and our schools won't close, figuring students live on or close enough to campus to walk in the frigid wind and faculty live nearby. (they don't.) Or TV announces horrible, cruel ultimatums: "Classes cancelled, all staff report." (Translated: "Faculty and students are human beings! Adminstrative staff are disposable garbage and we don't care if they die!")
Waaaah. I wish I could just stay home and listen to records (without wishing unemployment on myself.) I envy our pet box turtles and cat, sprawled out snoozing the day away indoors.
with worlds records gone does anyone know where to go for the latest cd releases thanks
You can always go to the individual websites of companies that produce cds of vintage music: jazzoracle, frog, archeophone, vocalion, etc.
I am sure you know that the home page of worldsrecords.com makes the announcement "We'll Be Back Soon."
Welcome to the Bixography Forum.
...buying to these three sources years ago:
From Variety, Sep 24, 1924.
Goldkette has a jazz band (the Victor recording orchestra) but "absolutely bars all jazz musicians" from the Detroit College of Music: Goldkette is the manager and teaches.
Lois Benson was a student at the Detroit College of Music
but disagrees about jazz being barred from the curriculum of music students. She writes:
"I believe every student's musical education should include experiences in a variety of popular stylings, including jazz as a serious and recurring phase of his studies. The student should be encouraged, too, to deviate from the written notes with his own improvisations if he desires, for spontaneity is an essential ingredient of the jazz idiom. I encourage the student to make his own introduction and ending to the pieces and delete and change parts that he doesn't care for by adding notes, changing harmony and rhythms."
.... and only dance hall band to record for Victor."
Wrong!! Here are 1922-1924 Victor recordings.
Get a load of the bands: Virginians, Paul Whiteman, Benson Orchestra of Chicago, Original; Memphis Five, Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, Tennessee Ten (augmented OM5), Waring's Pennsylvanians, Ted Weems, Piron's New Orleans Orchestra, Coon Sanders, etc.
From Variety, March 31, 1926.
A proposof nothing. Fletcher Henderson, whose colored Jazzists are the aces at the Roseland ballroom in Times Square, is dragged in for comparison with his uptown contemporaries. Henderson's Jazzapatlon for the white man's consumption may be properly adulterated, but for red hot scorching Jazz that Harlem 7-and-ll team is the ultimate. [The 7 and 11 band is Fess Williams's band]
From Jeffrey Magee's "The Uncrowned King of Swing." Two pages, but please take the time to read them.
He was named "The Paul Whiteman of the Race" by Panassie who used Whiteman in a pejorative sense. Henderson's was not a "true" jazz band, but a "false" one. He played "adulterated" jazz.
I would add that the fact that the Goldkette's band creamed the African-american boys in Henderson's band could be viewed as further evidence that Henderson's band played false jazz: white boys from the midwest could play closer to "true" jazz than Henderson's musicians. Of course, I am being facetious, of course.
Henderson was maligned by what I have called in the past "jazz snobs." I don't care whether Henderson played "true" or "false" jazz, I think he had a terrific band and played excellent music. That is good enough for me.
Let me add, that Ellington, universally (I think) acknowledged as playing "true" jazz, had good words to say about Whiteman and was stronly influenced by Henderson.
There, I did it: my rant for the day.
In 1924, to have one's music compared favorably to Paul Whiteman's was a high compliment, which any bandleader would have been proud to accept. These latter-day jazz critics got their briefs in a twist over this. Whiteman's band was the biggest thing in music since Sousa. It was the Beatles of the '20s. Absolutely every dance band in America took after Whiteman's in one way or another. Especially after 1924! So Fletcher and Duke were being accorded the highest possible praise, as was Jean Goldkette, "The Paul Whiteman of the West."
