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
This is a joint response to the "'Lucky Little Devil' Meets 'Karavan'" and "Red and Welk" threads recently posted here. I was curious enough about the 1930 Louisiana Rhythm Kings sessions (and especially about the existence of a jazz piece called "Karavan" seven years before the Ellington-Tizol masterpiece "Caravan"!) to order the Jazz Oracle CD -- and got to hear some amazing playing by Nichols. Whereas some of his big-band recordings from this period are a bit on the stiff side, when he made these records Nichols really let his hair down and played some of the best music he ever recorded. There are at least four songs on this CD that Bix recorded ("Lazy Daddy," "Sweet Sue," "Futuristic Rhythm" and "Waiting at the End of the Road"), and as usual when Nichols played Bix material, he revealed how Bix had influenced him but without slavishly imitating Bix. The Louisiana Rhythm Kings CD not only has some of Nichols' best playing on record but a virtual who's-who of the best white jazz players of the time, including Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Pee Wee Russell, Bud Freeman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller (a much better soloist than you'd think if all you knew him by was his own band's records -- once Miller's friend George Simon asked him why he didn't take more solos with his band, and Miller said, "Who'd I be kidding? I don't play ballads as well as Tommy Dorsey and I don't play jazz as well as Jack Teagarden"). And I don't find Jimmy Dorsey's solos with this band substandard, as some of the people on the previous threads did. It's true he doesn't sound as imaginative or inspired as Benny Goodman on the two tracks he recorded with this band -- but then, aside from Artie Shaw, what white clarinetist of Goodman's time WAS as imaginative or inspired as he? Jimmy Dorsey's playing here fits right in and he certainly comes off better than the other two clarinet soloists on this disc, Fud Livingston (who was stronger as an arranger than a performer) and Pee Wee Russell (eventually one of the greatest jazz clarinetists in history, but not yet so when he recorded here).
I also enjoyed the 1929 Nichols band record of "Wail of the Winds," recently posted here, which jolted me because if I had listened to it "blind" I'd have assumed it was a Black band. The combination of the relatively somber arrangement and Nichols' plunger-muted solo made the piece sound quite surprisingly soulful for a white band in 1929. I had a similar jolt when I got the CD of Frank Sinatra's early recordings with Harry James and heard James solo with the plunger mute (a device he almost never used) on "Melancholy Mood." Damned if he didn't sound like Cootie Williams!
As for the video posts in the "Red and Welk" threads:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK6YxeG0dSQ: The best of the lot by far. Nichols and his regular group of the period (Bill Wood, clarinet; King Jackson, trombone; Alan Stevenson, piano; Joe Rushton, bass sax; Rawley Culver, drums) two three songs, two of them from Bix's repertoire ("Fidgety Feet" and "Louisiana") as well as Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag." I could have done without the interjections of Welk's band on "Fidgety Feet" but otherwise these are three great examples of 1950's Dixieland, with Nichols playing timelessly and tastefully and, as he had in 1929 and 1930, clearly revering Bix and showing off Bix's influence on him but not copying him. The best of these videos.
The "Snader Telescriptions,"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_B41Yuhk7U ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic") andhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WveEco2Rq2w ("Entrance of the Gladiators"): Not the best material for Nichols -- he plays "Battle Hymn" well enough but doesn't achieve anywhere near the eloquence of Louis Armstrong's "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" with the Dukes of Dixieland -- and what were those cornball outfits the Snader people had Nichols and his bandmates wear during "Entrance of the Gladiators"? Also, I hadn't heard the title "Entrance of the Gladiators" before but I'd certainly heard the song; when those familiar bump-bump-bump circus strains started up I thought, "Oh, THAT'S what that thing is called!" Nichols' band did the best they could with these.
The summit meeting of Nichols, Pete Candoli and Al Hirt on "Hot Lips,"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aea21Btwf-4: Nichols plays tastefully as usual but I'd score this a lot closer than some of the other commentators. Though Pete Candoli came up during the bebop era (he was a star with Woody Herman's mid-1940's "First Herd") and it shows in some flatted fifths and other dissonances, he mostly negotiates an odd song choice (for him) quite well. He doesn't try to turn it into bop and he doesn't try to dumb down his music into someone's cornball idea of 1920's jazz either. As for Al Hirt, he's mostly quite impressive here except when he goes into those screechy strings of high notes. He reminded me of William "Cat" Anderson, the high-note screecher who seriously marred a lot of Duke Ellington's records in the 1940's and 1950's, but whom the Duke kept around because he knew what at least some members of his audience wanted to hear.
The first: Benson Orchestra of Chicago. Chicago. April 11, 1921.
The second: Husk O'Hare's Super Orchestra of Chicago. Richmond, IN, March 10, 1922.
Both very early 1920s recordings by Chicago bands. The first fairly sedate. The second really hot. An interesting comparison, in my opinion.
Ken Bristow died in Ealing Hospital, London on Friday 28 March. Ken was a lifelong fan and an expert on Bix who regularly contributed to the forum. He had a fall at home and took several hours struggling to get help. He had been suffering from emphysema for several years. This considerable exertion must have put too big a strain on his heart and he died of heart failure. I saw him on Tuesday and he was in good spirits and pleased to see me. However I could not see how he would be well enough to come home and would have probably gone into a nursing home had he survived. His closest relative is his cousin Lynn Goodall. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ken was a steady contributor to the Bixography Forum. His postings were always thoughtful and informative. His voice brought reason and understanding to our discussions. Ken will be missed.
RIP my Bix friend.
I believe there is a useful archive of Bix material in Kens apartment. It may well be lost as he was a tenant in a local authority flat. The flat will be cleared by the local council for the next tenant fairly quickly. Are you aware of anyone in west London who would be interested in inheriting it?
Anyone? It would be a shame if Ken's collection ends up in the trash bin.
.... email me.
Ken was a very gentlemanly and kind correspondent, a non-egotistical Bix scholar who contributed quietly but competently always. We will miss him a lot.
when I am in London I could make time to do this if nobody else is interested.
Please give me some details and contact telephone number.
I am a collector and feel very sad when another collector passes away and the collection he or she treasured and spent years amassing ends up as trash. I have a strong sense of preservation. It is very kind of you to preserve Ken's collection.
I will email you and give you a contact.
.... you, Malcolm, and to Ken's cousin.
Can anyone tell me who the soloists are on these Bert Lown records? Some of their Jazz breaks are real good.
|New York, February 11, 1929|
|147961-3||Tomorrow's violets (ik vcl)||Har 863-H, TOM 18|
Big City Blues, Here Comes My Ball and Chain, The Jaz Me Blues. April 5, 1929.
Bert Lown And His Loungers : prob. same pers as above but Adrian Rollini out
|New York, April 5, 1929|
|148178-2||Big city blues||Har 920-H, TOM 18|
|148179-2||Here comes my ball and chain||892-H, -|
|148180-3||The jazz me blues||974-H, - , OFC 46, Frog (E)DGF76 [CD]|
Be careful, all. My security programme warns me that this is a dangerous and unsafe site.
He knew how to choose musicians for his orchestra.
One of my favorite Whiteman recordings with Bix.
Arrranged by Tom Satterfield. The call and respond between the Rhythm Boys, Bix, Tram and Izzy is fabulous.
One of my favorite recordings without Bix,
Arranged by William Grant Still. Secrest plays one of his best solos.
Happy Birthday, Pops!!
Radio Program # 221. (loaded on 03/27/2014) Recordings by dance bands of songs from Maurice Chevalier's films. 58 min 53 sec sec
Download http://bixography.com/WBIX221.rm 14.2 MB
Download bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX221.mp3 56.5 MB
You Brought A New Kind of Love. High Hatters. Aor 17, 1930.
Living in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight. Paul Whiteman. Mar 22, 1930.
Paris je t'aime. Billy Barton. Dec 1930.
My Ideal. Coleman Hawkins. Dec 4, 1943.
It's A Great Life. George Olsen. Sep 16, 1930.
Moonlight Saving Time. Dick Robertson. May 1, 1931.
What Would You Do. Ambrose. Apr 15, 1932.
One Hour With You. Jimmy Grier. Mar 28, 1932.
Wait Till You See Ma Cherie. Ray Starita.Jul 3, 1929.
All I Want Is Just One Girl. Gus Arnheim. Dec 6, 1929.
Sweepin' the Clouds Away. Coon Sanders Nighthawks. Dec 6, 1929.
My Love Parade. Ben Berlin. Nov 1929.
WBIX # 222 will be uploaded on Apr 25, 2014.
Enjoy! I did, immensely.
I must say that when I saw the theme for WBIX #221 I wasn't holding out much hope for this. A lot of people who love 1920's jazz consider the commercial dance music of the period either hopelessly stiff or outrageously corny and dated. I never wrote it off completely, and over the years I've grown to like it much better than I used to, but I still dreaded what some of the bands of this period, and especially some of the God-awful singers who recorded with them, would make of the songs of someone with a style so deeply personal, infectious and insouciant as Maurice Chevalier.
I needn't have worried. Albert, you came through again! Though the two records on the program I was already familiar with -- Whiteman's "Living in the Sunlight" (with a superb jazz-inflected vocal by Bing Crosby, ably backed by Lennie Hayton on celesta and Eddie Lang on guitar, and most of the musicians who'd been in Whiteman's band during Bix's tenure) and Coleman Hawkins' "My Ideal" (a superbly "sung" ballad performance with excellent playing by Hawkins and pianist Art Tatum) -- were the best, there were some surprising delights here. Even the vocalists weren't as bad as I thought they'd be; in fact, some of them, notably Dick Robertson and Sam Browne, were quite good, managing to capture some of Chevalier's charm without any ill-advised attempts to sound like him. I even liked the anonymous vocal trio on "Sweepin' the Clouds Away," and Fred MacMurray's vocal on "All I Want Is Just One Girl" was a jolt because it didn't sound anything like MacMurray's familiar speaking voice from his movies. (I'm almost certain he was singing in falsetto.)
My one disappointment was you didn't include anything from what I consider Chevalier's greatest film (indeed, the greatest movie musical ever made, period), Rouben Mamoulian's "Love Me Tonight" from 1932. At least two songs from this, "Lover" and "Isn't It Romantic?," have become standards -- though the lyrics heard when the songs are sung separately don't match those in the movie because their author, Lorenz Hart, didn't think the original lyrics would make sense out of context. So he just wrote new ones for the published versions. Aside from that, though, this was a surprisingly good set, with Sam Browne's vocal on "What Would You Do?" standing out (in the original movie "One Hour with You" the line, "What would you do?," became an inventively used catch phrase; at several points during the film Chevalier turned directly to the camera and asked the audience if they wouldn't yield to the same temptations as his character and behave in the same way). And who was that hot trumpeter on "There Ought to Be a Moonlight Savings Time"? Given that Dick Robertson was doing a lot of vocals on Red Nichols' recordings just then, was it Nichols returning the favor and sitting in?
One especially treasurable anecdote about Chevalier comes from Duke Ellington's autobiography, "Music Is My Mistress." In 1930 Paramount hired Chevalier to perform live at its flagship theatre in New York and said he could have any band he wanted as his accompanists. Chevalier said he wanted Ellington's. The "suits" at Paramount went ballistic. "We can't have a white singer perform with a colored band!" they said. "Why not?" Chevalier replied. "In France we do it all the time!" So Ellington got the job, his first gig ever in a theatre instead of a nightclub.
Indeed, Maurice Chevalier appeared with Duke Ellington for four weeks in April 1930 at the Fulton Theatre. J. Brooks Atkinson, the reviewer for the New York Times liked Chevalier's show but not Ellington's.
|First Preview:||Total Previews:|
|Opening Date:||Mar 30, 1930|
|Closing Date:||Apr 1930||Total Performances:||18|
Special, Concert, Original, Broadway
I saw Chevalier's one-man show in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Although he was no longer in his prime, it was a fantastic performance.
.... so many of Maurice Chevalier's songs had been recorded by dance bands. I have enough material for two more programs.
From the New York Times of Mar 30, 1930.
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I made my contribution. Please make yours.
From the Daily Illini, 24 September 1938.
KRUPA BELIEVES SWING MUSIC MAKING SYMPHONY BETTER
INDIANAPOLIS . Sept 23.
