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6614Re: [RedHotJazz] Keep The Spoon Out Of Your Cup was Button Up Your Overquote

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  • Gilber M. Erskine
    Feb 5, 2009
      I have been following the recent posts here on New Orleans clarinetists with great interest. Here are a few rambling and random items---
      [1] I was in New Orleans on family vacation in the summer of 1946 and met Sam Ruvidiitch and Bill Bowers just before they met and recorded Emile Barnes. After he got back to New York, Sam sent me a copy of one of the tunes they recorded. I'm sorry to say I was not too impressed, maybe because the other musicians were not up to it.
      [2] By a WIDE margin, the New Orleans clarinetists were vastly superior to most all others in playing the blues. And the examples are multiple: Leon Roppolo, Sidney Bechet, Sidney Arodin, Albert Nicholas, Irving Fazola, Johnny Dodds, Edmond Hall, Larry Shields, George Lewis, Lester Bouchon, Raymond Burke, Jimmie Noone. When clarinetist Gus Mueller quit Paul Whitemans's band in the early '20s, one of the reasons he gave was "None of you know how to play the blues". BTW, if anyone has a copy of the Creole lable "Slow Blues" that Raymond Burke made in the early 1940s in Kansas City, I will pay a premium price for it.
      3] Most New Orleans clarinetists do not like the styles of Frank Teschemacher and Pee Wee Russell. I think it has to to with the clarinet tone. Barney Bigard once cancelled his subscription to DownBeat because Teschemacher won a ciritcs poll. When Raymond Burke heard Pee Wee's break at the end of "Serenade to a Shylock" [Jam Session at Commodore]. he just shook his head in disapproval.
      4] I've recently become obsessed with the tune "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me" and still play the Louisiana Five recording in 1919 with Acide "Yellow" Nunez, in spite of the primitive sound. The tune was recorded extensively in 1919 and 1920, and became a classic standard after Jimmie Noone's 1928 recording. Wild Bill Davison has done it multiple times from the 1950s until his death. I am astonished to find that my all time favorite performance of this tune is in a video clip of the Swedish trumpeter, Hans Carling, and his 15-year old son Max, at a concert in Poland in 1984. They are playing with a group of Polish musicians, and it is quite remarkable. The rhythm section is superb and the recording balance is professional. Give a listen especially to soprano saxaphonist Frans Sjostrom---


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David Brown
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:44 AM
      Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Keep The Spoon Out Of Your Cup was Button Up Your Overquote

      Sincere thanks to Robert, to whom I bow on matters N.O. and from whom we do
      not hear enough, quoting or otherwise.

      First for the 'St Louis Blues' overview and do you hear these as copies of
      the Shields or a previously existent traditional blues 'solo' ?

      I'm still slogging through first hand N.O. but what strikes is much
      contradiction Uptown/Downtown, not least in geographical anomalies such as
      you describe with George.

      BUT everywhere is the idea that the music was universal and ubiquitous.

      ' the white and coloured musicians around N.O. all knew each other and there
      wasn't any Jim Crow between them. They didn't really care what color you
      were and I played with a lot of them around N.O.'

      -- to, hopefully, not overquote Pops Foster again.

      he also interestingly claims that :-

      ' the Dixieland band in those days was a mixed band and nobody paid any
      attention. The leader was Larry Shields and you had Achille Baquet playing
      with them. He was coloured and went all over with them.'

      Achille was born 1886 and must therefore be in the frame as a formative
      influence on Shields.

      All accounts have indeed the Creoles, on a socially downward path, as the
      most evilly racially conscious.

      Do you agree Bethel's thesis would seem to undermine the existence of polar
      extremes Uptown/Downtown which somehow merged into jazz as we know it ?

      I have in front of me now probably the first ever George interview from 'The
      Jazz Record' in 'Skip The Gutter' which must be about 1945. He mentions
      Picou, George Baquet, Charles McCurtis (sic) and Lorenzo Tio and especially
      Bechet. No Dodds nor Nelson. George did not start playing clarinet till 1916
      and Dodds left N.O. permanently in 1919 and was absent for periods before
      that. I wonder at the Dodds influence that has been ascribed to George and
      whether he was maybe not answering what he thought 'The Man' wanted to hear.


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