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Re: Millard G. Thomas / Charles Harris

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  • spacelights
    Thank you, Bob--Jazz Oracle might appreciate this information as well! John ... his ... which he ... address is ... Canada. He ... recorded ... (Austrian, ...
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 11 11:02 PM
      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 2 of 18 , Jun 11 11:46 PM
        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 3 of 18 , Jun 12 2:29 AM
          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 4 of 18 , Jun 13 9:30 AM
            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




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • 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 5 of 18 , Jun 13 9:06 PM
              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 6 of 18 , Jun 13 11:20 PM
                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 7 of 18 , Jun 14 1:17 AM
                  --- 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 8 of 18 , Jun 14 4:09 AM
                    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 9 of 18 , Jun 14 5:41 AM
                      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 10 of 18 , Jun 14 5:58 AM
                        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 11 of 18 , Jun 14 6:04 AM
                          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 12 of 18 , Jun 14 7:52 AM
                            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 13 of 18 , Jun 14 12:14 PM
                              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



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