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RE: [RedHotJazz] Millard G. Thomas / Charles Harris

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  • David Brown
    Hello John Nice to have you back. I wondered where you were. Yes, it s the same Lazy Drag which brings into question the compositional credit of Morris. In
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 11, 2006
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      Hello John

      Nice to have you back. I wondered where you were. Yes, it's the same 'Lazy
      Drag' which brings into question the compositional credit of Morris.

      In the Millard the' tune' sounds very much like a strain from a rag and the
      structure, to me, generally much like a ragtime piece.

      Thomas uses the same first two 'strains' then transports into a blues.

      The side also brings us back to the second cornet on the Morris which I have
      listed in different sources as both Stewart and Pinkett. I find it very hard
      to hear Rex here. Anybody know a contemporary Rex with which to compare ?

      Dave



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • spacelights
      Thanks, Mordechai--difficulties with Real Audio sometimes prevent my listening to the site. I like the tone of Harris s solos on the 1923 Morton sides, also
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 11, 2006
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        Thanks, Mordechai--difficulties with Real Audio sometimes prevent my
        listening to the site. I like the tone of Harris's solos on the 1923
        Morton sides, also what he added (with Lovie Austin) to Ma Rainey's
        sound in 1924. The fact that he recorded with Handy makes his career
        even more interesting...

        John

        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Mordechai Litzman <folke613@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi John,
        >
        > You will find Lazy Drag with Millard G. Thomas and his Chicago
        Orchestra on the RHJA, as well as the same tune with Thomas Morris. I
        listened to both, but can only say that the tunes sound similar - not
        sure if it is the same tune.
        > A search of Charles Harris on the RHJA shows a number of recordings
        with Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders accompanying three different
        singers, as well as recordings with W.C. Handy from 1917.
        > Hope that this is helpful.
        >
        > Mordechai
      • spacelights
        Thank you, Bob--Jazz Oracle might appreciate this information as well! John ... his ... which he ... address is ... Canada. He ... recorded ... (Austrian, ...
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 11, 2006
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          Thank you, Bob--Jazz Oracle might appreciate this information as well!

          John

          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Prof_Hi_Jinx" <prof_hi_jinx@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Here's some detail on Millard:
          >
          > MILLARD G. THOMAS (piano; music teacher; composer) was born at
          > Collinsville, astride Madison and St. Clair counties, Illinois, on 7
          > September 1894.
          >
          > He was registered for the Military Draft on 7 June 1917, when he and
          his
          > wife were residing at 2329 (South) Dearborn Street, Chicago, from
          which he
          > worked as a music teacher "in business for self". The residence
          address is
          > crossed out and replaced by 14 King Street, Toronto, Ontario,
          Canada. He
          > was shown as of medium build and height. He had only a wife to support.
          >
          > The family had apparently moved to Canada by 1920.
          >
          > He recorded with his own jazz band during the 1920s. In 1924 he
          recorded
          > the piano solos BLUE IVORIES and RECKLESS BLUES, released by
          (Austrian,
          > later Scottish) Document CD #DOCD-5314.
          >
          > By 1930, he was residing at 102 119th Street, Manhattan, New York,
          and his
          > occupation was "Composer, Music, Public". He was aged 35, having first
          > married at 22, and had been born in Illinois. His wife was Hazel B.
          Thomas,
          > aged 29, having first married at 16, "Hair Dresser, Beauty Parlor".
          She had
          > been born in Louisiana.
          >
          > Their children were Millard J. (12, born in Illinois); Elma (11,
          born in
          > Illinois); Gyrondlin (possibly Gwendolin - indexed as Gyeondin: aged 9
          > years 3 months); Hazel M. (aged 8 years 3 months); and Vivian
          (daughter,
          > aged 7 years 8 months). The last three children are shown as born in
          > Canada, but to be American citizens - "Am. Cit."
          >
          > Millard's son, also Millard, was born on 7 October 1917, according
          to his
          > social security details. His social security card was numbered
          228-10-9454,
          > and was issued in Virginia before 1951. He died in January 1975,
          and his
          > last residence was at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois 60640. There
          seems to
          > be no social security death index record for Millard G. Thomas or
          for his
          > wife Hazel B. Thomas.
          >
          >
          >
          > Bob
        • spacelights
          Thanks Dave... Two contemporary Stewart sides to compare are The Stampede / Jackass Blues with Fletcher Henderson (5-14-26)--Rex solos on both of these.
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 11, 2006
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            Thanks Dave... Two contemporary Stewart sides to compare are "The
            Stampede"/"Jackass Blues" with Fletcher Henderson (5-14-26)--Rex solos
            on both of these. I'm pretty well convinced he's on the Morris
            session--the cornet solo (at around 1:48) on "Lazy Drag" sounds quite
            similar to the Hendersons. "Jackass Blues" appears on both
            dates--Stewart plays lead on the Morris version but doesn't solo.
            Reportedly, Stewart identified himself on hearing "Charleston
            Stampede" from the same date (7-13-26).

