Re: [RedHotJazz] Why do we know so little about Odell Rand?
- 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.
> 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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- 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.
- --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "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
> 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?