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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Politically incorrect

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  • Mordechai Litzman
    Hi John, You are right, I got mixed up and did not check thorougly - it is Cladys Jabbo Smith. The info is right there on the RHJA. Thanks for the
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 22, 2006
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      Hi John,

      You are right, I got mixed up and did not check thorougly - it is Cladys "Jabbo" Smith. The info is right there on the RHJA. Thanks for the correction.

      Mordechai
      spacelights <spacelights@...> wrote:
      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Mordechai Litzman <folke613@...> wrote:
      >
      > (The story goes that Thomas Morris turned down a $65/week job with
      Duke Ellington because, having grown up in great poverty, he promised
      his mother only to accept $100/week or more.)

      Hi Mordechai,

      Is there a specific source for this? I'd very much like to verify
      it... or does it refer to Jabbo Smith?

      Regards,

      John






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    • David Brown
      John Many thanks as ever. So Kelly s was white but was, I ve read, a casualty of prohibition in the early 30s. Do we have any idea of the contexts in which
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 22, 2006
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        John

        Many thanks as ever. So Kelly's was white but was, I've read, a casualty of
        prohibition in the early 30s.

        Do we have any idea of the contexts in which Dodds was playing in the 30s ?
        I would suspect they were almost exclusively black.

        I do not have access to most of the elderly sources you mention. Is there
        anywhere in the literature any account of Dodds recounting the origins of
        his style or his influences ?

        Cheers

        Dave




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      • spacelights
        ... Cladys Jabbo Smith. The info is right there on the RHJA. Thanks for the correction. ... No problem...! I thought Duke had offered Jabbo a regular job;
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 22, 2006
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          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Mordechai Litzman <folke613@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi John,
          >
          > You are right, I got mixed up and did not check thorougly - it is
          Cladys "Jabbo" Smith. The info is right there on the RHJA. Thanks for
          the correction.
          >

          No problem...! I thought Duke had offered Jabbo a regular job; I just
          wasn't sure of the details.
        • spacelights
          ... the 30s ? ... there ... origins of ... Hi Dave, The Bernard Klatzko article in 78 Quarterly No. 10 is great--I think that issue is still available (see
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 22, 2006
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            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Do we have any idea of the contexts in which Dodds was playing in
            the 30s ?
            > I would suspect they were almost exclusively black.
            >
            > I do not have access to most of the elderly sources you mention. Is
            there
            > anywhere in the literature any account of Dodds recounting the
            origins of
            > his style or his influences ?

            Hi Dave,

            The Bernard Klatzko article in 78 Quarterly No. 10 is great--I think
            that issue is still available (see more excerpts below). Dodds began
            playing clarinet in 1908... According to Baby, "the minute my brother
            began to play it, he had a perfect tone" (previously, he had become
            skilled on a toy flute or fife). Though Johnny was certainly inspired
            by young Bechet, their respective approaches seem quite
            different--Bechet the extroverted virtuoso, Dodds the subtle craftsman
            playing "for the benefit of the band." I think of Dodds as an
            original, amazing adaptability notwithstanding--I guess it's no
            coincidence he made great records with so many different artists...

            ***

            Regarding the 1930s (from Klatzko):

            Clubs, restaurants and bars booked Dodds, usually with his "regulars":
            Natty Dominique, Baby Dodds, and pianist Leo Montgomery. A typical
            job was as a house band for floor shows and dancing. Mostly, they
            played for white audiences and had to know the latest pop tunes.
            Their most challenging musical tasks were at the K-Nine Club. Here,
            they played "classics" like Faust and the Hungarian Rhapsodies for a
            floor show of various acts performed by female impersonators. This
            was their longest engagement of the decade. It lasted from the end of
            1931 to the beginning of 1934, when the club was closed by police on
            indecency charges.

            Playing for whites wasn't always the rule. For a while, the band
            played at the 29 Club at 47th and Dearborn. "There was an eight
            Negro-girl chorus line which drew a mainly Negro crowd," Baby Dodds
            recalled. One memorable night the club hosted four of New Orleans'
            premier clarinets: Sidney Bechet was in town in 1934 (before he toured
            with Noble Sissle), and he dropped in at the 29 Club to see Dodds.
            Natty Dominique tells it this way: "Johnny, Jimmy Noone, and Barney
            Bigard was there, all on the stand at one time. Sidney Bechet came in
            and said 'Hello fellers.' We said 'Oh oh, here comes the devil!'
            Johnny said to Sidney, 'Allright pull your stick out, I know you have
            it with you.' So Bechet put his clarinet together and got up on the
            band stand, and do you know, they all left the band stand one by one.
            When I turned around, Bechet was up there by himself. You never
            heard so much clarinet in all your life."

            Engagements were scarce. Johnny managed to secure a job at the New
            Stables, an amusement park at Devon and Broadway. The band played for
            a floor show and dancing. One evening, Benny Goodman stopped by, not
            to jam, but to savor Dodds' blues clarinet. (Goodman, on the eve of a
            historic 1935 tour, arrived at the New Stables after a testimonial
            dinner given in his honor.) He had first heard Dodds when he was a 14
            year old clarinet prodigy with a white jazz band. Ironically, it was
            at the same amusement park (part of the Oliver band was also on
            stage). Goodman continued to show up wherever Dodds played--Lincoln
            Gardens, Kelly's Stables, the K-Nine Club.

            ***

            John
          • David Brown
            John Many, many thanks for copying that fascinating stuff for us all. I concur fully with the opinions expressed although consider Dodds a virtuoso too, only a
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 23, 2006
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              John

              Many, many thanks for copying that fascinating stuff for us all.

              I concur fully with the opinions expressed although consider Dodds a
              virtuoso too, only a more musicianly, more self -effacing, one than Bechet.

              Playing for floorshows raises the issue of how good a reader he was. For
              some reason I have always inferred that if he read at all it was not well.
              Maybe this could account for his relative obscurity in the Big Band 30s.
              What information do we have on that anybody ?

              Your post also brings in another master clarinettist by any standards,
              Goodman. In an earlier post I raised the question of synthesis of the two
              styles of N.O. clarinet as represented by Dodds & Noone. To have such first
              hand evidence of Goodman's respect for Dodds is enlightening. To me, Goodman
              is the only clarinettist to successfully fuse the dual influences mentioned
              and also of legitimate 'European' clarinet style from Franz Schoepp, a
              teacher he shared with Noone. Goodman's background would also have made him
              well aware of Kletzmer clarinet style although this is more difficult to
              detect in his playing than it is in that of Artie Shaw.

              Dave


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