Gene Krupa . 29-year-old leader of the nation's youngest big-time swing orchestra , said here today he believed swing music was making symphony better . The dark , touslc-haired young drummer , who quit Benny Goodman last April to start his own 11-piece band , expressed belief swing the modern music of strong rhythm and free improvising was turning out musicians better fitted to interpret classics and later on would produce marvelous composers of symphonies . Swing musicians when they get old and too lame and crippled to swing out take up classical music , he explained . To this , he said , they brought , besides technique and note reading, the feeling and the ability to improvise and create which swing required . He said he knew several good swing men who wanted to write symphonies later and forecast their knowledge of swing would make them better composers . Krupa described swing as really a first cousin to symphony . He said it was the greatest music ever played , marked a new era in music and today was only in its infancy . The young band leader , born on Chicago's south side , learned his first music from his piano teacher and still takes a shot at Bach inventions once in a while to steady his nerves . He once studied at St . Joseph's College at Collegeville, Ind .
His first idol in hot music was Cuba Austin, Negro drummer of Mc Kinney's Cotton Pickers . He believes Bix Beiderbecke , trumpet player now dead , was the greatest of all swing musicians . He calls Louis Armstrong , Negro trumpet man and father of swing , the greatest living instrumentalist .
Krupa plays drums so hard he wears out two dozen pairs of drumsticks and one drumhead a week . He sweats at it like a steam-table cook on a hot day , but says he doesn't get very tired because he lays off liquor , sleeps a lot and goes light on outdoor sports .
I am fascinated by first-hand accounts from musicians. They come up with amazing assertions. I can't think of a jazz musician who became a composer of symphonies in his old age when he was "too lame and crippled to swing out." Do you guys know of any?
André Previn! Of course, he always did - and still does - it ALL: Top-level jazz and classical piano, film scores, symphonic conducting, you-name-it.
George Gershwin didn't get that old (Ira, though).... Rudy Blesh had interesting perspective on Ellington's composer credits.... James P Johnson definitely. Scott Joplin, allowing for era and aspiration. Students of their instrument (pianists, here), all progressing to composition. I'd have to Google on Irving Berlin, am not as familiar with.
Concluding with another question...
Did Jackie Gleason really come up with the music for those strings albums? And Charlie Chaplain, "Smile"?
According to Meredith Willson, who was hired to arrange and orchestrate the music for "Modern Times," all the themes in the score, including the one that became the song "Smile," were composed by Charles Chaplin. Chaplin had a lifelong interest in music; even before he started making movies, he regularly practiced violin. Stan Laurel, who understudied Chaplin for Fred Karno's comedy company and roomed with him on Karno's tours, recalled Chaplin practicing his violin in their room to cover up the sound of Laurel cooking food for them over the room's gas jets, which could have got them thrown out if they were caught. In 1915 Chaplin self-published a song he'd written called "Oh, That Cello!"
Also, while Chaplin didn't have anything to do with writing the lyrics to "Smile," their overall message of keeping up hope through adversity is very much in line with the philosophy of life expressed in Chaplin's films.
Two other filmmakers who wrote music for their own movies: Victor Schertzinger and Clint Eastwood.
Sorry to clutter up the blog with so many brief posts. Should have slowed down & put these all into one post.
What about Mel Powell?
I take it back, some of that response. Posing the question about symphonic & regarding the Krupa quotes, my reply examples were off the mark some... not quite the idiom you referenced, Mr. Haim. [After posting, the name of Mary Lou Williams came to mind also.]
Another try with this post, then, replying to your Krupa / symphonies question.... Beiderbecke, if only in aspiration.
Said cornetist was enthused with the idea of developing musically, in more formal, 'symphonic' directions... sought out the instruction of a symphony player, who advised Beiderbecke that his playing talent was something special, which he didn't want to interfere with via instruction... [Beiderbecke not the only talented young player the symphonist turned away with such an evaluation, perhaps?]
Which was it Beiderbecke sought out to meet with later in NYC.... Ravel or Stravinsky? So the aspiration young Krupa claimed, it was shared. Though you asked who actually wrote symphonic, later on.
.... I was really asking about a jazz musician who became a composer of symphonies in his old age when he was "too lame and crippled to swing out."
That's a rare combination, involving opposite skill sets and motivations. A jazz musician surfs the moment. Many jazzers couldn't be bothered with reading notes because they felt it slowed them down. A composer contemplates musical forms, and takes the trouble to notate them.
I've always considered Bix a good candidate for both roles. He showed terrific promise as a composer, within his jazz, and overtly in his piano compositions. He expressed an ambition to write large symphonic pieces, and actually envied the "legit" musicians and arrangers he worked with. It's not much of a stretch to imagine Bix in his middle and later years, finally tackling the skills and disciplines he needed to realize these ambitions.
[n.b., This March 10th, I pictured Bix, the oldest living jazz musician and composer, celebrating his 111th birthday with the unveiling of a new symphonic tone poem. Heck, Elliott Carter was still composing at 104.]
While we're "just supposing,'" Brad, it has always seemed plausible to me that Bix could have begun to team up with Hoagy in composing melodies with complex harmonies for what would at first have been popular songs. Hoagy hints as much, for example, in his remarks about "Skylark." From there, perhaps a more self-confident composer-Bix might well have continued with Hoagy or others into movie scores and themes, and from there, who knows? Serious musical composition and jazz opened up in directions that he could easily have gone.
Lawrence Welk often cited Red Nichols as one of his favorite trumpet players, and according to the following video clip he even tried to hire him! Welk also studied Bix closely, and said that Miff Mole was his favorite trombone player. Some nice Joe Rushton on bass sax here:
This video features Joe Rushton again on bass sax (which of his bass saxes was this one, I wonder?).
And here's another Snader "Telescription" of the band, with more Rushton on bass sax, plus Rosie McHargue on clarinet. This may have crossed the line into cornball territory, but everyone had to eke out a living in those post-War days, even Red Nichols. Though he seems to have lost some of the subtle and sophisticated dynamics he possessed in the 1920s, and his tone sounds rougher, this is still unmistakably Red:-
Red is cooking! Excellent stuff. I love how Welk pronounces Red's second tune, "Da Fitchity Feet" at about 3:09. Precious.
Notice the high production values -- arty lighting, multiple camera angles, including some swooping crane shots. Welk was at the top of his game then, in the tradition of Paul Whiteman.
How about this!:-
This must be one of the last performances of Red Nichols captured on film (and in colour!), and he's still on top form. Nice and laid back, with some well placed half valving, and I like the way he comes back in at 1.42 after Al Hirt nearly blows his head off! Candoli is excellent, as always, though I guess this is a bit of a show case really, so all the high note stuff is understandable! But Red keeps his cool!
Nice trumpet section in the backing band too.
I saw this video a while back and thought that Red Nichols left Hirt in the dirt! Hirt was going for nothing but the Big Effect with all those meaningless (and unlovely) high notes. Red didn't take the bait. He just played good music.
Terrific! Three big-blowing trumpet guys soloing for the whole tune. Gotta hand it to Welk for making it happen. I think they all sound great, each with a different style. Al Hirt was way better than his pop hit Java, the albatross around his neck. Red's playing is edgy and muscular, but still lyrical. Bobby Hackett went the same way in his later years. Candioli swings like crazy, and looks like Oliver North.
The problem with Welk's show was that you had to endure hours of cornball stew for a little helping of tasty music. Our local station carried the syndicated show in a time slot following professional wrastlin and the country music comedy show Hee-Haw. It tells you about the audience demographic, but the musicians were unimpeachable, first-rate.
"Cornball stew" is a great way to describe the Welk show.
I remember my mother detested the Joe Feeney, the Irish tenor who would occasionally appear on there. She had a standing offer of 25¢ to first of her kids to reach the TV and turn the volume all the way down whenever he came on. I won frequently.
Every time I see that video, I think to myself "How do Jumbo and Pete do that? That's amazing!" When I listen to Red's part, I just think how beautiful and pleasing it is.
Did everyone notice that in contrast to the other two, Red's playing a cornet?
I mean no offense to anyone who loves Al Hirt. He did have quite a following for a while.
But those squealing high notes have always sent me running in the other direction. It is the style of so-called "Dixieland" that helps me understand why some people think it's all awful.
...that I was agreeing with you. While I admired Al and Pete's skills as demonstrated in the video, in my humble opinion, Red blew them away.
I don't think that arrangement of "Hot Lips" or squealing trumpets in general would be normally associated with "Dixieland".
I was actually seconding motion, Tim.
Apologies Glenda, I was confused.
At one time, my father was a huge fan of Al Hirt and had a bunch of his LPs. Then one night on a live TV variety show, he witnessed Al refusing to take Nat King Cole's extended hand in a handshake. Not sure if it was a racial thing, or if there was some previous bad blood between the two, but Dad never listened to Al after that.
There's a fascinating link between these two superb recordings: "Lucky Little Devil" by Miff Mole's Molers (voc. Scrappy Lambert; recorded for Okeh in NY, Feb 6, 1930) and "Karavan " by the Louisiana Rhythm Kings, recorded for Brunswick on Jan. 27, 1930. It's the brief phrase that Adrian Rollini uses in his bass sax solo on "Lucky Little Devil" - a direct lift of the main melodic chorus of "Karavan" !! Given that Adrian is on both recordings and soloing on both, and only 10 days separate the two sides, I'm sure "Karavan" was still on his mind when Adrian inserted that phrase in "Lucky Little Devil".
But why talk about it when you can hear it? Here's "Karavan" by the LORK (hey why not, people use NORK, don't they?):
And, here's the vocal version of "Lucky Little Devil":
BTW, this is also a nice excuse to focus on two really superb sides!
.... Karavan. I find the muted trumpet by Nichols somewhat Tesch-like! I wonder if anyone agrees?
Nichols certainly sounds like he's being influenced by someone, and that clarinet which follows his solo can't be anyone but Frank Teschemacher (to my ears.)
Tesch has a similar transformational effect on Nichols on "Shim-Me-Sha-Wobble."
According to Rust:
- Red Nichols, Tommy Thunen, t
- Glenn Miller, c, tb Yes, c, not a typo.
- Jimmy Dorsey, cl, as
- Babe Russsin, ts
- Adrian Rollini, bsx
- Jack Russin, p
- Wes Vaughan, bj, g
= Gene Krupa, d
1. I have seen a couple of places where it is stated that Glenn first played mandolin and cornet, then switched to trombone. But this must be a typo. Miller was the arranger.
2. The whole recording has a bit the feel of "Chicago jazz." Yes, Glenda, after Red's muted cornet solo, Jimmy comes in sounding like Tesch. And even in his alto solo, he has some Tesch-like phrases.
3. I also hear some Tesch-like stuff (0:14, 1:20, around 2:00-2:10) in"Lazy Daddy" recorded on the same day as "Karavan."
I agree Jimmy was a clarinet wizard and played in varying styles to suit the song, but I've never heard him sound like Tesch except on this one. In that case it's an amazing tribute! I was so surprised to see Teschemacher listed as playing with the Louisiana Rhythm Kings that I didn't even stop to think about the mismatch in the recording dates. (I should've known better....)
But since Red Hot Jazz lists him as one of the sidemen with this band, on which session(s) DID he play on with the LRK? I know he was in New York in June and July of 1928.
And if that's not Glenn Miller on trombone, who might it be? There is a trombone to be heard. Red Hot Jazz only lists Miff Mole, Jack Teagarden, and someone named Jim Dillon in the whole list of sidemen.
I'll bet one of you Masters of Esoterica know the answer to either of these questions.
That is Glenn Miller in Karavan. I meant he did not plat cornet. He played trombone and was the arranger.
Tesch had one recording session with the LRK in Chicago on Apr 28, 1928. None in New York.
I'd like to hear that recording, or at least know something about it. Although Red Hot Jazz lists Teshemacher as a musician with the LRK, it does not list any recording by this group on April 28, 1928.
Three numbers were recorded. Rust gives:
According to Ross Laird's "Brunswick Records, Vol 3" The Vocalion masters were assigned on May 2, 1928, but Voc 15692 was cancelled before release.
These two recordings plus those from the Apr 4, 1928 session are available in the redhotjazz site.
youtube has Baby Won't You Please Come Home in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSzRytQpkHo the vocal is by Eddie Condon.
