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Why do we know so little about Odell Rand?

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  • Robert Greenwood
    Or am I wrong, and we do actually know more about him than I think? The usual reference sources give his dates as 1905 – 1960, but never any information
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 9, 2007
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      Or am I wrong, and we do actually know more about him than I think? The
      usual reference sources give his dates as 1905 – 1960, but never any
      information regarding his place of birth. He was diminutive in stature,
      and played clarinet in and around Chicago, recording with The Harlem
      Hamfats, Big Bill Broonzy, and, I think, Johnny Temple. He worked in
      the 1950s in bands led by Lil Armstrong and Baby Dodds, and also worked
      with Natty Dominique. No-one, not even Bill Russell, appears to have
      interviewed him. Can anyone out there add anything to our knowledge of
      this interesting musician?
      Robert Greenwood.
    • Wouter Maréchal
      Indeed, Robert, nothing much known about this Odell Rand even John Chilton s Who s Who of Jazz doesn t reveal much. Rand must have been a busy accompanists, he
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 9, 2007
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        Indeed, Robert,
        nothing much known about this Odell Rand even John Chilton's Who's Who of Jazz doesn't reveal much.
        Rand must have been a busy accompanists, he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy, Jimmie Gordon, Harlem Hamfats, Rosetta Howard, Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon, Arthur McKay,Al Miller, Jimmy Oden, Palooka Washboard Band, Johnnie Temple, Sam Theard, Oscar Chicago Swingers and Leonard Scott (prob). Mayby the most brecent Brian Rust discography has some additions.

        Regards,
        Wouter M.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Howard Rye
        ... The only bibliography I ve ever found if Paige Van Vorst s Harlem Hamfats article in Mississippi Rag (1977). Given that he was active right up to his death
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 9, 2007
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          on 9/3/07 11:16, Robert Greenwood at robertgreenwood_54uk@... wrote:

          >Or am I wrong, and we do actually know more about him than I think? The
          >usual reference sources give his dates as 1905 – 1960, but never any
          >information regarding his place of birth. He was diminutive in stature,
          >and played clarinet in and around Chicago, recording with The Harlem
          >Hamfats, Big Bill Broonzy, and, I think, Johnny Temple. He worked in
          >the 1950s in bands led by Lil Armstrong and Baby Dodds, and also worked
          >with Natty Dominique. No-one, not even Bill Russell, appears to have
          >interviewed him. Can anyone out there add anything to our knowledge of
          >this interesting musician?


          The only bibliography I've ever found if Paige Van Vorst's Harlem Hamfats
          article in Mississippi Rag (1977). Given that he was active right up to his
          death in Chicago on 22 June 1960 this is remarkable.

          There is a 22 year old Odell Rand, who is a messenger, living with his
          parents at 2 Wabash Avenue, Chicago, in the 1930 census, who could well be
          our man. He was Illinois-born, and his parents were both born in Alabama.

          If this is him, he was Odell D. Rand because so shown in the 1910 census at
          age 11 living at 3612 Federal Street, Chicago.


          Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          howard@...
          Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
        • Michael Rader
          Johnny, or is it Johnnie?, Temple would also be with the Harlem Hamfats. There is a photo of Rand playing with a Natty Dominique-led band in the scrapbook
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 9, 2007
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            Johnny, or is it Johnnie?, Temple would also be with the Harlem Hamfats. There is a photo of Rand playing with a Natty Dominique-led band in the "scrapbook" (what it says on the spine) "Bill Russell and some Musical Friends". This photo was also used on the sleeve of a Folklyric LP. Scott Yanow, in the "All MUsic Guide" accuses him of being "(a)n erratic player who often slipped out of tune". The AMG also says he usually played e-flat instead of the more usual b-flat clarinet. I seem to recall reading that that was due to his size.

            Michael Rader
            >
            > Or am I wrong, and we do actually know more about him than I think? The
            > usual reference sources give his dates as 1905 – 1960, but never any
            > information regarding his place of birth. He was diminutive in stature,
            > and played clarinet in and around Chicago, recording with The Harlem
            > Hamfats, Big Bill Broonzy, and, I think, Johnny Temple. He worked in
            > the 1950s in bands led by Lil Armstrong and Baby Dodds, and also worked
            > with Natty Dominique. No-one, not even Bill Russell, appears to have
            > interviewed him. Can anyone out there add anything to our knowledge of
            > this interesting musician?
            > Robert Greenwood.
            >
            >
            >
            >


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          • Robert Greenwood
            Thank you to Howard. I see, once again, the by-now expected anomalies and contradictions regarding birthdates, but we do now have Alabama as a probable
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 10, 2007
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              Thank you to Howard. I see, once again, the by-now expected anomalies
              and contradictions regarding birthdates, but we do now have Alabama as
              a probable birthplace for Rand. No doubt had he come from New Orleans
              the details of his early career would have been gathered more
              assiduously. In an interview published in the 1970s Dick Allen talks
              about how he heard some similarities in Rand's playing to that of Emile
              Barnes. Allen asked Barnes about this, but Barnes said that he had
              never heard of Rand.
              Thanks also to Wouter for listing those musicians with whom Rand
              recorded. He was certainly in demand.
              Michael: the photograph you describe is what I had to go on when saying
              that he had worked with Natty Dominique. I also own a handbill
              advertising a residency that Natty's band played in Chicago. Rand is
              listed in the personnel, which also includes Preston Jackson and Baby
              Dodds. It's not dated, but I think it's from the early 1950s.
              Robert G.
            • Robert Greenwood
              ... as ... Oops! Sorry, Howard! You did say in your e-mail that Rand was born in Illinois and that it was his parents who were from Alabama. Can we conclude,
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 10, 2007
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                --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Greenwood"
                <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thank you to Howard. I see, once again, the by-now expected anomalies
                > and contradictions regarding birthdates, but we do now have Alabama
                as
                > a probable birthplace for Rand.

                Oops! Sorry, Howard! You did say in your e-mail that Rand was born in
                Illinois and that it was his parents who were from Alabama. Can we
                conclude, then, that in Rand we have an instance of a musician not born
                in the south but whose style derives from having heard ex-pat New
                Orleanians in Chicago?

                Robert G.
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