8499RE: [RedHotJazz] Instrumentation similar to the KOCJB
- Feb 28, 2011Hi Andrew and Klaus
That session is superb and maybe the nearest there is to the classic CJB two
cornet line-up. But it was, I presume, a pick-up band so the felicities of
the CJB are not to be expected.
The Clarence Williams sides with Oliver and Ed Allen immediately come to
mind but these are rather different and do not offer the stunning two cornet
interplay of the CJBs. In fact, sometimes it is difficult to hear that two
cornets are present.
I think that for two cornets to function in this context without treading on
each other is a big ask. Can it be that this works so well only through the
genius of Armstrong and the profound musicianship of Oliver ?
Did the two cornet front line originate with CJB ? I rather doubt it was
much used in dance bands in N.O. The only example I can find at the moment
are the Sam Morgans from 1927, post CJB. Tom Morris in NYC in the late 20s
also often used a second cornet. I suspect that this also came from CJB.
The revival on the West Coast used two trumpets as standard, I think, as
also did the Crane River Jazz Band from England in 1949. I think the CJB
would have been model in both these cases.
The question that always nags me is why Oliver imported Louis to Chicago in
1922. Was it really to ensure that, as second cornet, he could not surpass
his mentor ? Oliver must have known that Louis was potentially a greater
player than himself.
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