This Brunswick / Vocalion series has always intrigued me, because it seemed to offer a venue for well-known bands to "let their hair down." Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians and the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks were two groups who appeared as the LRK, and those records are much hotter and more adventurous than their "official" stuff. Compare "Hallucinations" by Coon-Sanders on Victor to the Vocalion version of the same piece by the Louisiana Rhythm Kings.
I've always wondered why the Goldkette band, chafing under the corporate demands of Victor, didn't just haul themselves over to Vocalion, Paramount, Edison or even OKeh, and record all their hot Challis arrangements under a colorful pseudonym.
I don't know where Brian got his information from,but surely this is not Rollini, Nichols, or Jimmy Dorsey. Tesch,maybe,but none of the others.
Robert Stockdale also lists Karavan in his Jimmy Dorsey discography.
The roster of musicians in the BDW8024 Louisiana Rhythm Kings CD gives the following in agreement with Rust:
|Louisiana Rhythm Kings|
Red Nichols (c), Tommy Thunen (t), Glenn Miller (tb, arr), Jimmy Dorsey (cl,as), Babe Russin (ts), Adrian Rollini (bsx), Jack Russin (p), Wes Vaughan (bjo,g), Gene Krupa (d).
New York, January 20, 1930
|12. E-31943||Swanee (Caesar-Gershwin)||Brunswick 4845|
|13. E-31944||Squeeze Me (Williams-Waller)||Brunswick 4953|
|14. E-31945||Oh, Lady Be Good! (I. Gershwin-G. Gershwin)||Brunswick 4706|
|15. E-31946||Sweet Sue - Just You (Harris-Young)||Brunswick 4953|
|16. E-31947||Meanest Kind O Blues (Jackson)||Brunswick 4845|
|17. E-31948||I Have To Have You (Robin-Whiting)||Brunswick 4706|
New York, January 27, 1930
|18. E-31911||Oer The Billowy Sea (Nowlin-Smith)||Brunswick 4908|
|19. E-31912-A||Lazy Daddy (La Rocca-Shields-Ragas)||Brunswick 4923|
|20. E-31913||Karavan (Olman-Wiedoeft)||Brunswick 4908|
|21. E-31914-A||Pretty Baby (Kahn-Jackson-Van Alstyne)||Brunswick 4938|
|22. E-31914-B||Pretty Baby (---)||Brunswick test|
|23. E-31915||Tell Me (Callahan-Kortlander)||Brunswick 4938|
|24. E-31916-A||Theres Egypt In Your Dreamy Eyes (Brown-Spencer)||Brunswick 4923|
Who wrote the discography for the Oracle Jazz LRK CD? Could all these be wrong? I don't think so.
I wonder what he has to say about Karavan. Does anyone have the CD? Thanks.
One can't always trust discographers to get it right. That several say the same is not proof that they are correct. Mistakes of one tend to get repeated. I've never heard Rollini, play as badly - for him - on any of the many records I have of him. The clarinet player is certainly not Jimmy Dorsey; tone, phrasing, all wrong for Jimmy. Like all great players, he had a voice of his own. Why would he decide to do an imitation of Tesch; what would be the point. Sorry, but I'm just going by my ears.
.... the aural evidence should be examined carefully, as you indicate.
Adrian Rollini. The similarity between the phrases in Karavan and Lucky Little Devil pointed out by John provides evidence that we are dealing with Adrian in the two recordings. Moreover, I do hear the bass sax providing a strong rhythm accompaniment in Karavan, a characteristic of most (if not all) recordings where Adrian plays bass sax. So I would say it is Adrian.
Other opinions. Thanks to Albert Kramer from the Netherlands, here is the section about Karavan in the liners for the LRK Oracle Jazz CD.
Steve Smith (I believe he is the friend of the Hesters and has access to their files) matter-of-factly asserts that Adrian Rollini is present in al the recordings from the sessions under study. I agree. He also tells us that the solo in Karavan is taken by Tommy Thunen. That sounds reasonable to me. I had noted in a previous posting that the trumpet soloist played in a manner that reminded a bit me of Tesch. However, I must point out that Stephen Stroff in his Red Nichols book tells us about Karavan, "Nichols ooh-wahs his way into a particularly great muted solo, with Krupa's cymbals riding him like mad." By the way, Stroff writes about Karavan "We hear Rollini solo, somewhat straight for eight bars before opening up in an improvisation.
The most difficult part has to do with the identity of the alto sax and clarinet player. Alex, a clarinet player, tells us that the guy in Karavan does not sound, to his ears, at all like Jimmy Dorsey. Stroff tells us about Karavan, "Then Dorsey on alto, swinging like mad if somewht limited in range (this was the passge that originally made me think this was Russell). I am hesitant here.
In analyzing Karavan, it is useful to listen to other numbers recorded on that day. Here are a few. Listen carefully at the bass sax, alto sax/clarinet and trumpet/cornet.
Tell Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWyA-hoa6R4
Lazy Daddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m9KmS1hMwc
There's Egypt In Your Dreamy Eyes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiF249ubMFo
O'er the Billowy Sea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkLeaA16DTg (a harmonica?)
I would hope that forumites chime in with their views.
Well, it seems I was correct in saying that Nichols didnt play the solos on Karavan. I cannot agree with Stroffs assertion that Nichols ooh-wahs his way into a particularly great muted solo. Admittedly, I cant claim to have heard all the Nichols recordings, but in those I have heard, and of his overall style in general , I would say that he was the last man to ever ooh-wah his way through a solo, especially muted. Just not his style. Rather like likening Bix to Bubber Miley.
I agree, as you point out, that the bass sax plays in a similar manner to Rollini, but Im of the opinion that this is probably because he, Rollini, had shown the way to other players of how it could be best played or even alerted them to the potentialities of the instrument and inspired them to take up the instrument. But to my ears the man on Kavavan has none of the self-confidence and sheer exuberance of Rollini, always so much a facet of his playing. For example, take the solo in Oer the Billowing Sea. Rollini almost invariably always bursts onto the scene when starting his solos, not so here, very lackadaisical.
The only side on which I hear anything that could possibly be Jimmy Dorsey is during the clt solo in Egypt, when the clarinet player goes briefly into the low register and sounds very much like Jimmy doing his Jimmie Noone bit. Other than that: not to my ears. As I said in my last, the great players had an instantly recognisable voice. When its not there, is when I question the discographies. I even have difficulty in acknowledging that such a stodgy rhythm section could contain Krupa.
I've always found it interesting that the Louisiana Rhythm Kings revived these ancient circa 1919-1922 songs that were pretty much out of the consciousness of the record-buying public - in 1930; but I'm glad they did. The first revivalists! They knew good melodies when they heard them, old and forgotten as the songs were.
At any rate, "Tell Me" has the least Red-like of all the cornet/trumpet solos; a muted solo at the beginning of the side that reminds me more of a restrained Muggy Spanier, of all things. But, the bass sax is Adrian and the trombone is Miller.
The star of "Lazy Daddy" is an absolutely KICK BUTT Gene Krupa on drums (wow!); super great stuff! Jimmy on clarinet.
And "Egypt" is - Nichols-t; JD-cl; Babe Russin-ts.
I can't make head or tail of the trumpet ID on this session; some tracks it clearly sounds like Red, others like Tommy Thunen - maybe?, and "Tell Me"... a restrained Muggsy? HUH ?? It has to be 2 different individuals - or perhaps even 3? It's enough to make you tear your hair -
With great generosity, Albert K has scanned a relevant page from the liners for the Jazz Oracle CD on the Louisiana Rhythm Kings. Thanks very much, Albert.
The section on Jimmy Dorsey is pretty clear with the identification of Jimmy Dorsey on clarinet/alto solo presented firmly. I point out that the second 1930 session is the one that brought us Karavan.
Louisiana Rhythm Kings, 27 Jan 1930. Karavan.
Red Nichols, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Babe Russin, Adrian Rollini, Jack Russin, Eddie Condon, Gene Krupa.
Except for the guitarist and one trumpet, the same as Rust.
To me, the IDEAS on this alto sax solo can only come from Jimmy Dorsey, but I do agree that he's "overblowing" here or using a different kind of reed or mouthpiece. Is he playing a C-Melody, instead of an alto sax? It can be hard to tell, especially if a musician you're normally used to hearing play a certain way...DOESN'T play a certain way, but I've heard this before from Jimmy; maybe he stayed too long at Plunkett's Speakeasy the night before, I don't know. There's a version of "St. Louis Blues" by Joe Candullo's Orchestra on Banner, on which Jimmy really plays some awful clunkers - and they released it. He must have been nursing a SERIOUS hangover on that one.
Can't imagine why there would be any reason not to doubt Adrian Rollini's presence here on bass sax; it's unquestionably Adrian.
HOWEVER, the trumpet: are we really SURE that's Red? Not Phil Napoleon?? It just doesn't sound like Red to me. I know, he was chameleon-like stylistically on records, and showed off this versatility endless times, but... hmm.
"Can't imagine why there would be any reason not to doubt Adrian Rollini's presence here on bass sax; it's unquestionably Adrian."
John, I agree with you 100%. This is Adrian Rollini, undoubtedly. Seems odd to me that anyone would think otherwise.
Concerning Red Nichols and wa-wa playing, here is a link to "Wail of the Winds"by him in the 30's (if you didn't hear it already).https://www.dropbox.com/s/5x3onjravro4ui7/Wail%20of%20the%20Winds.wav
As much as we must be attentive to faults in discographies I think we must be aware that the musicians in early jazz experimented quite a bit, got inspired by others and altered tried to alter their stile and also that they (with the exeption of Bix and a few others) weren't always serious and concentrated when playing ad lib on a record date. It's interesting that Jimmie Dorsey is uneven and sometimes sounds uncertain on this date but still I think it's him. The Noone thing and also the sound on some notes in the high register confirms this I think. On Karavan he lacks control when he enters the ensemble (on clarinet). Maybe because he played sax just before? (As I remember he doesn't either have full control in his solo in Clarinet Marmelade by Trumbauer/Bix). What do you think about the clarinet solo on Lady Be Good from the previous LRK session as comparison?
This is an interesting point. As an ardent admirer of Jimmy Dorsey's work (he's my favorite reedman), I've noticed that he does tend to get "bogged down" at times during solos with repetitive phrasing and Wiedoeft-esque flourishes that his better work--very direct, fluid, and hard-hitting, even in its subtlety (and the beautiful sub-tone that he occasionally employs)--lacks.
His upper register on clarinet can be rather thin, and trails off, whether it be 1920's recordings or 1950's broadcasts, and it's almost as though his playing can't catch up to his musical ideas, if that makes sense.
In regard to switching from one instrument to another--on the Venuti-Lang recording of Jig-Saw Puzzle Blues from February 1933, he switches from cornet/trumpet to clarinet in less than three seconds, and is as graceful as anything I've ever heard. Hmm...
There you go. Are one man's 'Wiedoeft-esque flourishes,' another man's Noone bits?
I love the Noone bits to which you refer. I used to think of them just as sub-tone clarinet adventures that came out of nowhere to lift his solos to an exciting level, but if you say they are influenced by Jimmie Noone, I'll gladly yield to that.
That Wiedoeft saxophone trickery seemed to stay with him as long as his breath capacity held steady, which it did until the early 1950's. Thankfully, there's much more to his playing than that!
It's very obvious on so many recordings that Jimmy was influenced by Jimmie Noone. Take his beautful version of St Louis Blues, made in England, when towards the end he briefly goes into uptempo for a few bars, it's pure Noone. However, this is not to say that he did not have a distinctive voice of his own. I'm surprised that more people on the site have not mentioned this obvious Noone influence. I can only conclude that they are not familiar with Noone's playing. Take my word for it - as a clarinet player - Noone was a remarkable player, with a unbelievably formidable technique, although unfortunately, in my opinion, some of his playing is spoilt by over sentimentality. I've always thought it interesting that Jimmy's brother Tommy, in his trumpet work, was just as obviously influenced by Joe Oliver. While on the subject, I'm constantly amazed by the long discussions on if it is one man or another on recordings. To most musicians it's never in any doubt. If a friend or a relation telephones you, you know immediately, by his or her voice, who it is. A long-standing friend of many years always answers the telephone with a very abrupt 'allo'. For a joke one day, when he answered the phone, I replied in exactly the same way - an equally abrupt 'allo'. He said 'Oh, hallo, Al.' That illustrates my point. If one has to think 'is that Bix, or Louis, or Jimmy Dorsey' - or whoever, then it's not.
