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Re: Millard G. Thomas / Charles Harris

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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




          [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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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