Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [RedHotJazz] Lu Watters GTJ boxed set

Expand Messages
  • David W. Littlefield
    ... The 2-beat nature of the West Coast style makes it seem leaden to folks who prefer/respond more to the 4=beat swing style of the Condonites. It s
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      At 05:04 PM 10/05/06 +0100, you wrote:
      >Hi Rob! Don't agree with the 'Leaden ensemble' bit
      >
      >Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
      > this rather leaden ensemble
      >Robert Greenwood
      >

      The 2-beat nature of the West Coast style makes it seem "leaden" to folks
      who prefer/respond more to the 4=beat swing style of the Condonites. It's
      brighter, happier feel makes the body move very differently than the
      driving 4-beat, and the banjo and raggy piano appeal to a broader, and, I
      suspect, less sophisticated, audience than 4-beat jazz, as does the body of
      20s pop and novelty tunes in the repertoire.

      My basic reservation is the all-too-frequent 2-trumpet/cornet line--I much
      prefer the cleaner sound of a single cornet, especially since they usually
      seem play together rather than following the Oliver-Armstrong model...




      --Sheik
      David W. Littlefield, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Washboard
      http://americanmusiccaravan.com DixFB VOL.2 (C, Bb) available
      "BOOK NEWS: click on "Books" click on "Book News"
      eMail: dwlit@...
    • silverleafjb
      snip ... way for the numerous bands and festivals that still dot the landscapes of the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. I m always surprised to read or hear
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        snip
        > There is no doubt this band was at the vanguard of the revivalist
        > movement. By recreating (or imitating) Oliver's CJB, this group made
        way > for the numerous bands and festivals that still dot the
        landscapes of > the U.S., the U.K. and Europe.

        I'm always surprised to read or hear references that the Watters and
        Murphy bands "recreated" or "imitated" Oliver. Watters very
        emphatically stated in print (and to me personally) that was not the
        point of the band. There is an interview where he clearly states "How
        can you copy the King Oliver band?" Watters concept was to use two
        trumpets (or cornets) partly because he liked the sound, and he wanted
        to play the tunes from the 1920s, some of which had been recorded by
        Oliver. But the band played and recorded a lot of numbers that weren't
        recorded by Oliver. BTW, the Oliver tunes the band played were all
        originally available as stock arrangements from Melrose Publishing. In
        addition, not very many people at that time had copies of the original
        recordings. None had been reissued and the originals were not easy to
        come by.

        As was mentioned in another post, Watters and Turk came out of the
        dance band scene of the 1920s and 30s, as did most of their
        colleagues, playing with bands that often had tuba rather than string
        bass, or a bassist that doubled. I believe Watters was attempting to
        grab a slightly different audience than most swing bands of the time
        simply by playing two beat with a tuba in the rhythm section. There
        were lots of people around in the 1940s who would have preferred
        dancing to Watters' music rather than, for example, Benny Goodman's
        band blasting away on a fast-tempo killer-diller. By having two
        trumpets, Watters could attempt to get some of the volume of a big
        band with a smaller combination, making it more financially viable. As
        it was, he had played in a conventional big band at Sweets Ballroom in
        Oakland a couple of years prior to his forming the Yerba Buena group
        (in 1937, and those recordings are available from the San Francisco
        Trad Jazz Foundation). And that band played quite a few 1920s numbers,
        in addition to playing popular tunes.

        Regarding Strickler, he was a favorite of Watters, and he was one of
        Turk's favorite trumpet players. On the boxed GTJ set, there are
        versions of "Muskrat Ramble" and "Trombone Rag" with Strickler that
        were previously unissued (that I helped supply for that set), and I
        believe one of the San Francisco Trad Jazz Foundation CDs has a
        previously unreleased "Ace in the Hole."

        Regarding the Watters band being "at the vanguard," this is not
        strictly the case. They were part of an ongoing interest in early
        jazz. Just some of the media attention at that time were articles on
        record collecting in Esquire magazine; publication of the book
        Jazzmen; recordings by Bob Crosby's band (especially the Bobcats)and
        by Eddie Condon's groups on Commodore; and a number of reissues of
        1920s recordings. I belive the only reason Watters gets a good deal of
        attention is simply due to the fact he was able to make a number of
        recordings, first for the Jazz Man label (based in LA) before WWII,
        then after WWII on his own labels (first West Coast, then Down Home).
        Other groups didn't have this opportunity until after WWII (with the
        exception of the Castle Jazz Band in Portland, with two 78 issues from
        recording sessions in 1944).

        BTW, regarding the Castle Jazz Band, that band was originally oriented
        more towards the Chicago style until the band's session from December
        1947, when leader Monte Ballou switched to banjo and cornetist/valve
        trombonist Bob Short switched to tuba.

