Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Blues Birdhead as jazz (was: Jug Bands)
- The 1930 Census lists James Simon (sic: 28, born North Carolina, wife
Sophrenia) at Norfolk, although it doesn't indicate he is a musician (not
that that means much).
----- Original Message -----
From: "ikey100" <wlmoorman3@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 4:27 AM
Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Blues Birdhead as jazz (was: Jug Bands)
> --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Patrice Champarou"
> <patrice.champarou@f...> wrote:
>> ...for more jazz-oriented harmonica pieces I should suggest
> listening to James Simons aka "Blues Birdhead", whose only two
> recordings sound to me as directly inspired by Louis Armstrong...
> There were actually four sides that include Simons, two with only
> piano accompaniment and two with a small group. Indeed, Simons does
> seem on these pieces to have a jazz type conception, particularly in
> the tension and release structures of his solos, unlike some country
> blues harpists. Despite his nickname, he certainly belongs in a jazz
> discussion. The group that he made those sides as part of, the
> Bubbling Over Five, included harmonica, violin, soprano sax, piano,
> and banjo-guitar! Hardly a jug band lineup, or any other for that
> matter. But it may be explained as either a subunit of a larger
> band, or an impromptu studio group. The vocalist for the band sides
> is listed as "Bob Brown", whose affiliation is unknown.
> The only known information about Simons is a short reference in the
> Norfolk (Va.) Journal in 1931, in which he is described as playing
> at a white social event, either with or alongside the Kid Mickey
> Orchestra, and is noted as well known in the area for his harp
> prowess. As far as I'm aware, nothing is known of this band either.
> I favor the "impromptu studio group" explanation for the Bubbling
> Over Five, or at most a partial regular group. The pianist seems to
> be taking cues while playing, in the manner of a jam session, and
> there were several pianists at those Richmond recording sessions.
> The Norfolk area had certainly seen many jazzy musicians and
> influences, including it's black vocal group tradition, and by this
> time was sending a number of players into the larger jazz world,
> such as Prince Robinson, Graham Jackson, Joe Garland, etc.
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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- --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@c...> wrote:
> >> --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@c...>
> >>> Most listeners think he was also one of The Keep Shufflin' Trio on
> > P.It seems to have been a stunt they (Johnson and Waller) enjoyed--they used
> >>> Johnson's You Don't Understand/You've Got To Be Modernistic (18
> >> November
> >>> 1929, Victor V38099), but we'll never know for sure.
> Why two pianists anyway?
the same approach the previous year on another Johnson date (18 June 1928),
and also with Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds (26 March 1928)!