Musicians may have no doubt, but that doesn't mean they are correct.. Often they are wrong. Here is one example. There are many more.
Well, I can't speak for Margulis. Maybe he didn't do a lot of listening to other musicians - too busy touring and playing with Whiteman - and as he wasn't a jazz musician, per.se, he perhaps just wasn't interested in doing so. Bix was a near genius, with a unique sound. If someone who played alongside him couldn't recognise him, then that tells us something about Margulis, not about the validity of my point.
Albert, you always seem to take offense when a musician goes against your views;for some reason you immediately go on the defensive - usually in an attempt to prove them wrong. But how would you feel about a non-chemist, with no qualifications or practical experience, holding forth on chemistry?
Margulis was a member of the following orchestras: Eddie Elkins, Paul Specht, Sam Lanin, Jean Goldkette, Russ Morgan, Paul Whiteman, the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw. Your claim that Margulis wasn't interested in listening to other musicians is ludicrous. He was a highly competent professional who, as seen in photographs, sat next to Bix. Margulis recorded with Bix, not only with Whiteman but also with the smaller Trumbauer orchestra. Margulis took Bix's solos when Bix was unable to do so. From the interview cited in my previous posting:
What did you like most about Bix?
He was very intelligent. Had a fine sense of humor. And a wonderful sound. His strong point as a musician was his improvisation. He had great ideas. Today's recording might have done justice to his sound.
What is your most vivid memory of Bix?
Well, I'll tell you. We had adjoining chairs in Paul Whiteman's great concert orchestra on tour in 1928 and 1929. I tell you truthfully, a lot of the time on tour I had to play Bix's choruses. Bill Challis was one of our arrangers. He wrote them out for me and I played "Bix" when he was too far gone to appear.
So we have a first class musician who recorded with Bix, sat next to Bix, commented on Bix's tone and played his choruses. But because Margulis was not a jazz musician, he just wasn't interested in listening to other musicians and thus was unable to identify Bix. Need I say more?
Your list of the orchestras Margulis played with says it all.
Since most of Jimmie Noone's recordings as a leader are on a four disc set which I've had since 2009, I really should listen to them more than just playing "Tight Like That" over and over again.
I do understand what you mean by the sentimental side of his playing, and perhaps that's why I make a mental note that I enjoy his work, but admit to the contradiction of not listening to as much of it as I should.
I've got the same set, I think. I agree the sentimental stuff is a bit off putting. But then he was a pro musician trying to earn a living in a tough period for musicians, not unlike the position Bix and others were in. However,try listening to I know what you know. Amazing. The man must have had two tongues.
It's too bad that Johnny Dodds didn't record from 1929-38; is there any reason why he wasn't able to land some record work when Noone was? This at the risk of venturing off-topic.
Who knows, could be any number of reasons, but I suspect it was probably that the type pf combination Noone was leading was more commercially viable that the type of combination Dodds had. Natty Dominique's tpt style was not exactly easy on the ear to the general record buying public! Plus in 1930, times were a changing. The 1940(?)records with Shavers are much smoother, but then, the last two sides when he seems to go back to his roots, have some of the most heartbreaking clarinet playing I've ever heard. Pure emotion, which is why I love his playing. Noone - or any other clarinet player come to that - never hits me in the gut like Dodds. He was a great blues player, as well as a jazz musician, and its been said that a player can be a great blues musician without being a great jazzman, but nobody can be a great jazzman without being a great blues player. The great example of that, which seems to prove the point, is Louis. But we're getting into another aspect here.
Jon, since my last post - very much an off the cuff comment - I've been back to my records to refresh my memory in respect of the last records Dodds made. The penultimate records were made in New York for Decca in 1938, the session was arranged by Lil Hardin. Apart from Lil, the band was Charlie Shavers tpt, Teddy Bunn gtr John Kirby bass and O'Neil Spenser dms. None of these were in sympathy with Dodd's style of playing - Lil should have known better - but perhaps they were the only people in New York available. Nevertheless, Dodds adopts a smoother way of playing to fit in with the band, a fundamental approach of New Orleans musicians of his generation who were team players, to whom the band as a whole was the important thing. The last records were made in Chicago in June 1940, arranged I think by Richard M Jones, who was on piano. Dominique was on tpt, Preston Jackson on tmb. Lonnie Johnsone of gtr John Lindsay,bass and Baby Dodds dms. These were musicians more in keeping with Dodds. The two sides made were Red Onion Blues and Gravier St Blues. Dodds died two months later, in August 1940. Apparently, by February 1940 he was too ill from his first stroke to play other than at the weekends. To me, the tragedy of Dodd's career was that he died just before the N.O.revival of the late forties. Conversely, that meant that George Lewis was able to have some late success, financial and otherwise. But that's a subject which strays away from the remit of this site.
- Red Nichols, Tommy Thunen, t
- Glenn Miller, c
- Jimmy Dorsey, cl, as
- Babe Russin, ts
- Adrian Rollini, bsx
- Jack Russin, p
- Wes Vaughan, bj, g
= Gene Krupa, d
O'ver the Billowy Sea, Lazy Daddy, Karavan, Pretty Baby, Tell Me, There's Egypt in Your Dereamy Eyes.
There is consensus that Rust's roster of musicians is correct. Except for one dissenting opinion, all contibutors assign the bass sax solos to Adrian and the alto and clarinet solos to Jimmy. There is some uncertainty about the identies of the trumpet/cornet soloists. A split between Red and Tommy taking the solos in the various numbers seems the most plausible interpretation.
I am not familiar with Tommy Thunen's style. According to Rust, here is a list of his recording sessions:
The Midnight Airdales - Sep 13, 1928. Swanee Shuffle and I Gotta Have You.
Possibly with Paul Mills and His Merry Makers - Apr 4, 1929. Tiger Rag, Makin' Friends, Sweet Liza.
Red Nichols and His Five Pennies - Jun 7, 12, Aug 20, 27 1929. A dozen sides.
Gil Rodin - Sep 1930. Beale Streeet Blues, If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight.
Jack Teagarden - Oct 1, 1930. Son of the Sun, You're Simply Delish, Just A Little Dance Mam'sell.
Possibly with Irving Brodsky - Oct 1, 1929. If You Believed Me, The End of the Lonesome Trail, I May Be Wrong But I Think You're Wonderful.
Tommy Thunen played Whispering (he is to the left of Red Nichols at 2'08) in this fantastic video.
Going by discographical information, Thunen was active only in 1928-1930 mostly with Red Nichols, but also with the white jazz maffia of that period. However, there was a lot more to Thunen. Info and photos in http://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/a-few-notes-for-tommy-thunen/
And get a load of what I discovered by googling "Tommy Thunen." From July 1962 http://archive.org/stream/RecordResearch44/44_djvu.txt
"This chronicle of the LRK recordings also serves to introduce
to RECORD RESEARCH readers a fine musician who has long been
overdue for recognition in the literature of jazz. We refer to
trumpet-cornet artist Tommy Thunen (pronounced Too'nen) .
(If you have a copy of JACK TEAGARDEN'S.MUSIC, see page 222
for page references to Thunen's appearances in that volume.)
Tommy's participation in the LRK recordings is detailed below-
we believe for the first cime. And we suggest bending both ears
to Tommy's fine work on these sides, strangely overlooked lo
these many years. We plan a biographical sketch and discography
of Tommy's career for a near- future issue of RECORD RESEARCH.
Note that other solo examples of the Thunen horn can be heard on
Red Nichols' WHO CARES (Br 4778, 6831), SOMETIMES I'M
HAPPY (Br 4701, 6828), | and a hot 4 bars on the verse of BUILD-
ING A NEST FOR MARY (Br 4321 as by The Captivators).
Our thanks to all those who have offered helpful data,
especially to Bill Trone, Chauncey Morehouse, Jack Miles, .Fred
Kreitzer, Tommy Thunen, Red Nichols, Max Haid, Frank Skinner,
and pianist Bill Haid.
Meanwhile, dig those fine LRK sides ... the 1929-30 sessions
are among this writer's all-time favorites; there's guts a plenty in
that hell for leather sound . . . and I believe they meant it just
20 JANUARY 1930; NEW YORK Directed by Red Nichols
After returning to New York from the two -week tryout of the show
"Strike up the Band" in Boston, Red gathered some top men in
the Brunswick studios for two historic sessions.
On the first date, six tunes were recorded. Red and Tommy share
the trumpet honors. Thunen has the show all to himself on the
first two and last two tunes; Red plays only on LADY BE GOOD
and SWEET SUE.
tps: Red Nichols, Tommy Thunen
tb: Glenn Miller
cl/as: Jimmy Dorsey
ts: Babe Russin
p: Jack Russin
g: Wes Vaughan
bass/sax: Adrian Rollini
dm: Gene Krupa
E 31943 A-B Swanee Br 4845, 6834; BrF 500325
(Thunen lead, Jack Russin, Miller/Thunen, and Thunen
E 31944 A-B Squeeze Me Br 4953; BrE 03282
(Babe Russin, Thunen, Rollini, Thunen lead)
E 31945 A-B Oh Lady Be Good
Br 4706, 6829; BrE 02676, 03324; BrF & BrG A-8687
(Nichols lead, Miller, Dorsey, Nichols lead)
E 31946 A-B Sweet Sue Br 4953; BrE 03282
(Nichols lead, Babe Russin, Nichols solo and lead)
E 31947 A-B Meanest Kind o'Blues
Br 4845, 6834; BrE 03324, BrF & BrG 8687
(Thunen lead, Rollini, Miller, Dorsey,, Thunen lead)
E 31948 A-B I Have to Have You Br 4706, 6829; BrE 02676
(vocal: Wes Vaughan)
(Thunen lead, vocal, Thunen modulation, Babe Russin,
Thunen solo and lead)
27 JANUARY 1930; NEW YORK
Directed by Red Nichols; same personnel as 20 Jan. 30
On LAZY DADDY and PRETTY BABY, Red handles all the trumpet
work and very nicely too. On the other four tunes, Red and
Tommy divide the chores - see beside each title for details.
E 31911 A-B O'er the Billowy Sea Br 4908, 6837
(Rollini plays first ensemble with Nichols, Dorsey, and
Miller playing background riff; Thunen plays open horn
bridge; Thunen lead, Miller, Babe Russin, Thunen solo
and lead out)
E 31912 A-B Lazy Daddy Br 4923, 6838
(Nichols lead, Jack Russin, Nichols lead, Dorsey,
Nichols lead out. )
E 31913 A-B Karavan Br 4908, 6837
(Thunen lead, Rollini, Dorsey, Thunen, Nichols lead)
27 JANUARY 1930, NEW YORK (continued)
E 31914 A-B Pretty Baby Br 4938, 6840; BrG 81260
(Nichols lead, Nichols solo, Babe Russin, Dorsey,
E 31915 A-B Tell Me Br 4938, 6840; BrG 81260
(Thunen solo, Jack Russin, Rollini, Miller, Nichols
E 31916 A-B There's Egypt in Your Dreamy Eyes
Br 4923, 6838
(Thunen lead, Nichols solo, Dorsey, Babe Russin,
Nichols lead out. )
The old researchers knew what they were listening to.
.... all the contributors for their helpful postings. Thanks also to Albert for taking the time to scan relevant information from liners.
Ah well, I'll just have to trust my ears. It's an academic point anyway.
Mike Speciale was a violinist, band leader, composer, and entrepreneur. Rust's dance band discography lists dozens of recordings by Mike Speciale bands, mostly for Pathe/Perfet and Edison, but a few also for Harmony and Cameo.
A partial time line for Mike Speciale.
- 1917. Appears at the Maltosia Gardens. From the Buffalo Evening News, Oct 20, 1917.
In other ads, billed as Mike Speciale's Alabama Jazz band. Maltosia was a popular beer made by the Greman American Brewing Company. The brewery had a beer garden on the roof, the Maltosia Gardens.