Goldkette, Henderson, Ellington and Whiteman all made music that featured ravishing, ever-shifting orchestral textures and timbres, intoxicating rhythms, hot solos of great originality, and impeccable presentation. They were the epitome of "Class" and set the tone for everyone else in the business. That tone extended even to the Great American Hinterlands, among the Territory bands like Bennie Moten's and Alphonse Trent's; even unto such humble practitioners as The Memphis Jug Band, who played with grace and great tonal depth. In the '20s, America - and Europe - were highly Orchestra Conscious, thanks in a great degree to Paul Whiteman, who compares favorably to Leopold Stokowski.
I am sure you all know about Jack Hylton being called "Britain's Answer to Paul Whiteman." Maybe you don't know about Alex Hyde, the "German Paul Whiteman."
From Variety, 26 Aug 1925
Here is a biography from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/alex-hyde-mn0000518389/biography
Born in Hamburg, Germany, on February 17, 1898, Alex Hyde became a U.S. citizen while still an infant, after emigrating with his parents. Tutored by a professional violinist, he performed in New York cafés and worked for a while with Mike Denzi's Red Devils. Hyde is said to have visited Germany immediately after WWI, entertaining U.S. military personnel in the occupied Rhineland. During the early '20s, Hyde led one of Paul Whiteman's numerous offshoot bands, the Romance of Rhythm Orchestra. Hyde's first recordings were made with this group in Montreal in 1923 and subsequently issued on the Victor label. His next move was to relocate to London, England, where from December 1923 throughout much of 1924, Hyde led a British jazz band at the Piccadilly Hotel, sharing the bill with Jack Hylton. On May 1, 1924, Alex Hyde's Orchestra made its debut at the Tivoli Variete in Hanover, Germany, but this engagement soon teetered on the brink of financial disaster. Just as the unpaid ensemble was about to dissolve, a Russian dancer by the name of Ivan Bankoff paid all of Hyde's debts and took the band under his wing. Alex Hyde's New York Orchestra now took Berlin by storm and stood the German public on its ear with a species of corny, "doo-wacka-doo" hot novelty dance music. Hyde's enormous popularity has been attributed to snappy arrangements and the introduction of buzzer mutes and Besson B flat trumpets in an environment where only rotary valve C trumpets had been regularly used. After playing Munich's Deutches Theater in June 1924, Hyde disbanded, sailed for the U.S., and returned to Germany in 1925 with a much better, more authentic hot jazz ensemble. This put him in Berlin at about the same time as Sam Wooding's Chocolate Dandies. By the end of the 1920s and throughout the 1930s, Hyde assembled and produced a series of all-female orchestras. He then retired from music to co-manage an insurance company with his brothers and passed away in Santa Monica, CA, on July 7, 1956.
Here are some recordings. Mike Danzi on banjo.
1925 Copenhagen (connection to Bix)
1925 No One Knows What It's All About (connection to Bix)
A half-page ad in Variety 12 Nov, 1924.
Pete Martin in Hollywood Without Make-up, published in 1948 by J. P. Lippincott Co.
I agree that several of Hoagy's compositions are "difficult." But I think that the "difficult" compositions are the great ones, not those between "half-baked" and complicated.
.... Debbie White in facebook.
"I leapt at the chance to write with Hoagy," he wrote in an unpublished biography. "He proved an understanding, sympathetic friend and teacher...When I say teacher, I mean just that; he broadened my ability with his knowledge and experience." Later in the same manuscript, however, he reveals that the "teacher" often proved a stern taskmaster. "He is such a gifted lyric writer on his own, that I felt intimidated much of the time and tightened up too much to do my best work."
(Johnny Mercer quoted from "Stardust Melody" by R. Sudhalter)
Albert, I'm thinking Mercer could be said to have been a friend of Hoagy, although I often get the feeling he (Hoagy) might've had more "acquaintances" than friends.
Mercer is indeed a possibility. I can think of at least two dozen songs they wrote together.
Oscar ceremonies, 1952. Best original song: "In the Cool Cool of the Evening" from the film "Here Comes the Groom" with Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman. Donald O'Connor was the presenter of the music awards.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 18, 2014 9:21 AM|
In another thread, David mentioned the magazine "Musical Messenger." All 1921 issues of the magazine are available in google books.