            Regards to all,

            John

            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hello John
            >
            > Nice to have you back. I wondered where you were. Yes, it's the
            same 'Lazy
            > Drag' which brings into question the compositional credit of Morris.
            >
            > In the Millard the' tune' sounds very much like a strain from a rag
            and the
            > structure, to me, generally much like a ragtime piece.
            >
            > Thomas uses the same first two 'strains' then transports into a blues.
            >
            > The side also brings us back to the second cornet on the Morris
            which I have
            > listed in different sources as both Stewart and Pinkett. I find it
            very hard
            > to hear Rex here. Anybody know a contemporary Rex with which to
            compare ?
            >
            > Dave
          • Howard Rye
            ... There is an account of the band and its pre-history in the Caddo Orchestra of Shreveport, LA, in Mark Miller s Some Hustling This (pp.81-2). Charles Harris
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 12, 2006
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              on 12/6/06 6:15, Prof_Hi_Jinx at prof_hi_jinx@... wrote:

              >
              > MILLARD G. THOMAS (piano; music teacher; composer) was born at
              > Collinsville, astride Madison and St. Clair counties, Illinois, on 7
              > September 1894.
              >
              > He was registered for the Military Draft on 7 June 1917, when he and his
              > wife were residing at 2329 (South) Dearborn Street, Chicago, from which he
              > worked as a music teacher "in business for self". The residence address is
              > crossed out and replaced by 14 King Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He
              > was shown as of medium build and height. He had only a wife to support.
              >
              > The family had apparently moved to Canada by 1920.

              There is an account of the band and its pre-history in the Caddo Orchestra
              of Shreveport, LA, in Mark Miller's Some Hustling This (pp.81-2). Charles
              Harris was in the Caddo Orchestra as early as 1914 for which Mark cites a
              reference in the Freeman. Thomas joined before the band opened at the DeLuxe
              Cafe, Chicago in June 1917.

              Mark believes Harris and Thomas moved to Montréal "possibly as early as
              December 1918". Looks like they moved to Canada even earlier, possibly when
              they closed the DeLuxe in August.

              It's good news that Jazz Oracle have embarked on a reissue though on the
              basis of the few band sides I've heard Mark is right the band is not that
              brilliant! Great feeling though and an important piece of history.



              Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
              howard@...
              Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
            • David Brown
              John --and anyone else interested -- I have listened intensively to the 3 Morris sides ( + 1 alt ) of 13 July 1926. Considering also the work of Rex on the 14
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 13, 2006
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                John --and anyone else interested -- I have listened intensively to the 3
                Morris sides ( + 1 alt ) of 13 July 1926. Considering also the work of Rex
                on the 14 May 1926 Dixie Stompers and especially ' Jackass Blues', and his
                claim, I now think he is the second cornettist, who is certainly a Louis
                influenced stylist. My breakdown of the cornet work is as follows.

                LAZY DRAG
                Tom straight lead into Rex wa-wa solo with Tom picking up the lead
                immediately afterwards. Rex --very Louis ---unmistakably picks up the lead
                at about 1:41 and carries it till a superb open Tom solo from about 1:48.
                Rex leads out from about 2:30.

                JACKASS BLUES ( A take although the alt. seems similar)
                Rex lead into Tom wa-wa solo with a Rex 'whinny' at about 0:15. Rex picks up
                the lead from about 0:30.The final lead is Tom.

                CHARLESTON STAMPEDE
                Rex lead till about 0:44 when you hear him drop out to pick up the mute for
                the first wa-wa solo. Rex, again very Louis, has the lead from 1:41 till
                Tom's wa-wa solo at about 2:08. Rex has the lead out from about 2:40.