- 1922. Appears at the Carlton Terrace. Ad from the New York Clipper, Mar 15, 1922. Speciale follows Bee Palmer.
Another ad. From the New York Clipper, Apr 5, 1922
From the Jul 12, 1922 New York Clipper.
"SPECIALE AT THE CLARENDON Mike Speciale , who for the last few months has been playing at the Carleton Terrace , Cleveland , has been engaged to lead his orchestra at the Clarendon Hotel , also in Cleveland . Speciale has a large following in the lake city and is well known for his dance renditions throughout Ohio .
In Aug 1922, Speciale went to New York City to hire musicians for his band. From the New York Clipper, Aug 16, 1922.
"SPECIALE ENGAGING MUSICIANS. Mike Speciale, leader of his Carleton Terrace Orchestra, now playing at the Carleton Terrace, Cleveland, was in New York this week in quest of additional musicians with whom he intends to enlarge his orchestra to nine pieces. The orchestral recently completed an eleven week run at the two Loew houses in Cleveland, the State and Park theatres."
-1923. The April 4, 1923 New York Clipper announced the following:
SPECIALE . MANAGING MUSICIAN
The Ray Miller office announced last week that they had engaged Mike Speciale, formerly director of the Carlton Terrace Orchestra of Cleveland, as managing musician.
Speciale continued, in addition, his acitivities as band leader. According to the May 23, 1923 New York Clipper, Mike Speciale's twelve-piece orchestra was featured at the Amherst College annual prom.
-1924. Mike Speciale is appointed office manager of the newly formed "Cosmopolitan Orchestras," a Ray Miller enterprise. Variety of May 14, 1924 carried a full page ad. Speciale continues recording and leading his dance band.
- 1926. Speciale's orchestra appears in Al Raymo's 54th Street Club, New York City.
-1929-30. Speciale's orchestra appears in several venues in Pennsylvania. From the Altoona Mirror, Aug 29, 1929.
From the Lebanon Daily, Jun 4, 1930.
-1930s. Speicale had regular radio broadcasts. Speciale's orchestra appeared at the Ithaca College prom, From the Ithacan, Feb 17, 1932.
Mike Speciale To Be Featured At Junior Prom
TomorrowNightWillFindIthacaCollege Polk Enjoying Annual Dance
PUBLIC IS WELCOME This year, through special arrangement, the Sophomore class is bringing to Ithaca one of the foremost musical organizations in the country for the annual Junior Prom. Mike Speciale and his musicians come direct from New York to play a program of music Friday night, which will not be repeated for a number of days in their numerous engagements, regardless of what they may be. Mike Speciale has an enviable record in broadcasting, in playing the largest proms in the East, and in furnishing night club entertainment. IthacaCollege students are being afforded the unusual opportunity to enjoy four long hours of entertainment the kind which is not offered to the general public at public dances. Mike Speciale and his Crusaders, a superb night club orchestra is the advertised feature of the Prom. The Junior Prom with Mike Speciale will be at the Crescent Ballroom tomorrow night from 11 to 3 o clock . To miss the Prom is to miss the most superb IthacaCollege dance function of the year. All students including Freshmen and faculty are invited to attend.
In the mid 30s, Speciale returned to Cleveland and became a music entrepreneur.
A list of Mike Speciale's recordings:
Some of his compositions are Mammy Chasing Blues, My Normandy, Walking the Rails and I'm A Homesick Rolling Stone.
Red Nichols in Mike Speciale's Recordings.
Red Nichols is not listed as a member of Speciale's band in the recordings listed by Rust. But Red Nichols did record with Mike Speciale in 1925-1927 according to Steve Hester. Steve kindly informed me that he will look for the list of recordings of Red with Speciale
I brought up Mike Speciale's "Oh! Boy, What A Girl" in the Red Nichols facebook page and asked Javier to look up the information in Richard Johnson & Bernard Shirley's book "American Dance Bands on Record and Film, 1915 - 1942." He kindly responded.
Mike Speciale (vln) dir:
Earl Oliver, ?Red Nichols (tp), unknown (tb), Jesse Berkman (cl,as,ss), unknown (cl,ts,bsx), Sam Rose (p), Lou De Fabbia (bjo), Thomas "Tom" Speciale (bb), Herman Berkin (d) & Arthur Hall (v).
Issued on Pathe Actuelle 36308 as Lenox Dance Orchestra, Perfect 14489, british Pathe Actuelle 11000, british Grafton 9166, australian Vox Humana VH-50 as Bryan's Dance Band & australian Grand Pree 18455 as King's Dance Band.
Thanks to Nick for bringing up this interesting solo he suspected to be a highly Bixian solo by Red Nichols. Javier also thinks that Red Nichols is responsible for the solo. So do I. There was an extra bonus: I had a chance to learn about Mike Speciale.
This solo provides further evidence that Bix influenced Red Nichols at an early stage in Red's recording career. If anyone were to dismiss this assertion, then I suggest they compare the solos Red Nichols recorded before he had heard Bix with those he made after he heard him!
Take a look at the cover of the sheet music for When the Jazz Band Plays That Southern Melody.
Jazz is spelled with mirror images of Z that make them sort of look like S, but the letters are not the same as the real S in "plays" or "southern." Whoever designed the cover was pretty clever. he did not write jass or jazz, but a hybrid.
Here are Z , its mirror image and S for comparison.
The Daily Illini (no spelling error) is the University of Illinois student newspaper. This from the Oct 22, 1953 issue.
Man With A Horn <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Swing also was the era of the sideman ; the man behind the leader . Where, in the past, the instrumentalists were given little or no recognition , they now began to command attention. They were proving themselves, so to speak . One of the most colorful sidemen of the swing period was Leon Bix Beiderbecke, The Young Man With the Horn. Bix s life was full of tragedy; it was a pathetic tale of a genius who couldnt adjust to mediocrity. Self-taught on the cornet and the piano, he was an energetic and highly creative jazz-man who played every song with an almost passionate sincerity .
His life was short: he died August 7, 1931 [NB it was Aug 6], at 26 [NB he was 28]. But before he went, Bix left a legacy of great jazz records and an almost legendary history of his brief life. Once, when Bix was playing with his own small band in a shabby <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />New York night spot for porkchop sandwiches and gin, he received word that his life-long friend, Wally Norton, who grew up with Bix in Davenport, had died. With the knowledge that his own health was dangerously poor, with the news that Wally had just died, and with the misery of having lost job after job because of his drinking, Bix stood up on the stand and, with tears streaming down his face, blew out the sad, throbbing notes of Jazz Me Blues, while the people at the tables sat in motionless awe. Perhaps Bixs own song, In a Mist, best described his life; a life that had its bright ray of glory filtered, then completely shut-out, before it had really shown full and clear .
When Bix died he was returned to his birthplace in Iowa. His small but loyal group of friends stood around his grave and quietly played the blues on their jazz horns. They said good-bye the way Bix would have wanted them to.
Poor Bix! This was before Sudhalter and Evans' "Bix, Man and Legend." That book did wonders to dispel several of the myths that had been created around Bix.
Long before we switched to calling a literary motif a trope, people couldn't resist falling into the old patterns of storytelling. Your quotation is a good example of a writer choosing to rehash the Icarus myth.
Real life and real people are always more complex than are clichés. Myth strips stories down to bare bones, but research puts the flesh back on the person portrayed, with all the messy details of reality.
For example, I think the pork-chop and gin place was really in Cincinnati. Apparently Bix was in fine fettle and mostly had a ball playing there with his buddies in those days. Maybe that didn't sound as glamorous as wasting away in a garret in New York City to this writer. And sure, people stood around Bix's grave with their jazz horns to play, (still do) but that was decades and decades later!
.... here is a review of their "Bix, Man and Legend" from the Northwest Arkansas Times of Jul 7, 1974.
Mike Speciale's band is cited as one that Bix played with. That is not what S & E said. In pages 408-409 S&E mention a story that Bix accompanied Red Nichols to a recording date in March 1925. S & E then list recordings of Red Nichols between Mar 11 and Mar 16: Jene Bailey, Sam Lanin, The Melody Sheiks, Mike Speciale and the Goofus Five.
.... of an article by Randy Sandke in the latest issue of the Journal of Jazz Studies. Available online at
Provocative and worth reading and thinking about it.
I'd read another article several years back about the Fed. government deliberately poisoning hooch, and the symptoms people presented with as they stumbled into New York emergency rooms in 1930-1931 were harrowingly similar to Bix's -- frightened, paranoid, violently agitated, convinced that "someone was after them and was going to kill them." I suspect that could be where Bix found the unusual physical strength, fraught with pneumonia though he was, to get out of bed, yell for the rental agent, move about the room in agitation before suddenly collapsing dead -- as did the victims in those emergency rooms. He was described as having welts on his arms, which might have been either an allergic reaction to medication Dr. Haberski had given him -- or the results of poisoned illegal liquor he must have been drinking at the time to help alleviate bronchial symptoms (let's face it, alcohol still remains a very common "self medicating" substance people partake of with severe colds and flu.)
I know many insist it was the DT's, but would hallucinating from alcohol withdrawal while severely ill with a lung infection give someone the strength to get about the room, shout for help, and then suddenly just drop dead? It sounds so very much more like acute poisoning and something so violently stimulating in the adulterated liquor formula that a weakened, feverish person could get up and move around, not lie prone with pneumonia and scarcely able to speak above a feeble whisper. I mean, I remember that's how I felt when I only had bronchitis in autumn 1985 -- hardly able to move my arms and legs or turn my head, scarcely capable of raising my voice above a whisper. How did Bix, the night before only able to cough and gasp weakly on the phone to Red Nichols' wife, have so violent a delirious hallucination that he reacted as he did?
And now, time to read that article; I daresay I shall follow up with more comment. What do the rest of you think?
In a word 'Yes!', but the article contains an incidental historical inaccuracy: President Coolidge did not run for re-election in 1928.
He reluctantly made way for Herbert Hoover.
This was an excellent article.
That's correct, Coolidge did not run for re-election in 1928. New theories have come forward that Calvin Coolidge was utterly crushed and depressed by the tragic death of his sixteen year old son in 1924. (Young Cal Jr., home from boarding school with his older brother for a summer visit, was playing tennis on the White House courts, wearing sneakers without socks, and got a blister on his foot which got infected. With no antibiotics in those days, the boy developed blood poisoning and was dead from sepsis a week later.) Coolidge was on automatic pilot as President from then on -- all of the busy work he'd shown in 1923 and early 1924 ground down to a sort of semi-Presidency because he understandably mourned his lost son so much, more or less going through the motions of a Presidency for the next three and a half years after he was re-elected that autumn (was it too late for him to drop out of the race?)
That's why it strikes me as ironic that Pres. Coolidge put the go-ahead to do anything possible, including poisoning liquor, in order to stop illegal drinking, when his own kid had such an inadvertent and horrible death in painful delirium, according to all accounts from the attending hospital doctors and the Coolidges themselves. To permit the government to deliberately cause such monstrous suffering after his own cruel loss can only baffle us, but then, automatic pilot Pres was paying little attention to what else was going on, including the Wall Street market running amock, Andrew Mellon's criminal chicanery as Treasurer, and the inevitable result (among many other economic and social factors) being the Great Depression, which was NOT completely caused by Hoover, despite his own fumbling indifference and public lack of sympathy for the destitute.
Randy Sandke puts forth a fascinating theory that Bix was poisoned by a deadly swill of hooch in 1928, possibly in Cleveland itself -- that withdrawing DT's didn't cause Bix's violent fit of hotel room wreckage (after all, he was noticeably drunk on stage), but a hallucinatory and aggravating reaction to some very bad booze indeed. The argument that this dreadful alcohol poisoning stayed in Bix's system and eventually contributed to killing him -- I won't say "killing him outright" in the space of a year and a half, because Bix did make some sort of recovery although his health was never the same again-- makes perfect sense. Bix's health would have been depleted and severely compromised by alcohol abuse anyway, but would it not have taken at least a few more years? The fact that the downward spiral happened so quickly in the space of less than two years, rapidly aging him and deteriorating his well being, backs up this speculation; the fact that Bix became so severely ill within the span of a couple of months between the pneumonia attack and the Cleveland fiasco, with resulting severe neurological damage and every ghastly side effect one can think of happening to an alcoholic who was repeatedly on the wagon and in rehab. It does make sense to me that something utterly and abruptly changed Bix's health when he was still only twenty-five years old, peak years when youthful people can still get away with some pretty hard drinking, at least for awhile. But whatever was in that formula very nearly wrecked Bix; perhaps his own formerly strong, athletic constitution prevented him being killed outright at the time, and allowed him at least a temporary semi-recovery.
