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9413Re: [RedHotJazz] Lucille Bogan & Charles Avery

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  • Bob Eagle
    Jan 26, 2013
      Dave, the first thing to say is that you must be using an old edition of B&GR - B&GR4 has the correct mx.
      That said, I agree that the pianist is not Avery.  I doubt that Lucille is the player, because of timing issues, although her son and his best friend both said she could play piano - they just don't sound self-accompanied.
      One "Smith" shares composer credits on "Black Angel", which may be a hint.
      However, there is another issue.  To my ears, the pianist on "Whiskey Selling Woman" (C-5548) is different again - great left hand, interesting and variable right, far more swinging than either Avery or the later pianist.  If it *is* Avery, he's playing way above himself!
      I'm tempted to say Bill O'Bryant, who recorded an excellent title with Tampa Red at about this time, but there are differences.  Nevertheless, it is a forward-thinking accompaniment, hinting at what Maceo would later do. 
      Lucille had to wait for Walter Roland to find a better accompanist - unless it is a young Roland!  Lucille was living in Chicago at this time, and (so far at least) there is no evidence that Roland left Alabama.

      From: Uncle Dave <udtv@...>
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, 26 January 2013 6:09 PM
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Lucille Bogan & Charles Avery


      I was checking into the Charles Avery-accompanied Lucille Bogan records. The Godrich and Dixon data on these is FUBAR'ed: the right mx. on "Alley Boogie" which is C-5563; G&D lists it as "C-6653" and that false number persists EVERYWHERE. Ross Laird's "Brunswick Records: A Discography of Recordings 1916-1931 v3. Chicago and Regional Sessions" provides the right matrix and clears up a lot of the errors relating to these dates.

      Charles Avery has a very recognizable style within barrelhouse piano; it is sweeping, gracious and betrays at the back of it a hint of what may have been some measure of formal training. And I agree that it is Avery on the March 1930 Bogans, at least C-5547 through C-5550. But as to C-5562, C-5563 and the December session consisting of C-6845 through C-6848, I think these are all the same pianist, and it's not Charles Avery.

      Max Haymes, on a website dated 2001, suggest that C-6847 is either "Eddie Miller or prob. Frank 'Springback' James." I don't know where he is redacting that from or if he came up with the attribution on his own, but I don't agree with it. I'm pretty certain that all of these accompaniments are supplied by Lucille Bogan herself. The playing is decent, but not typically the work of a professional accompanist. Bogan was an accomplished songwriter and probably could play well enough herself to demonstrate her songs to better players or to handle her own accompaniments in situations where she didn't have anyone to back her. To my ears, that's what's going on -- it is the elementary playing of a singer following along with her own vocal line, not of a professional pianist hired to accompany a well-known singer like Bogan. There is a short bar -- actually two bars that
      have a short beat between them, I'm not sure where yet -- which occurs in C-5563 and in one of the accompaniments in the C-6845 to 48 group. It's exactly the same figure in both, and I'm pretty sure Avery would not have clipped off the beat as it is an amateurish feature alien to his basic style.

      Laird's work establishes that C-5562 and C-5563 are from a wholly seperate occasion as C-5547 through C-5550. G&D makes this look as though all of these masters belong to the same session, but the Laird discography shows that quite a bit went on between C-5550 and C-5562, including several whole sessions unrelated to Bogan.

      Has anyone a perspective on this? The full on Brunswick ledger stops just before this period commences, and the only register extant for 1930-31 Brunswick are a couple of loose, barely filled in sheets. I feel that by adding the word "unknown" to the descriptor "vocal with piano" we may have missed out on what that information was trying to tell us?

      Agree? Disagree? All of these except "Dirty Treatin' Blues" may be found on Lucille Bogan's page on redhotjazz.com

      And if anyone has the Roots LP RL317 ("Lucille Bogan 1930-1935") I'f love to hear the alternate of "My Georgia Grind."


      Uncle Dave Lewis
      Lebanon, OH

      Godrich & Dixon pp.98-99


      Acc. unknown, p.
      Chicago c. 1 February 1930
      C-5547- My Georgia Grind Br unissued, Roots RL317 (LP)
      C-5548- Whiskey Selling WOman Br unissued
      C-5549- They Ain't Walking No More Br unissued

      Acc. Charles Avery, p.
      Chicago late March 1930
      C-5547- My Georgia Grind Br 7145
      C-5548- Whiskey Selling WOman Br 7145
      C-5549- They Ain't Walking No More Br 7163
      C-5550- Dirty Treatin' Blues Br 7163
      C-5562-A Sloppy Drunk Blues Br 7210, Ba 32390, Me M12484, Or 8122, Pe 198, Ro 5122
      C-6653-A Alley Boogie Br 7210, Ba 32390, Me M12484, Or 8122, Pe 198, Ro 5122

      Banner, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, and Romeo issues as by Bessie Jackson.

      Acc. unknown, p.
      Chicago c. mid-December 1930
      C-6845- Crawlin' Lizard Blues Br 7193
      C-6846- Struttin' My Stuff Br 7193
      C-6847-A Black Angel Blues Br 7186, Ba 32389, Or 8121, Pe 197, Ro 5121
      C-6848-A Tricks Ain't Walking No More Br 7186, Ba 32389, Or 8121, Pe 197, Ro 5121
      Banner, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, and Romeo issues as by Bessie Jackson.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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