You can spend hours leafing through the pages. Here is one piece, among many others, that caught my attention. July 1921.
With the forthcoming recreation of Whiteman's Aeolian Hall Concert of Feb 12, 1924, it is appropriate to mention here that Damsrosch attended the concert. He was a good friend of Whiteman's and was the first to applaud when the performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" ended. Also, Damrosch conducted the New York Symphony in Dec 1925 for the premiere of Gershwin's Concerto in F.
Ray Miller has been discusssed extensively in the forum. Use the search function. Here is a full page cover of Ray Miller and His Black and White Melody Boys in the Dec 23, 1919 issue of the New York Clipper. Names of the boys in the early band included. In 1920, Earl Oliver and Tom Brown were in the band.
Listen to an early (July 1920) recording
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 16, 2014 11:13 AM|
He is one of the Kings of Jazz according to the March 1926 issue of Cine Mundial, a magazine from Argentina.
From the IBDB website:
Category: Musical, Revue, Original, Broadway
Description: A revue in two acts
Music by Ed Wynn; Book by Ed Wynn; Lyrics by Ed Wynn; Musical Director: Antonio Bafunno; Music orchestrated by Stephen Jones and Frank Saddler; Featuring songs by Alfred Bryan, Alex Sullivan, Walter Donaldson, William Eckstein, Chris Smith, Lou Handman, Ray Miller, Raymond Klages, Billy Fazioli, Ring Hager, Tom Brown and Clarence Seena; Featuring songs with lyrics by Alfred Bryan, Gene Buck, Grant Clarke, Alex Sullivan, Ray Miller, Fred Fisher, Raymond Klages, Billy Fazioli, Ring Hager and Clarence Seena
The cast included Ray Miller's Black and White Melody Boys.
The interior of the New Amsterdam Theatre.
And get a load of this photo with an ad for Ed Wynne's Carnival in the New Amsterdam Theatre.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 16, 2014 2:11 PM|
I have been sifting through Ray Miller's B&W records for years, hoping to find examples of Tom Brown's trombone. I have found a number of very good examples, ones that reveal him to have been a very relaxed, lithe, New Orleans-style trombonist, lacking the stiffness that permeates most of the early recording bands. He sounds a little like Kid Ory.
"Rose of Spain" and "Can you tell?" are both excellent, the Vocalion versions being about the best. I actually transcribed the music from these titles and recorded them, a decade+ ago, with Dan Levinson's Canary Cottage Orchestra/Roof Garden Jass Band. I never got close to sounding as cool as Tom Brown.
An interesting version of "Beale Street Blues," by Miller, features the trombone. However, it does not sound like Brown--at least not to me.
Some nformation on Tom Brown in
According to John Chilton, Tom played trombone in the 1910s and 1920s, but later he also played string bass.
"Ray Miller and Band has indefinitely been engaged for the Hotel Addison, Detroit."
I remind you that in May 1926, Bix, depositing his union card with Detroit Local 5, listed his address as the Addison Hotel.
The latest of the excellent podcasts from John Wright. Thanks to John for permission to use his recording in the Forum.
There's Happiness Ahead (Flynn, Burns) Maurice Elwin singing, accompanied by band directed by John Firman. Sylvester Ahola trumpet, Arthur Lally baritone sax. Recorded 16 April 1929. Zonophone 5335.
It is the first track heard by clicking on the link "the latest podcast British Dance Band Show, No. 258 in the above page."
Hooley was certainly influenced by Bix. Enjoy!
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 15, 2014 4:07 PM|
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 15, 2014 12:49 PM
This has been discussed in the forum several times. The first time in 2003. See the thread:
Another time in 2005:
The earliest example so far was brought up by Enrico:
The Varsity Eight, Doddle Doo Doo, May 14, 1924. Rollini and Davis.
Another early example comes from Fredrik:
Vincent Rose and His Montmartre Orchestra. String Beans (Victor 19379-B), June 10, 1924.
Available in the LOC jukebox.
A further early example was just sent by Nick.