Plus I still stick to the idea that Bix had more bad booze, poisoned booze to add to the wreckage of his health, in August 1931 -- he'd been keeping to drinking up until and during the final collapse of his summer cold turning into a bronchial infection, from what we've read in different accounts, and either it was the final batch or something being set off in his system -- I'd heard the DT's can be violent, but where does such a sick man felled by pneumonia get the physical strength to shout for someone, move about the room, and then suddenly, abruptly collapse dead, in the same manner all those poisoned people between 1926-1931 did?
As an alternative theory to that proposed by the article and it can only be a theory - the violence that Bix displayed on November 28th, 1928 was symptomatic of a nervous breakdown caused by long-term alcoholism. Though one cannot discount the possibility that Bix unwittingly consumed alcohol that may have been deliberately tainted with poisonous substances, it must also be noted that Bix was certainly drinking enough alcohol to produce all the symptoms he presented at the Keeley Institute even if the alcohol was completely untainted. Bix may have only been 25 years old but according to the Keeley Institute he had been addicted to alcohol for nine years and had admitted to drinking at least a quart and a half of strong liquor a day (though this may very well have been an underestimate).
Certainly, the polyneuritis that Bix suffered from, which led to the weakness in his legs, is a known condition in long-term alcoholics, as are all the other conditions described in the article, including pneumonia. Basically, his severe addiction to alcohol had reached a point where his body and mind could no longer handle it - he simply cracked, both mentally and physically. If that was the case, and there is enough evidence to suggest that it was, then Bix had effectively slowly poisoned himself. In many ways that is a greater tragedy than being unwittingly poisoned by someone else, and it is a tragedy that long-term alcoholics continue to face.
The reasons why Bix became so dependant on alcohol we will never know, and to be honest I'm not that bothered trying to work it out any more. I used to be, for some reason, but now I'm just content listening to Bix's solos. I like to think that he was happy when he was playing, and that he could leave whatever demons there were behind.
As a matter of fact, I thought that this forum seemed to have settled the matter before, that poison booze likely killed Bix, and so I was a bit surprised to see this article. It is well done, and of course Sandke makes a good case.
I'm slightly disappointed that he feels the need to point out up front that he's not one for conspiracy theories. It shows how cruel the smear of "conspiracy theorist" has become. Actually, I think that the official line on all the events he mentions in his first paragraph doesn't stand up to scrutiny, which a quick search of the internet will show. The point being that a government which was willing to poison its own citizens during the 1920s may not have been an anomaly.
As despicable as this story is, if true, let's turn our attention to what might be being done now, and maybe we can save some lives.
The poisoning of controlled substances, as practiced by the Feds, did not stop with the repeal of Prohibition.
In the late '70s, in the ongoing "War on Drugs," our government sent crop-dusting planes to Mexico to spray marijuana fields with the deadly herbicide Paraquat. A whole lot of tainted bush thus found its way into the States, and there were reports of people dropping dead from this "killer" weed.
An independent study later showed that Paraquat, when "pyrolyzed" in smoking, converts to another - relatively benign - substance, and that no actual deaths from "Paraquat Pot" have been confirmed. Still, uncombusted, the stuff is a notorious poison, a popular suicide drug the world over, and if its toxicity went up in smoke, that's no fault of the Drug Enforcement Agency. As always, it's the thought that counts.
"Puttin' on the Ritz" is the title of a surprisingly dark 1930 film starring entertainer Harry Richman as a major star who's also an arrogant creep, who's brought back to earth and nursed back to health by a colleague (Joan Bennett) after he goes blind from drinking a batch of poisoned bootleg liquor. It's not much of a movie (though it introduced Irving Berlin's great title song) but it's interesting that the writers, John W. Considine (who also produced), William K. Wells and James Gleason, were aware that such things were happening to real people and built their script around such an incident.
Is it on dvd? Did you see it on TV? I'd love to get a copy of this.
I watched it years ago and recorded it on VHS from American Movie Classics, back when it was actually a channel devoted to American movie classics instead of crappy "original" series and John Wayne and James Bond movies. The clip of Harry Richman singing the title song seems to be posted on various Web sites, but the whole movie is tantalizingly unavailable. Maybe we should petition TCM to show it and release it as one of their DVD specials!
My favorite Bix obbligato is found in a recording by Jean Goldkette.
Don Murray starts the proceedings but then Bix takes over!
RIP Monsieur Goldkette.
Here is a transfer taken from a master pressing of the unissued take -2 of "In My Merry Oldsmobile":-
The whistle in the last third of the recording is due to "cold wax chatter"* and is possibly why this take was rejected. Bix comes in slightly earlier in this take when he starts to improvise (after the modulation that follows the vocal).
* (from VJM article entitled "Victors Church Studio, Camden (1918 1935): Lost and Found?" - "The explanation for this whistle is that the temperature control system in the recording room was not very good; the recording waxes had to be kept warm so that they could readily take the incision of the recording cutter. The room temperature was often too low, and that resulted in the wax on which the recording was made cooling down too quickly." See:http://www.vjm.biz/new_page_25.htm
Of course Bix's improvisations after the vocal are different in the two takes. But there is more.
Listen at 0:54 in take 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2wltnMSBno
Bix plays one note and then stops. It looks to me like a mistake and he does not come back for a break a few seconds later.
The break is found at 0:57-0:59 in take 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0he2ysn2c8hzd8/GoldketteInMyMerryOldsmobileTake2.mp3
I think Bix does more in take 2 than in take 1. Maybe it was too much for an unsophisticated audience of car buyers? The other fascinating aspect to me is the interplay between Murray and Bix. Murray begins to do a bit of obbligato behind the band; Bix responds and, in fact, takes over and leaves Murray in the dust although Murray continues in take 2. I believe Murray stops once Bix gets in charge in take 1.
PS Record labels of alternate takes of In My Merry Oldsmobile were presented in
that "mistake" at 0:54 in take 1. I don't think I ever noticed it before, and agree it sounds like a mistake!
I have always loved these two takes, and I still wonder every time when I hear the band after the vocal how it could have been that they didn't let Bix loose more often. He just takes the music out of that historical box and embellishes it to the point where it's just great timeless music. It's hard for me to imagine that everyone did not see it the same way. Seems so obvious. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose LPs have all those white places where the Bix notes are, a bit worn down from over-playing.
Thanks for posting!
Actually, on the unissued take -2 there are three muted trumpets playing that arranged "riff" (it's not really a break as such). On the issued take -1, however, there are only two trumpets heard (the 2nd trumpet and - very faintly - the first trumpet) and they both give up after a few notes. I don't know the exact reason for this, but obviously there was some confusion over what was probably part of a hand written arrangement. It could be the case that one of the players in the three-man trumpet section forgot to prepare, i.e. didn't move, causing confusion amongst the two others, resulting in a half-hearted attempt at the riff, as heard on take -1.
It was customary for Bill Challis to have Farrar on lead, Lodwig on 2nd trumpet and Bix as a 3rd voice. As the trumpet that's clearest on take -1 is playing the second voice, this implies that it's Lodwig we hear most clearly.
Many thanks to my good friend Frank van Nus for helping me in trying to sort out this little conundrum!
Wow! Terrific sound from this pressing. Spiegle's tone was so beautiful. He retained it to the end. Bix Beiderbecke sure picked the notes that make the heart jump!
It's the clearest sound I've ever heard this master.
Did anyone pick up on the "quote" from "Davenport Blues" halfway through the chorus? I put "quote" in quotes because it seems more like a favorite motif that Bix recycled, rather than an actual quote from his own composition.
Never mind. I got chills from this!
.... take a look at this site.
|Design: The border here is rather distinctive, being composed of three knob-ended units rather than the more usual two or four segments. The type used for the imprinting of the song title ('Fleur d'Amour') is a very attractive stub serif, possibly dating from the first decade of the century. |
History: Label scan courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany, who writes: "This Odeon was made in Italy by Societa Italiana di Fonotipia. Judging by the flip side, which features Clarence Williams' Stompers playing Dinah, it would date from about 1926." Composer Jose Padilla had several big hits in the era for the Paul Whiteman band, while Francis Salabert ran a major music publishing house, Editions Salabert (and had his own record label), based in Paris. The affixed royalty stamp also bears his name.
My favorite "La Violetera" used by Chaplin in "City Lights." My second favorite "Ca c'est Paris" used by Nino Rota in the soundtrack of Fellini's 81/2.
Odeon belonged to the german Lindström trust. They also issued records in the USA, manufactured by the "General Phonograph Corporation" = Okeh.
Otto Heinemann (Founder of Okeh) was a former Lindström employee.
is wingy manoe spelled with one N or two N's some records have one some have two. thanks
Is not Manone's surname spelled with two 'n's?
And, yes, the nickname Wingy brings the count up to 3.
The single 'n' point and the initial question pertains to whether there is a double 'n' in the last syllable of his family name. There is not.
Bix Lives! Keep going Bixography!!
Didn't Wingy change the spelling of his last name based on advice from a numerologist?
The 1910 US Census for New Orleans has a listing for a Nicholas Manone (one n) living with wife and five children, the youngest named Joseph age 2. Probably the wrong family: Wingy was 6 in 1910. TIn the 1920 US Census for New Orleans there is a Vincent Mannone (two n) living with wife and two children, the youngest named Joseph, age 20. Again the wrong family; Wingy was 16 in 1920.
His autobiography gives his name with one "n." I go with what Wingy himself wrote.
Whenever I go to the local library, I will look Manone up in ancestry.com From home I can only access HeritageQuest.
I used John Chilton's "Who's Who In Jazz" who tells us that Manone was born on Feb 13, 1904. Incorrect. Manone was born on Feb 13, 1900.
I have seen several web pages where it is stated that Wingy's birth name was Joseph Matthews Mannone (two ns).
Going through my Wingy collection, I find his name spelled with 2 n's up through the buff Bluebird era. My first spotting of a single "n" is with "When the saints go marching in," Bb 10560. Googling "Wingy Manone/numberlogy" I find a vague mention of George Brunies' and Wingy's name change.
WINGY (JOSEPH) MANONE got his nickname after he lost an arm in a streetcar accident when he was a boy. The original spelling of his surname was Mannone, but so many people spelt it wrong that he decided to join them and spell it Manone.
That sounds like bull to me. Maybe Bix should have changed the spelling of his last name since so many misspelled it.
From a history of jazz in America by Barry Ulanov.
"In later years, guided by a numerologist, Brunies changed the spelling of his first name, dropping the
final e, and removed the e in his second name, to end up with the name of Georg Brunis."
A subsequent Google inquiry led me to the above book, which presumably contains a reference to Wingy's alleged name change.
You were correct, Warren.
From Art Hodes's "Hot Man." The caption for figure 2 reads:
"Towne" was originally "Town"; numerology was responsible for the change, as it was with Wingy Manone (from Mannone) and Georg Brunis (from George Brunies).
Wikipedia tells us about "numerology":
"Numerology is any belief in the purported divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding events. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs. Numerology and numerological divination by systems such as isopsephy were popular among early mathematicians, such as Pythagoras, but are no longer considered part of mathematics and are regarded as pseudomathematics or pseudoscience by modern scientists."
.... http://www.directrss.co.il/TextPage_EN.aspx?ID=6624561 a website in Israel!
I am not sure of the significance, if any. I landed on the page looking for something else. Weird.
The individual in the Goldkette Reunion photograph, top row, left, who is listed as unknown or some other person, I believe is Irving Riskin.
The photo of interest.
The Goldkette bus photo. Riskin is the third guy from the left.
Also the third guy in this photo from http://bixbeiderbecke.tumblr.com/post/32704926214/frank-trumbauer-chauncey-morehouse-irving
I don't remember having seen this photo before.
