Yes, I can remember seeing the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band too. It's sometimes remarkable how many of these vintage players managed to even improve with advancing age.
James is precisely on those Louis Armstrong recordings praised elsewhere on this list. He is also on the Alex Hill 1929 Orchestra recordings, which provide another possibility to compare his playing on the JC Johnson sides. There is also the possibility of overlap of personnel with the Moonlight Revellers, another JC Johnson group. These are also up on the Red Hot Jazz site for all to hear.
Coming back to the J.C. Johnson sides, I think there is only one reed player, who might well be James. It's probably not Simeon, since there are some "corny" phrases that Simeon never used elsewhere (to my knowledge). The trombone doesn't really sound like Higginbotham to me - a little more like Roy Palmer, although I doubt that it really is him. The Bennett Swamplanders have a player called Isiah Robinson (at least according to the Frog CD), whom I would like to compare with the trombonist on the JC Johnson sides before making up my mind.
Someone raised a question about Ikey Robinson. IMO Ikey was probably one of the best banjo players ever to record. He had the misfortune to emerge at a time when the banjo was going out of fashion, but there are still enough samples around to enjoy, in particular the Jabbo Smith Aces and some Clarence Williams Washboard/Jug Band sides.
Incidentally, Jazz Oracle has announced the intention to produce a CD devoted to JC Johnson so that we can expect some discussion of the personnels in the liner notes when that appears: Jazz Oracle usually commissions liner notes from experts... That should also contain recordings by the JC Johnson trio, which are really fine. Frog will be releasing a CD containing some Clarence Williams odds and ends, including the Alabama Jug Band, which have great examples of Ikey Robinson's playing.
Von: Ron L'Herault [mailto:lherault@...
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 29. September 2004 03:55
Betreff: RE: [RedHotJazz] George James
George James also played with Louis Armstrong and later in his life,
with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, the outfit I saw him with in the
1970s. Even at that somewhat advanced age, he was playing fine sax.