California Ramblers, A Little Old Clock on The Mantel, September 9th, 1924, Bobby Davis and Adrian Rollini.
In addition, Nick discusses a chase sequence between Adrian Rollini and Bill Moore from the California Ramblers' Sittin' In A Corner, recorded for Columbia in New York on September 18th, 1923.
Nick writes: "This is a sort of "proto" chase sequence. When I say that "Sittin' In A Corner" is a "proto" chase sequence, I mean because Bill Moore is playing fairly straight and Rollini is answering him in improvised breaks. Later examples were between two musicians both improvising - often "trading fours" (four bars) - as in the case of Bix and Tram.
The earliest examples of chase sequences are on California Ramblers sides, so I think there may be something in my theory that Rollini was an early instigator - perhaps even the originator. It's impossible to say for certain, but Rollini was one of those totally original geniuses , so it wouldn't altogether surprise me."
Thanks Nick, for the wave files and for revisiting this fascinating subject.
If I Can't Get the Sweetie I Want. California Ramblers. Sep 4, 1923. So far the earliest chase. Some parts of the melody remind me of T'ain't So, Honey, T'ain't So.
Again, Rollini as one of the two partners in crime, the other Bobby Davis. Nick's suggestion that Rollini may be the inventor of the chase chorus finds further support.
Here is a link to yet another nice chase sequence on an early California Ramblers side, this time with Rollini (again) and Bill Moore:-
One of Moore's breaks has some pretty fast tonguing (during which he slightly slips up) and Rollini imitates him in response on the bass sax (and doesn't slip up)!
Your example is the earliest found so far though, as this is from over a year later.
We're forgetting the lovely split chorus by Frank Guarente and Johnny O'Donnell on the Specht's Society Serenaders 'Hot Lips'from June 1922.
We're forgetting the lovely split chorus by Frank Guarente and Johnny O'Donnell on the Specht's Society Serenaders 'Hot Lips'from June 1922.
Nick writes, ""Here is another example of Hooley and Arthur Lally jumping out from their otherwise mild mannered roles as accompanying musicians to play a precious few hot bars. I didn't copy the whole side because the rest of it is as soporific as the title suggests! And it isn't in the best of condition either."
Thanks, Nick. I am very impressed by Arthur Lally's sax playing. Of course, Hooley is always great.
.... an article in
The recording used as an archetypal example of the Five Pennies "cool" style is Hoagy's Washboard Blues.
for aditional information about this recording.
A De Barron Studio photograph of Red Nichols taken in New York City. George De Barron specialized in risque photos of female subjects. For example:
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 15, 2014 5:25 AM|
That shot of Red Nichols from the above link looks more like a passport photo than anything else. It's clear that scantily clad women inspired George DeBarron more than fully dressed male jazz musicians!
I agree completely with this blog. The music of Nichols and company between '25 and '28 was a watershed of modernism, and in many ways, the "birth of the cool."
Comparisons of Red to Bix as a soloist only cloud the issue. On Bix's records, we listen often, mostly, for him alone. He stands apart from his colleagues. The Nichols-Mole-Dorsey-Lang-Schutt-Berton-Livingston combine, OTOH, was a close-knit artistic entity, with an entirely new collective aesthetic. Anyone with a brain listens to it in toto, not just for Nichols' solos.
If nothing else, Red was producing cutting-edge original jazz records that also were popular best-sellers. I wish Bix could have done something similar, producing his own sessions and bringing his vision more consciously to a group setting. He did this now and then ("Ostrich Walk" - "Riverboat Shuffle"; the first batch of "Bix and his Gang"), but not with the consistency of Nichols.
When Red Nichols and Miff Mole broke up their partnership in 1929, that modernist collective evaporated, and Red lost his artistic grace.