                This is my best opinion but I am open to other suggestions as it is quite
                tight with Rex, I think, deliberately underplaying in places. The clue is in
                the phrasing, Rex even in mute, post Louis. Also more vehement wa-wa. Also
                Tom is a much more delicate and plaintive wa-wa player, more manipulative,
                more vocal.

                The second cornet on the subsequent 16 August 1926 session is much easier to
                pick and on a more cursory listen sounds to me, notwithstanding my
                admiration for JRT and 'Big Charlie Thomas' to be Jabbo, albeit in less
                abrasive, pushy and keening mode than his later Louis covers.

                Listening around Mitchell I find a supposed presence on a Nashville Jazzers
                'St.Louis Blues' c 1927 for Van Dyke. No way do I hear him on this.
                Anybody --Howard--details on this ?

                Dave




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              • spacelights
                Hi Dave--great breakdown of the Morris sides... I do agree with your identifications. Previously, Lazy Drag had me reversing the IDs at 1:41 and 1:48, as
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 13, 2006
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                  Hi Dave--great breakdown of the Morris sides... I do agree with your
                  identifications. Previously, "Lazy Drag" had me reversing the IDs at
                  1:41 and 1:48, as Stewart is quite voracious with the wah-wah lead,
                  and Morris's (I agree, wonderful) solo at first seemed
                  uncharacteristic of him. He actually reverts to the style he'd used
                  with the Past Jazz Masters three years earlier--interesting, as this
                  was his first side as leader since then.

                  With regard to the Nashville Jazzers, I've gone back and forth in my
                  opinions. Listening again, I can't rule Morris out entirely. Some
                  people think it's Mike Mosiello, but I don't hear anything definitive
                  for or against... Since Rust states Morris firmly, I'm wondering
                  about the origin of this identification (then again, Rust's entries
                  for the Victor sides we've discussed seem quite inaccurate). 'Grey
                  Gull Rarities' (Jazz Oracle)--an excellent collection--includes fine
                  transfers of both takes, but also does not question Morris's presence.
                  Destined perhaps to be one of the perennial mysteries...

                  (I'm unclear as to the "Mitchell" reference at the end of your post
                  and in the subject line... Have you been listening to George
                  Mitchell?--another favorite!).

                  Regards,

                  John

                  --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > John --and anyone else interested -- I have listened intensively to
                  the 3
                  > Morris sides ( + 1 alt ) of 13 July 1926. Considering also the work
                  of Rex
                  > on the 14 May 1926 Dixie Stompers and especially ' Jackass Blues',
                  and his
                  > claim, I now think he is the second cornettist, who is certainly a Louis
                  > influenced stylist. My breakdown of the cornet work is as follows.
                  >
                  > LAZY DRAG
                  > Tom straight lead into Rex wa-wa solo with Tom picking up the lead
                  > immediately afterwards. Rex --very Louis ---unmistakably picks up
                  the lead
                  > at about 1:41 and carries it till a superb open Tom solo from about
                  1:48.
                  > Rex leads out from about 2:30.
                  >
                  > JACKASS BLUES ( A take although the alt. seems similar)
                  > Rex lead into Tom wa-wa solo with a Rex 'whinny' at about 0:15. Rex
                  picks up
                  > the lead from about 0:30.The final lead is Tom.
                  >
                  > CHARLESTON STAMPEDE
                  > Rex lead till about 0:44 when you hear him drop out to pick up the
                  mute for
                  > the first wa-wa solo. Rex, again very Louis, has the lead from 1:41 till
                  > Tom's wa-wa solo at about 2:08. Rex has the lead out from about 2:40.
                  >
                  > This is my best opinion but I am open to other suggestions as it is
                  quite
                  > tight with Rex, I think, deliberately underplaying in places. The
                  clue is in
                  > the phrasing, Rex even in mute, post Louis. Also more vehement
                  wa-wa. Also
                  > Tom is a much more delicate and plaintive wa-wa player, more
                  manipulative,
                  > more vocal.
                  >
                  > The second cornet on the subsequent 16 August 1926 session is much
                  easier to
                  > pick and on a more cursory listen sounds to me, notwithstanding my
                  > admiration for JRT and 'Big Charlie Thomas' to be Jabbo, albeit in less
                  > abrasive, pushy and keening mode than his later Louis covers.
                  >
                  > Listening around Mitchell I find a supposed presence on a Nashville
                  Jazzers
                  > 'St.Louis Blues' c 1927 for Van Dyke. No way do I hear him on this.
                  > Anybody --Howard--details on this ?
                  >
                  > Dave
                • David Brown
                  John. Glad we agree. Yes, the cornet at 1:41 on Lazy Drag is so Louis is has to be Rex. The cornet on the Nashvilles is stiff and faltering and just not
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 13, 2006
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                    John. Glad we agree. Yes, the cornet at 1:41 on 'Lazy Drag' is so Louis is
                    has to be Rex.