Frank Trumbauer, Chauncey Morehouse, Irving Riskin, Eddy Sheasby, and Bill Rank (left to right) ; c. 1927.
One of the highlights at Tribute to Bix, Racine 2014, for me, was when Andy Schumm played Adirondack Sketches by Eastwood Lane. It was first time I heard this music, which inspired Bix so much.
I took the performance on video, put it on YouYube, so I could share this great experience with others:
Thank a lot, Andy!
Paul Whiteman, with Bix, recorded Sea Burial, one of Eastwood Lane's pieces on Feb 28, 1928. It is a 12-in Victor, # 36044.
More about Eastwood Lane and Bix in
I am so sorry to learn this. Duncan was an extremely generous inividual. I spoke to him several times and he always gave me permission to use his photos for some of my articles and for the Bixography website. His book "The Jazz State of Indiana" is a masterpiece. I consult it all the time in my research.
Condolences to the family.
A couple of glitches in WBIX 220: first, why does the post IMMEDIATELY start streaming the program as soon as it's opened? And if you try to comment, the screen blacks out and gives you the black field, with a play/pause control, characteristic of streaming audio. I find this very annoying; I really don't like listening to streams and prefer to download the program and burn it to CD so I can play it when I want to and listen on my stereo, not my computer.
In fact, once I DID get this program downloaded I re-edited it and made a "battle of the bands" CD alternating the California Ramblers' versions of songs Bix recorded with the surviving versions by Bix with the Wolverines, Goldkette, Trumbauer and Whiteman. Most of the Ramblers' versions were closer to straight-ahead jazz (though the show reveals that over time the Ramblers got more commercial and at the end they were virtually indistinguishable from Whiteman and his imitators) but the ones with Bix were consistently more interesting, especially in the arrangements (thank you, Bill Challis!).
The one big mistake this time around was in the announcement immediately preceding "High Upon a Hilltop" and "When You're Counting the Stars Alone," when you started talking about "Bless You, Sister" (heard several segments earlier) and said that the version of "High Upon a Hilltop" that was released featured Andy Secrest, not Bix -- of course you meant "When You're Counting the Stars Alone"! Aside from that, it was an interesting program, though others in the WBIX series have "grabbed" me more. It's interesting how well the Ramblers played even with so few stars of the day (Red Nichols -- briefly -- Tommy Dorsey and Adrian Rollini), and jolting (to say the least) to hear a Black trumpeter playing in the early New Orleans style of Keppard and Oliver in the Wolverines' arrangement of "Copenhagen" in the space in which we're used to hearing Bix.
Also noteworthy was Red Nichols' playing on "Tiger Rag" -- yet more evidence that this wonderful musician was underrated. In jazz circles, living a long, prosperous and productive life and avoiding the pitfalls of substance abuse (alcohol, drugs or both) isn't always good for your reputation.
Mark, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, to name just a couple of musicians, lived long, prosperous (relatively speaking), and productive lives with robust reputations that have survived to the present.
I don't know that Nichols is underrated. He enjoyed good repute and is still noted for his early contributions. If he doesn't share the same veneration as Bix, Louis, Benny, and Jack, and some others, it must be some magic that was missing in his playing. As a young person, I happened to hear Red's "Davenport Blues" long before I ever even heard of Bix's. Red's performances were always polished and pitch perfect, but the tug at the heartstrings, the buzz in the brain, that visceral YES!, just doesn't seem to be there in that certain way for a lot of us. I can't say why.
The immediate streaming when you open the posting has been fixed. I will write a correction for the High On A hill Top/When You're Counting the Stars Alone in the WBIX webpage.
Headline in the google website. From Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, "On March 12, 1989, I distributed a proposal to improve information flows: a web of notes with links between them. Though CERN, as a physics lab, couldnt justify such a general software project, my boss Mike Sendall allowed me to work on it on the side. In 1990, I wrote the first browser and editor. In 1993, after much urging, CERN declared that WWW technology would be available to all, without paying royalties, forever. By design, the underlying Internet and the WWW are non-hierarchical, decentralized and radically open."
In 1999, I launched the Bix website, followed quickly by the Forum and WBIX.
The world wide web is the last refuge for people who cherish liberty and should be kept free from government interference and regulation.
Well said, Albert.
Toddlin' Blues by the Rhythm Jugglers. 1:03, 1:32, 1:59, 2:26.
Tin Roof Blues by the OM5. 0:30, 0:54, 1:21, 1:46.
And in all 1920s versions of Tin Roof Blues that I know, For example
King Oliver. 0:42, 1:14, 1:46, 2:18, 2:51
But not in Louis 1956 version!
Since Geechie calls turned up in "Toddlin' Blues" and "Davenport Blues," we can presume that Bix had heard this figure and had it strongly on his mind when he went to Gennett to record in 1925, He'd been in Chicago and Detroit, with a short time in New York, and of course in Indianapolis with Hoagy at the time. The question is where or how or from whom did he pick it up? Joe Oliver's band is looking likely.
Geechie calls aside, those are two sweet versions of "Tin Roof Blues." This OM5 was the nucleus of the NORK, and Brunies played pretty much the same solo, but Roppolo did not, although there were elements of his NORK sound there.
Roppolo, Brunies and Mares may have composed the tune but they do not play on this one!
The Original Memphis Five, in spite of their name, were a bunch of New Yorkers. The first recording of the OM5 was by three Italian-Americans: Phil Napoleon (Filippo Napoli), Frank Signorelli and Jimmy Lytell (James Sarrapede); one English (Miff Mole); and one Jewish-American (Jack Roth).
The first recording by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings had three guys from New Orleans (Mares, Brunies and Roppolo, the last two Italian-Americans; I don't know Mares' ethnicity) and two from the midwest (Stitzel and Pollack, probably Jewish-Americans).
Both bands consisted of trumpet, clarinet, trombone, piano and traps, a manifestation of the pervasive influence in the early days of jazz by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
.... with variations on the Geechie Call.
A link found in facebook
You can read about Jon in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Faddis
He plays a few notes of Stardust and of Body and Soul. But no Bix?
when you play stardust, you've played Bix; especially if you use the verse
Truer words were never spoken, Phil, and beautifully worded.
I guess I was thinking of Bix's music listed in discographies.
...in the verse to Star Dust. If you hum the verse, you'll see how Hoagy somehow captured Bix' essence with the arrangement of the composed notes. It does indeed sound like a Bix solo, and I've felt that way for years.
Brad did something very interesting with two of the selections he played, "Sweet Sue" and "I'm More Than Satisfied". He sang note by note Bix's solos in the two recordings to his own piano accompaniment. I thought the effect was spectacular. Brad did something similar with Hoagy Carmichael's composition "Stardust". To his piano accompaniment, he sang note by note the melody line of the composition. I had known before, and this has been said by several jazz historians and critics, that Hoagy found his inspiration for "Stardust" in Bix's cornet solos. However, hearing Brad's presentation made me realize clearly and deeply that "Stardust" is basically a "Bix improvised (or perhaps a better word would be composed) solo".
Thanks, Albert. That was some years ago, at Phil Pospychala's BixFest.
Indeed, "Star Dust," verse and chorus, played as written, in peppy fox-trot tempo, might as well be an improvised solo by Bix. Now go to the next step: If that were literally true, what was Bix improvising ON that resulted in this solo? After all, Bix didn't compose "Singin' the Blues"; he metamorphosed it into something startlingly new. He was always working from existing tunes. So what song did he transform into "Star Dust"?
I "reverse-engineered" it: Stripped a chorus of "Star Dust" down to its chords, cast them into two-beat 1926 dance rhythm (a la "Baby Face"), and wrote an appropriately banal new melody and lyrics, ending up with "Don't Cry, Baby" - a tin-pan-alley pot-boiler, worthy of being sung by Chester Gaylord or the Keller Sisters and Lynch. It's a Goldkette record, naturally - one of those "dog" songs they were forced to do at Victor by the evil Eddie King. After the vocal, Bix takes a full chorus, and magically, it turns into that melody that later came to be known as "Star Dust."
Anyway, it's a fun party piece, and I get to claim authorship of the song that "inspired" "Star Dust."
I'm so impressed with Brad's analysis, tongue-in-cheek as it is on one level. It reminded me of my college class in Biblical textual analysis, doing literary archaeology on the sources of Genesis!
What the talented Mr. Kay did was assemble the Ur-text of the creation of "Stardust."
For the sake of alliteration, I'm calling it "Brad's Big Bang Theory!"
P.S.: I'd like to hear that "Don't Cry, Baby!"
...."Don't Cry Baby," for your dining and dancing pleasure.
I couldn't agree more, Jon !
I meant to say, I couldn't agree more, PHIL !
Gerri Bowers and myself served as tour guides for Jon when he was here. We took him around to many of the Bix locations here in town and it was very enjoyable. Jon is a very nice gentleman, and as you heard, he plays beautifully. The camera operator did a great job of keeping the dozen or so of us watching him play out of the shot.
All the best,
This was a great video and wonderful to listen to. I liked both Jon's playing and words along with the responses this has generated. I was able to get the Vincent Bach instrument company to build me a copy of Bix's horn ( the one with the serial number 620) last fall. It's in fact a large bore instrument built to the specifications and bore size that Vincent Bach has on file.
Like the cornet that Jon plays in the this video, it is an "easy playing" horn (as Jon said) and definitely the best Bach horn I've ever played. It took me about 24 years of on and off persistence to get Bach to build this for me but they came through. It's an excellent instrument, better than the previous Bach cornet I owned. I've found that if one of my playing doesn't know that it's a copy of Bix's horn, they love playing it.
Congratulations on this wonderful website!
Fascinating! 24 years! That is dedication. The Vincent Bach Co. finally built you the the cornet; I bet they couldn't take your bugging them any longer. "Here is the cornet; now go away!"
And thanks for the kind words about the Bixography website.
Yes-it took some dedication for sure. I'd tried a vintage "New York" (ie: made in NYC at Bach's factory) Bach cornet a number of years ago (its serial number was about 1100 as opposed to Bix's serial #620) and it was great horn. I'd never played on anything comparable until now. I can't say that it's an exact replica but Vincent Bach Co. does have the specifications for Bix's horn on file and these are available in the Philip and Linda Evans book as well. So-they used those as a basis to build me this horn. I'm grateful to Bach for making this instrument and who knows, maybe they'll start making this model as a "stock" instrument. All my playing colleagues and students that have tried this horn have really liked it!
That's so neat that you were able to get them to do that for you. I'm very curious, how did Bix's cornet differ from a modern Bach Stradivarius cornet? I see on their website that Bach offers their Model 181 cornet in a huge array of options - 3 different bores, 5 bells, 3 leadpipes, different water-key placements, finishes, etc. In what way were the specs of Bix's horn outside these normally available parameters?
A good question, Tim. As I understand it, the parts that went into making this replica are available amongst the choices of lead pipes, bells and bore that Bach has on offer. It was a matter of asking for the right parts, so to speak. I based my request to Bach on the dimensions of bell and lead pipe as documented in the Philip Evans book. There are likely other differences between my horn and the "Bix" horn in the museum most likely in the valve casing which I believe (but cannot confirm without seeing Bix's horn) is a 2 piece construction. To me, as a player, the biggest difference is that this replica I have is not modeled after the English style cornets with the "shepherd's crook" bell (as in the current Bach 184 models). It's a large bore instrument (as was Bix's) but the "straight" trumpet style bell affords greater projection and faster response than the "shepherd's crook" style bell.
I've also played an old Conn "Victor" model much like Bix (and King Oliver and Louis) played in the Wolverines era and those can be excellent horns as well.
Roy Hempley, the Bachology expert, kindly sent me scans of the two file cards for Bix's cornets. The images are shown with the permission of The Selmer Company.
I've always wondered about the customer's names who had been crossed-out on those shop cards.
Serial number 620, the one at the Putnam Museum, must have been about to be sent to this music store in Evansville, IN, when Bix walked in to the Bach store on Music Row:
I'm sure Hans Bach must have known of Bix's reputation, and wouldn't have minded selling it out from underneath another customer.
I checked the numbers from the scans of the shop cards Albert kindly posted, and neither a "102" lead pipe or "101" or "106" bell are currently listed as options for a Strad long cornet on Bach's website. They must have had to dig into their archives to build your horn. I can see now why it took you so long to talk them into it!