2014 Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival
July 31 Aug. 3, 2014 - Davenport, Iowa
Adler Theater RiverCenter LeClaire Park
Jim Cullum Jazz Band
Banu Gibsons New Orleans Hot Jazz
The Fat Babies
Dave Bennett Quartet
Dan Levinsons Roof Garden Jass Band
Anderson Twins Sextet
Josh Duffee & His Graystone Monarchs
River City 6
The Jimmy Valentine Quintet
Five Bridges Jazz Band
The Tony Hamilton Orchestra
Rock River Jazz Band
Jim Buennig & Friends, Western Illinois University
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 12, 2014 5:54 PM|
Here is the link to the announcement.
For the convenience of readers I also give direct links to:
Part Two: http://www.vjm.biz/168-eddie-lang-part-two-web.pdf
The music files: http://www.vjm.biz/sounds.html
And in case you have not read Part One:
Lots of fascinating material.
From Vince's facebook page:
The program was the same as in the Aeolian Hall concert.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 10, 2014 6:19 PM|
Albert, do you kow the Smithsonian LP that attempts to reconstruct the Aeolian Hall concert? It is quite excellent and with excellent notes.
There is also a partial recreation in England by Keith Nichols.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 12, 2014 6:21 AM|
According to Evans and Evans, p. 239, on Dec 11, 1926, Goldkette's orchestra had a special appearance at the Detroit Athletic Club. Here is the program.
I. A. Adoration .... Borowski
B. Transcription of Indian Melodies
C. Hurricane .... Mertz
D. Waltz Selection of Popular Melodies
E. Excerpt of Rhapsody in Blue .... Gershwin
F. On the Road to Mandalay .... Speaks-Kipling
II. The Revelers
III. American Concerto [Goldkette himself at the piano]
Lento .... Scott
Andante and Presto .... MacDowell [I wonder if this is from his piano concerto no.1 in A. See note 1.]
IV. The Revelers
VI. The Revelers
Bix had been in Davenport for the wedding of his sister Marie Louise Nov 8-11, 1926, but was back in Detroit for the rest of 1926.
Samples of several compositions by McDowell are available in http://www.classicalarchives.com/work/291249.html
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 12, 2014 7:19 AM|
A brief biography by Josh Duffee and Alann Krivor.
And the Ellis Island records show that he was going to join his uncle in La Paz, Indiana and that he was 1m 58 cm tall (5ft 2in) and had dark hair and blue eyes.
From my posting: Bix had been in Davenport for the wedding of his sister Marie Louise Nov 8-11, 1926, but was back in Detroit for the rest of 1926.
Thanks to Phil Schaap for pointing out that Bix's sister had her wedding in November 1924, not 1926.. Bix's brother wedding took place in November 1926.
...in St. Augustine, FL and it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen.
If you get a chance, by all means, GO.
|This message has been edited by ahaim on Jan 13, 2014 4:11 PM|
123 West 43rd Street
(between 6th Avenue & Broadway)
Founded by a group of suffragists (The League for Political Education) seeking to build a space where the people could be educated, The Town Hall was built in 1921, designed by renowned architects McKim, Mead & White to reflect the democratic principles of the League. Box seats were eliminated and no seats had an obstructed view giving birth to the term "Not a bad seat in the house."
We have reservations for a hotel on Wed night Feb 12 and tickets for the concert. I will report on Feb 13 or 14.
It was fascinating to read the advance article by Allan Kozinn in the New York Times about the upcoming re-creation of the Aeolian Hall concert, and also Olin Downes' review of the original concert in 1924. I'm quite familiar with the Maurice Peress recording of his 1984 recreation of the concert (I have it on Musical Heritage Society cassettes), which I thought was excellent except for an oddly disappointing performance of "Rhapsody in Blue." I think Peress made a mistake in recruiting Ivan Davis as piano soloist for the "Rhapsody," since though Davis was a fine musician he had played the "Rhapsody" too often in the standard "symphonic" version to loosen up enough to play the band version. Every time I hear this album I can't help wishing Peress would have got Dick Hyman, his piano soloist in the rest of the program, to do the "Rhapsody" as well, though the original 1924 Gershwin-Whiteman recording remains my all-time favorite (despite the cuts).