                    The cornet on the Nashvilles is stiff and faltering and just not good enough
                    for Tom, especially by 1927. Also it seems to display stylistic
                    characteristics inconsistent with Tom.

                    Where is some Mosiello, of whom I have never heard ?

                    Yes, a healthy scepticism is always necessary when approaching the
                    discographies, all of which are in some way plagiaristic, feeding on
                    previous works, repeating errors, even as we have seen this week with the
                    Coleman Paris session, back to the 'First' discography, 'Jazz Directory'
                    emanating from around 1949. We are still left with the source for Rust's
                    Pinkett on these sides.

                    You did not comment on the Jabbo/Big Charlie issue. Can anybody reveal the
                    latest wisdom in respect to the latter JRT 'manifestation ' ?

                    Ah well, the Mitchell slip is really non-musical, a confusion of my
                    obsessions, my other being Film ( Movie to you) History. Thomas Mitchell,
                    fine actor, most famous role in 'Gone With The Wind'. But sure, I rate '
                    Little Mitch' very highly too.

                    All the best

                    Dave




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • spacelights
                    ... He was trumpeter for the Grey Gull House Band, and appears on six or seven (possibly more) tracks on the Grey Gull Rarities CD. ... reveal the ... Jabbo
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Where is some Mosiello, of whom I have never heard ?

                      He was trumpeter for the Grey Gull House Band, and appears on six or
                      seven (possibly more) tracks on the 'Grey Gull Rarities' CD.

                      >
                      > You did not comment on the Jabbo/Big Charlie issue. Can anybody
                      reveal the
                      > latest wisdom in respect to the latter JRT 'manifestation' ?

                      Jabbo volunteered to Richard Rains that his first session was "with
                      Tommy Morris"--this is it (8-17-26), almost certainly. Intriguingly,
                      in 1927 he would substitute for Miley, and in 1928 record with Waller
                      (both strong Morris cohorts).

                      Not sure about the latest 'Charlie Thomas' wisdom--sometimes I think
                      he's an amalgam of Charlie Gaines and Thomas Morris, created through
                      nebulous recollections some 40 years later (I've not heard the 'Big
                      Charlie Thomas' disc on Timeless, though I'm familiar with some of
                      those records).

                      Musicians' recollections often prove valuable, but I'm reminded of an
                      experience in a group I once played in with two singers. As we
                      listened to a song we'd recorded, one of the singers' comments
                      indicated she thought she had sung it, when in fact the other singer
                      had. I think we'd recorded it two months earlier!

                      >
                      > Ah well, the Mitchell slip is really non-musical, a confusion of my
                      > obsessions, my other being Film ( Movie to you) History. Thomas
                      Mitchell,
                      > fine actor, most famous role in 'Gone With The Wind'.

                      Also the Doctor in 'Stage Coach' ("Get me coffee. Black coffee...")
                      and Uncle Billy in 'It's A Wonderful Life' (not off-topic perhaps,
                      there's some jazz piano during a bar scene)...

                      John
                    • Howard Rye
                      ... Mike Mosiello presents intractable problems for the researcher. Most identifications are based on an interview with Andy Sanella conducted on Brian Rust s
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                        on 14/6/06 7:20, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

                        > Where is some Mosiello, of whom I have never heard ?

                        Mike Mosiello presents intractable problems for the researcher. Most
                        identifications are based on an interview with Andy Sanella conducted on
                        Brian Rust's behalf in 1962. The expectation that anyone would remember
                        details of pick-up dates of the kind that the Grey Gull house band did after
                        30 years is truly bizarre. Unfortunately Brian was pre-disposed to believe
                        him because of his ongoing embarrassment over the issue of Memphis Jazzers
                        sides under King Oliver's name in the 40s, for which he was apparently
                        responsible (though no one would know if he didn't insist on apologizing for
                        it!).

