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  • spacelights
    Oct 14, 2009
      Hi Dave,

      The "Big Charlie Thomas" agenda seems something of a red herring... the name itself speculative, a conflation of disparate elements. Attributions of Charlie Gaines and Thomas Morris on the Jazz Rippers (in Rust 3 and 4, respectively) imbue identifications of "Charlie Thomas" with a kind of winking caprice... In any case, the "Thomas" recalled by Eva as "a much older man than the rest of us" would seem to discount Gaines, Morris, and new candidate Johnson: from all evidence, younger than Eva and Clarence. I don't have the Timeless CD, would like to read the notes and listen in sequence (have heard most of the sides on other releases).

      I don't necessarily agree that the Rippers cornetist has "far more chops" than Morris: the former seems rather more brash and round-toned, yet his results I find even more erratic than typical Morris (who displays creditable chops in various bags on the Williams Stompers, Wallers, Dixie Jazzers Washboard Bands and elsewhere). Morris is strangely workmanlike under his own leadership in 1926 (OKeh was reportedly more accomodating than Victor) and seems to cut loose and experiment more with others. I agree the Rippers man sounds more Armstrong-influenced--not unlike Gaines at that time--though it's perhaps worth noting that the N.O. Blue Five date includes "King of the Zulus".

      Best wishes,


      ps Have you heard the Elvira Johnson...?

      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...> wrote:
      > I have the N.O. Blue 5 'South Rampart' in my ears now and super work from
      > wonderful Tom Morris. But, respect him and you though I do, he is not on the
      > Rippers nor on any other of the sides on the 'Big Charlie' except those
      > alongside Jabbo --- yes I know, Jabbo. 'Big Charlie' has far more chops, is
      > faster, lighter and, above all, shows profound Louis influence which Tom
      > never did. Also no use of mutes. I dug into 'Big Charlie' a few years back
      > and convinced myself that most of the sides on the album are by one man. All
      > other known possibilities, including Gaines, I eventually excluded. Coming
      > back to the album after a time, I still find it mostly convincing -- except
      > the Jabbos.
      > The physical appearance of the man remembered by Eva Taylor sounds
      > strikingly close to Tom Morris, as does the name. My guess would be that
      > when played the side she, probably not being very interested nor having ears
      > to distinguish one cornet from another, misremembered Tom. But I would like
      > to think that whoever put the question -- where ? -- went on to exclude the
      > obvious, Morris.
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