I'm hoping that Vince Giordano's participation will result in a livelier performance this time around, and I'm also hoping this version, too, will be recorded. One thing I hadn't realized until I read Allan Kozinn's article was that Aeolian Hall still exists, even though it's no longer a concert hall. I'd assumed it had been torn down decades ago!
I am pretty sure I will. Two days in the Big Apple are always a lot of fun, and with the recreation of the Aeolian Hall concert featuring Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, we can't ask for more.
The Aeolian Hall.
Town Hall, down the street.
- Two mMany Dance Orchestras!!
- Most Popular Tunes in Atlantic City Cabarets. Get a load of the bands you could dance to in Atlantic City in the summer of 1924!
.... Roger Wolfe Kahn and Arthur Hand, two kids with rich fathers!
"The Ramblers have just acquired Jimmie Dorsey, who plays a family of saxes"
That may be the very first write-up about Jimmy Dorsey in an entertainment paper or magazine!
According to Robert Stockdale, the Jimmy amd Tommy Dorsey specialist, " Some discographers continue to cite Jimmy as present in on several Varsity Eight Sessions in September and October, but the author discounts this in the firm belief that Jimmy did not join the Ramblers until November 1924."
Stockdale then lists the first recording of Jimmy Dorsey with the California Ramblers as "I've Got A Garden in Sweden," Nov 18, 1924, Edison 9853. Available on youtube from our friend Enrico.
However, the Variety article of Aug 1924 tells us that Jimmie [sic] Dorsey joined the California Ramblers "recently." So the first recordings of Jimmy Dorsey with the California Ramblers is probably "Them Ramblin' Blues," recorded on Sep 10, 1924 and issued on Cameo 605 as by the Varsity Eight and Lin 2279 as by The Statler Hotel Dance Orchestra. MP3 available in
The California Ramblers must have liked this tune composed by Bill Moore and Irving Brodsky. Under various names they made several recordings of "Them Rambin' Blues." In the middle, the song sounds a tiny bit Klezmerish to me.
Jul 3, 1924. The Little Ramblers. Col 175-D. Jimmy Dorsey not present. Credited to W. Moore
Jul 24, 1924. Golden Gate Orchestra. PA 036128, Per 14309. "Ramblin' Blues," not "Them Ramblin' Blues." Jimmy Dorsey not present.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4JOoG-Dejg From our friend Emrah. Credited to Brodsky, Moore.
Aug 11, 1924. The Goofus Five. OK 40175. Jimmy Dorsey not present. Credited to Ed. Kirkeby, William Moore, I. Brodsky.
Independently, about a month ago, I acquired a copy of Columbia 223-D, a California Ramblers disc recorded in early October 1924 with the titles I Want to See My Tennessee and Eliza.
I forget which tune it was, because I have loaned it to a friend to copy, but I was struck by a very Dorsey-sounding alto solo on one of the sides. My ears perked up, and when I looked up the date, seeing that it pre-dated Mr. Stockdale's supposition as to November 1924 being Dorsey's first recordings with the organization, I became more skeptical of that.
Thank you for confirming that Jimmy Dorsey could be present on two more months' worth of Ramblers' titles.
I admit, though, that I still have some problems distinguishing between he and Bobby Davis on 1924/early 1925 titles. I'd like to think that the latter was a bit more stilted in his playing at this point, and that Dorsey's note range was greater on his solos, but he wasn't quite a veteran yet, either.
Both Dorsey's were featured in the Musical Messenger in 1915 or 16. It was a long article with a photo.
Dave Sager, you must mean 1925 or 1926. Jimmy was only 11 in 1915! Pretty precocious!
No -- Really 1915 or maybe '16 at the latest. It was common for these musical presses to feature stories about small town talent.
That's really amazing to hear about that, David! By any chance do you have a scan of that article? I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in wanting to see and read that!
I will scan it when I find the darned thing -- soon.
Tommy started at age 5 and Jimmy at age 6. At 10, Jimmy was a soloist when John Philip Sousa's band made a local appearance.