Have you tried it yet with a vintage Bach 7 (no letter) mouthpiece like Bix is supposed to have used? I wasn't familiar with the term "French brass", so I googled it. Apparently it has a higher ratio of copper to zinc than normal brass, so presumably a bell made from it would produce a warmer sound. Next you need to send your horn off to these folks to complete the project:
Post pictures when you're done
P.S. I would agree with you that Conn 80A's are reallyexcellent. I have owned one for a while now and it's such a fun, versatile horn.
Thanks, Tim for all this information. You're correct that the numbering system for Bach leadpipes and bells has changed. Bach built my horn based on the "old" numbers that I provided them from these stock cards in the "Bix" books so the bore size is the same as Bix's (large). The bell on my horn is a 25 which is standard on Bach large bore Bb trumpets and cornets. Interestingly, I have played an old Bach "7" mouthpiece years ago and they gave me a "6" mouthpiece with this new instrument. They're fine mouthpiece but I found them a bit tight although the "V" shaped cups used on the "numbered-no letter" Bach mouthpieces does create a nice dark sound. Currently, I alternate between a Stork #1 mouthpiece and a Bach 1 1/4 C (with a #117 back bore) on my cornet. (Apologies to Bix forum readers for all this cornet equipment talk!).
.... should be manufactured again. Engraved "Bix Memorial Cornet" and released in March 2015, Bix's 113 birthday. I wonder how many would be sold?
... a release of a Bix cornet replica might be commercially feasible. Here are examples of the production of old time objects:
- Bryan Wright's 78 rpm records of Bix's piano compositions.
- Wax cylinder recording session at Bix Beiderbecke's childhood home
- On a different subject, replicas of classic rifles and guns are very popular. A. Uberti S.R.L. in the village of Gardone Val Trompia in the Italian Alps produces reproductions of Old West firearms of excellent quality.
... that trumpets probably outsell cornets 1000 to 1 these days.
On the other hand, many famous trumpeters of the past (Miles, Dizzy, Chet) played Martin Committee model trumpets. There are at least three manufacturers that I'm aware of making technical copies of those horns today.
It is very cool that a replica of Bix's horn can be made and purchased.
What's really cool as well is the research that went into that possibility. Having the original cards preserved until the current time makes all this possible.
Long live the historian!
This reproduction "Bix" cornet idea is wrong. It perpetuates the notion that the beauty of Bix's playing had something to do with what kind of horn he used. It's a fetish object - a replica fetish object, at that - probably aimed at buyers who wouldn't have the least clue how to use it, or who might be deluded into thinking they would sound like Bix if they did.
This reminds me of those "Cargo Cult" South Pacific islanders whose tiny atoll was used as an airstrip by the Americans in WWII. After the flyboys departed (permanently), these beknighted people constructed life-size replica "planes" out of palm trees and brush, hoping, by sympathetic magic, to attract the Great Silver Birds again.
Bix sounded like Bix even when he blew into a garden hose. His sound was his alone, and not for export.
.... "that the beauty of Bix's playing had something to do with what kind of horn he used." Of course it was Bix's internal magic that created the sounds, not the conduit that brought out what Bix had inside himself. I give more credit to the intelligence of Bixophiles than you do: they are not supid idiots who would put Bix's cornet (or a replica) to their lips and believe that Bix's music would wondrously be created. I don't see anything fetish (in the sense of maniacal) about having a replica of Bix's cornet. We have replicas of his recordings, of his photos. Why not of his cornet? Collectors collect all kinds of objects, originals, if possible. When the originals are impossible to get, a high quality replica represents an acceptable substitute. I don't have original Monet paintings hanging on the walls of my office, but I have copies and I enjoy looking at them. Of course it is not the same, but to me an acceptable substitute. Chill out man.
You weren't present during the years (mid-'90s) when the Bach 620 was brought to the home of Phil and Phyllis McCoy in Santa Clara, California, for the annual "Bix's Horn Party." Every trad jazz horn player within several parsecs would attend and have a go at it. It was very curious: each guy in turn eagerly would pick up the horn, toot it for a while, and then with a look of chagrin or disappointment, put it down for the next person to repeat the cycle. I think each one of these players was having a disillusioning wake-up call about his own sound. I saw this happen several years in a row!
So yeah, I fulminate, but what's a Forum for, anyhow??
I certainly understand your point Brad and agree that a great player like Bix would sound good on any instrument. My basic idea in getting this cornet made for me was to see what a modern horn using the dimensions of Bix's horn would sound like and how it would play. It was sent to me on approval and if it hadn't been right, I could return it. As it turns out, it plays really well and my fellow musicians here in Vancouver have commented on well it plays and sounds. That fact that it's got a relationship, so to speak to Bix's horn is a bonus but not the main point for me as a player. I love Bix but I don't pretend to sound like him. He's in there (along with Louis, Bobby Hackett, Clark Terry and Woody Shaw) as a major influence on my playing. I think the appeal of the model of cornet I'm playing would be it's versatility and ease of playing. It's certainly not a fetish object to me. All the best, Alan
I should have started reading further up on this thread. Sorry! I didn't realize that the replica Bach 620 was solely your idea, that you are a serious musician, that it took 24 years of persistent nagging to get the company to build it for you, and that this horn is just as much a one-off as the original. Somehow I got the idea that this was a production model, on sale to the general public. That renders my rant, above, totally moot. As Emily Litella often said on Saturday Night Live, "Never mind!"
I had several chances to play the original Bix horn at the McCoy's annual party. It was indeed a wonderful instrument, in shockingly perfect tune with itself. I noticed, for instance, no pitch discrepancy between the concert "D" made with valves 1 & 2, and the concert "D" with valve 3. I imagine Bix, with his amazing pitch sense, tested every horn in the store before finding one that satisfied him.
Anyway, good work. If having this horn inspires you to practice nine thousand hours a day, all the better!
No apology needed. As mentioned in my earlier post, I agree that the creation of a "collectible" horn for the non-player would be fetishistic, indeed. That's great that you've actually tried the "real" horn yourself. The closest I've got to that was an old "New York" Bach with the long bell a few years ago and since it seemed impossible to find one in good playing condition, I'm glad that I persisted with asking the Vincent Bach Co. (actually Conn-Selmer as they are now) to make this instrument for me. You're right that Bix must have tried out quite a few horns to find one that played in tune, especially since trumpets and cornets in that late '20s era could be variable at best. I'm also pretty sure that Bix's penchant for "alternate" fingerings (as described by Richard Sudhalter) had to do with Bix finding the right pitch centre via the alternate fingerings. Do you remember if the Bix horn you played had movable slides on the 1st and 3rd valves? Many horns of that vintage did not and so I can see why Bix explored alternate fingerings in order to maintain a correct pitch centre. (He wasn't alone in this as I've noticed that Armstrongs uses some alternate fingerings in the 1933 "Copenhagen" film as did Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry).
Vincent Bach has been resurrecting older style trumpet models mostly for classical players (as part of their "Artisan" line of horns) so I wonder if this why they finally decided to build the Bix replica for me. In any case, I've been enjoying it and I'll let the forum know when I've made some recordings on it if there's interest.
All the best!
Contract between Hoagy Carmichael and Starr Piano Company for rights to "Friday Night," "Stardust," and "When Baby Sleeps," 1927. From the Archives Online of Indiana University.
The back of the letter
Bix was a man of few words, just like he play few notes (economy! economy!), but so full of meaning and feeling. "Well boy write me -not necessarily regarding the above but as a friend." Are those the words of a guy who was "an island" in the words of the late Jean-Pierre Lion?
Too bad that the film "Young Man With A Horn" was not a biography of Bix Beiderbecke and that the music was all wrong even for a movie based on a book "inspired by the music of Bix Beiderbecke."
The OK record label.
Vital Statistics for the recording
|New York, October 13, 1928|
|401219-A||Star dust (2)||OKeh 8668, Temple 539, Od (G)SMS2, Hist HLP16, JSP|
The music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlMhFV_lMpo
This is a fascinating document and thank you for including a link to the "Chocolate Dandies" recording. I've got a soft spot for the Bill Challis arrangement of "Stardust" that he did for Fletcher Henderson. Bill told be in 1991 that he felt that the tempo chosen for the record was too fast and it does sound hurried to me. It would be great to transcribe Challis' arrangement and play it a bit slower although if one has the technology, it's possible to slow down the Henderson recording, digitally.
A couple of years ago, I had a posting that included information about Henderson's recording of Stardust.
Here are relevant quotes from Dave Oliphant's article.
Challis also arranged for Paul Whitemans orchestra in the late twenties, but his writing for reeds is best showcased on a 1931 recording of Stardust by the Henderson band, with an outstanding solo by tenorist Coleman Hawkins. According to critic Phil Schaap, this one item represents the culmination of the Goldkette-Henderson, Bix, Tram-Hawk-Rex admiration society.24
The attractiveness to black leaders like Fletcher Henderson of the work of white jazz arrangers like Bill Challis is also revealed by the fact that in 1931 Henderson invited Challis to do an arrangement of Hoagy Carmichaels Stardust for the Henderson orchestra. According to Phil Schaap, as noted earlier, the recordings made by the Henderson orchestra during 1931 represent the culmination of the Goldkette-Henderson, Bix, Tram-Hawk-Rex admiration society that had grown in warmth and music since their legendary first encounter at Roseland Ballroom on October 6, 1926. Schaap goes on to quote the recollections of Challis respecting the Bix-inspired arrangement he made for Henderson of Stardust: Fletcher wanted a little bit more of that type of flavor in his chartswhich you might say was copied from the Goldkette influence. He wanted a little bit more of that trumpet color [Bixs cornet style and sound] and whats his name provided itRex Stewart, sure.75 Stewarts solo, as constructed by Challis and performed by the Henderson sideman, does in fact achieve something of the feel of a Bix improvisation. Challiss work for the Paul Whiteman organization is evident in his use of chimes and a type of symphonic sound for the Henderson arrangement. Frequently criticized for its sloppy playing, the Henderson orchestra renders the Challis chart with striking precision and punch, yet with a sweetness typical of the Whiteman recordings.
Footnote 24: Phil Schaap, insert notes to Fletcher Henderson: The Crown King of Swing (Savoy Jazz SJL 1152).
Footnote 75: Phil Schaap, liner notes, to Fletcher Henderson: The Crown King of Swing. Schaap theorizes that Challiss written solo for Rex Stewart was perhaps based on an unknown performance of Stardust by Bix Beiderbecke, and when Challis acknowledges that this was a possibility, Schaap concludes that there is no doubt that with this issue a lost master has been restored.
Listen to Henderson's Stardust.
And going back to the Chocolate Dandies recording of Stardust, here is a relevant quote from Dave Oliphant's article.
Gunther Schuller notes that an October 1928 version of Carmichaels then brand-new Star Dust, as arranged by John Nesbitt for McKinneys Cotton Pickers recording under the name of the Chocolate Dandies, lets us hear how orchestras used to play this piece in the late twenties, before it acquired lyrics and became one of the most successful sentimental ballads of all time. Schuller also points out that trumpeter-arranger Nesbitt takes a fine Bix-likesolo near the end (The Swing Era, pp. 312313).
Alan, using audacity I slowed down Henderson's Stardust by 15 %. Is that about right for your taste?
Thanks so much for this, Albert. I wish Bill Challis were around to hear this. Your "slow down" of 15% is very convincing to me, at least. It certainly make the whole interpretation sound less rushed and hurried. Who knows, maybe the Henderson band had to hurry things along, tempo-wise for Crown Records that day. Thanks also for posted the comments from Schuller et al about the 2 early versions of "Stardust" as well. Certainly, there's some similarities to Bix's style of playing in John Nesbitt's (as there is in Ed Lewis' cornet and trumpet work with Bennie Moten around the same time). More and more, I've been hearing Bix's as part of a mid-western way of playing jazz, putting him with players like Nesbitt, Ed Lewis, Dewey Jackson, Harold Baker and others from the American mid-west.
I'm surprisedthat nobody seems to have noticed that Jon - presumably he - plays Louis' Cornet Chop Suey. But then, perhaps not.
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."