        Cheers,
        Chris Tyle
      • john schott
        Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks. ... From: silverleafjb To: Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "silverleafjb" <silverleafjb@...>
          To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 11:13 PM
          Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: West Coast Jazz
          [...]
          > I'm always surprised to read or hear references that the Watters and
          > Murphy bands "recreated" or "imitated" Oliver. Watters very
          > emphatically stated in print (and to me personally) that was not the
          > point of the band. There is an interview where he clearly states "How
          > can you copy the King Oliver band?" Watters concept was to use two
          > trumpets (or cornets) partly because he liked the sound, and he wanted
          >
          [...]
          >
          > Regarding the Watters band being "at the vanguard," this is not
          > strictly the case. They were part of an ongoing interest in early
          > jazz. Just some of the media attention at that time were articles on
          > record collecting in Esquire magazine; publication of the book

          [...]

          > Cheers,
          > Chris Tyle
        • Howard Rye
          ... Hear, hear. I can t think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            on 6/10/06 8:41, john schott at john@... wrote:

            > Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.
            >
            >
            Hear, hear.

            I can't think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an
            enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was doing is what
            Watters thought he was doing.

            By contrast I think the early European revivalists were consciously engaged
            in "re-creating" what they heard on their records, and of course the Oliver
            Creole Band Gennetts were freely available in Britain (and pre-Nazi Europe),
            albeit in diabolical dubs whose deficiencies sometimes seem to be reflected
            in the music of the revivalist bands. Everyone remotely interested in jazz
            had heard them.

            The Graeme Bell band down under were engaged in an enterprise much more
            analagous to what Watters was doing, and there is a lot of testimony to how
            startled homegrown revivalists were when this freewheeling ensemble playing
            for dancers fetched up in London. Inadvertently, the Bells are the true
            fathers of British Trad are they not? Their records are also some of the
            most rewarding and enduring of the revivalist output.

            Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
            howard@...
            Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
          • Robert Greenwood
            David Littlefield has admirably articulated what I cannot get along with in the Lu Watters YBJB (described once by Max Harrison as the Yerba Buena Yobs).
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              David Littlefield has admirably articulated what I cannot get along
              with in the Lu Watters' YBJB (described once by Max Harrison as the
              Yerba Buena Yobs). Thanks, David. It's good to see mention on here of
              Doc Evans – a fine player. And the Bell Band were excellent. Lazy Ade
              Monsbourgh died very recently; a fact which went unreported (as far as
              I know) anywhere in the UK press who eagerly report in their obituary
              pages the demise of any jazz musician. The boxed set of LW I saw in
              Fopp consists, I think, of the various Yerba Buena JB GTJ albums/CDs.
              Fopp is a vaguely trendy-looking outlet selling mostly bargain priced
              CDs, DVDs, and paperback books for those who seek constantly to be
              entertained somewhere down the shallow end; although they do sell a
              fair number of jazz, blues, and classical music CDs.
              Robert Greenwood.
            • Michael Rader
              I sometimes read the archive of the dixieland jazz mailing list. Bill Haesler (it s a pity he doesn t post here as well) recently pointed out an article by
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                I sometimes read the archive of the dixieland jazz mailing list. Bill Haesler (it's a pity he doesn't post here as well) recently pointed out an article by Eddie Condon, of all people, on San Francisco trad , mainly Turk Murphy. It's on Jim Cullum's Riverwalk website: www.riverwalkjazz.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr006=18wmbbgcn4.app14a&page=NewsArticle&id=5434&am
                Incidentally, Condon put together a tune called "Duff Campbell's Revenge", named after one of the SF scenes's characters. It was recorded both by Condon and Murphy.

                Wouldn't the earliest influence on British trad be George Webb? The earliest recordings, which I have on a George Buck issued LP predate the Bells' visits to the UK and were probably not influenced by Watters, due to lack of awareness of their existence. The tuba's also not exactly flexible - a legacy of the British brass band tradition, at a guess.

                At this distance, it's difficult to do any of these early revivalist bands justice, since we tend to hear their flaws more than any of the contemporary listeners. But hidden in the recordings are redeeming features, such as Bob Helm's solos - the late Frank Powers really opened my ears to Helm, who sounds off-tune to many critics, like Pee Wee Russell - an acquired taste.