                        I feel particularly sour about this because I fell head first into the much
                        worse trap consequently set and attributed the playing on 'In Harlem's
                        Araby' to him in my Grove entry on Mosiello. I was hearing what I expected
                        to hear and should have known better. Attributing the playing to Oliver was
                        much less silly than attributing it to Mosiello.

                        Mosiello was born in Italy in July 1896 and died in Neptune, NJ on 6 June
                        1953. He is undoubtedly to be heard on a good many Grey Gull recordings.
                        Laurens Hertzdahl in his notes to the Grey Gull CD reckons that he is very
                        easily identifiable. He was later known as Michael Mells and apparently
                        worked for Mal Hallett. He is a hot-dance player.

                        You're right, David, that I cannot resist commenting on the Nashville
                        Jazzers. I am pretty convinced the clarinet is Bob Fuller, near the top of
                        his considerable form, on take -B especially. The trumpeter seems to display
                        Morris's characteristic quacking tone at times, but you will gather from
                        this that my neck is definitely not extended on this one!

                        Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                        howard@...
                        Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                      • Albert Haim
                        Several Years ago, I published a long article about Mike Mosiello in the Misissippi Rag. The article is available as a microsoft word document in
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                          Several Years ago, I published a long article about Mike Mosiello in
                          the Misissippi Rag.

                          The article is available as a microsoft word document in

                          http://bixbeiderbecke.com/Mosiello Story.doc

                          Warning the document is 20 pages long and contains 27,791 characters.

                          I played several recordings that feature Mike Mosiello on trumpet in
                          one of my WBIX radio programs. Go to
                          http://bixography.com/wbix101to150.html
                          and scroll down to Program # 101. Click on the link "Streaming audio
                          file." You need Real Player.

                          Albert
                        • David Brown
                          Howard. Interesting. I fear I have no Mosiello with which to compare but he cannot poss. be the man on the Nashvilles, who is definitely black and no way a
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                            Howard.

                            Interesting. I fear I have no Mosiello with which to compare but he cannot
                            poss. be the man on the Nashvilles, who is definitely black and no way a
                            professional dance band musician but a rather fallible and faltering 'naif.'
                            Morris was no great technician -- although 'quacking' is unkind -- but less
                            approximate than this normally. What other candidates ?

                            Dave



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Howard Rye
                            ... I didn t mean quacking to be unkind I assure you. To the contrary, distinctive tonal characteristics such as Morris displays are what real jazz is all
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                              on 14/6/06 13:58, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

                              > Interesting. I fear I have no Mosiello with which to compare but he cannot
                              > poss. be the man on the Nashvilles, who is definitely black and no way a
                              > professional dance band musician but a rather fallible and faltering 'naif.'
                              > Morris was no great technician -- although 'quacking' is unkind -- but less
                              > approximate than this normally. What other candidates ?

                              I didn't mean "quacking" to be unkind I assure you. To the contrary,
                              distinctive tonal characteristics such as Morris displays are what real jazz
                              is all about.

                              Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                              howard@...
                              Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                            • Albert Haim
                              Because of the space between Mosiello and Story in the url, the link does not extend beyond Mosiello. To circumvent this, copy and paste
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                                Because of the space between Mosiello and Story in the url, the link
                                does not extend beyond Mosiello. To circumvent this, copy and paste
                                bixbeiderbecke.com/Mosiello Story.doc
                                in the address box.

                                Albert

                                --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Albert Haim" <alberthaim@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Several Years ago, I published a long article about Mike Mosiello in
                                > the Misissippi Rag.
                                >
                                > The article is available as a microsoft word document in
                                >
                                > http://bixbeiderbecke.com/Mosiello Story.doc
                                >
                                > Warning the document is 20 pages long and contains 27,791 characters.
                                >
                                > I played several recordings that feature Mike Mosiello on trumpet in
                                > one of my WBIX radio programs. Go to
                                > http://bixography.com/wbix101to150.html
                                > and scroll down to Program # 101. Click on the link "Streaming audio
                                > file." You need Real Player.
                                >
                                > Albert
                                >
                              • David Brown
                                Albert. Many thanks for the Mosiello material, written & aural, which I now have safely loaded and which is so substantial that it will take time to
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jun 14, 2006
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                                  Albert.

                                  Many thanks for the Mosiello material, written & aural, which I now have
                                  safely loaded and which is so substantial that it will take time to
                                  assimilate.

                                  Dave



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