                Cheers,
                Michael Rader
                _____________________________________________________________________
                Der WEB.DE SmartSurfer hilft bis zu 70% Ihrer Onlinekosten zu sparen!
                http://smartsurfer.web.de/?mc=100071&distributionid=000000000066
              • Howard Rye
                ... What I had in mind was that it was the Bells who introduced music for dancing. See p.150 of Humphrey Lyttelton s I Play As I Please. Lyttelton agrees that
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  on 6/10/06 17:23, Michael Rader at Rader.Michael@... wrote:

                  > Wouldn't the earliest influence on British trad be George Webb? The earliest
                  > recordings, which I have on a George Buck issued LP predate the Bells' visits
                  > to the UK and were probably not influenced by Watters, due to lack of
                  > awareness of their existence. The tuba's also not exactly flexible - a legacy
                  > of the British brass band tradition, at a guess.

                  What I had in mind was that it was the Bells who introduced music for
                  dancing. See p.150 of Humphrey Lyttelton's I Play As I Please. Lyttelton
                  agrees that the Bell band was in the Yerba Buena mould though he
                  characterizes the results rather differently from the way anyone has done
                  here. Which brings us round in a circle.

                  If I express the view that the commercial phenomenon that became British
                  Trad (and the tired mainstream in which its practitioners took refuge when
                  the bubble burst) owes much more to Joe Daniels and Freddie Randall than to
                  George Webb, I will need a triple thickness tin hat, so forget I said it.

                  Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                  howard@...
                  Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                • Bob Eagle
                  I ll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came up during the Oz version of Britain s Trad Jazz craze, and I heard the Bell band
                  Message 8 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I'll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came up during the Oz version of Britain's Trad Jazz craze, and I heard the Bell band (particularly on record but occasionally live when they visited Melbourne), and a number of worthwhile Melbourne bands.

                    It has struck me forcibly in later years how much the approach and "feel" of the Aussie bands resembled that of the best Western Swing bands, despite the obvious differences in instrumentation. Australian popular music has had the pervasive influence of hillbilly music, from Jimmie Rodgers through Hank Snow and beyond. Of course both sets (Bell etc and Light Crust Doughboys et al) were geared towards dancers, but I think it again demonstrates the interconnectedness of all good American music, even when filtered through players from Down Under.

                    Bob

                    Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                    on 6/10/06 8:41, john schott at john@... wrote:

                    > Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.
                    >
                    >
                    Hear, hear.

                    I can't think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an
                    enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was doing is what
                    Watters thought he was doing.

                    By contrast I think the early European revivalists were consciously engaged
                    in "re-creating" what they heard on their records, and of course the Oliver
                    Creole Band Gennetts were freely available in Britain (and pre-Nazi Europe),
                    albeit in diabolical dubs whose deficiencies sometimes seem to be reflected
                    in the music of the revivalist bands. Everyone remotely interested in jazz
                    had heard them.

                    The Graeme Bell band down under were engaged in an enterprise much more
                    analagous to what Watters was doing, and there is a lot of testimony to how
                    startled homegrown revivalists were when this freewheeling ensemble playing
                    for dancers fetched up in London. Inadvertently, the Bells are the true
                    fathers of British Trad are they not? Their records are also some of the
                    most rewarding and enduring of the revivalist output.

                    Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                    howard@...
                    Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098





                    Yahoo! Groups Links













                    ---------------------------------
                    On Yahoo!7
                    Photos: Unlimited free storage – keep all your photos in one place!

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • David Richoux
                    Going the same way in a slightly different direction - when a major FM Rock station in San Francisco presented a 3 day History of Rock in SF show - the very
                    Message 9 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Going the same way in a slightly different direction - when a major
                      FM Rock station in San Francisco presented a 3 day "History of Rock
                      in SF" show - the very first song they played was YBJB's "Annie
                      Street Rock" - to my ears it fit right in with the late 1940's R&B
                      and other "pre-rock." Again, YBJB was geared to teen age and young
                      adult dancers as much as the slightly older "listeners" of the
                      previous generation.

                      Dave Richoux


                      On Oct 6, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Bob Eagle wrote:

                      > I'll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came
                      > up during the Oz version of Britain's Trad Jazz craze, and I heard
                      > the Bell band (particularly on record but occasionally live when
                      > they visited Melbourne), and a number of worthwhile Melbourne bands.
                      >
                      > It has struck me forcibly in later years how much the approach
                      > and "feel" of the Aussie bands resembled that of the best Western
                      > Swing bands, despite the obvious differences in instrumentation.
                      > Australian popular music has had the pervasive influence of
                      > hillbilly music, from Jimmie Rodgers through Hank Snow and beyond.
                      > Of course both sets (Bell etc and Light Crust Doughboys et al) were
                      > geared towards dancers, but I think it again demonstrates the
                      > interconnectedness of all good American music, even when filtered
                      > through players from Down Under.
                      >
                      > Bob
                      >
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.