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Re: [RedHotJazz] Arnett Nelson

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  • Howard Rye
    I don t think we can possibly say that Lee Collins mistook him for N.O. Collins knew him well, but he knew him as a man who had played his very first job in
    Message 1 of 38 , Apr 4, 2008
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      I don't think we can possibly say that Lee Collins "mistook him for N.O."
      Collins knew him well, but he knew him as a man who had "played his very
      first job in New Orleans with my father's band after Lorenzo Tio, Sr. left"
      (Oh Didn't He Ramble, p.59).
      It seems to me that we need assume no more from this than that Arnett made
      the show-business pilgrimage to N.O. in search of work, and got some. But in
      any case there must be some confusion here because Tio, Sr. had retired from
      music and moved to Alabama in 1906.

      Collins describes Nelson as "a great clarinet player but had a weird style,
      something like Wilbur Sweatman." "Arnett's biggest trouble was that he liked
      to do tricks with his clarinet; he would take it all apart and play it."
      Sweatman, who was also notorious for such tricks and concealed his abilities
      as a jazz musician from later enthusiasts even more successfully than
      Arnett, was born and raised in Missouri, which rather supports your
      deductions.

      There are several photos of the Wade band with Nelson accompanying Ralph
      Gulliver's research in Storyville 55. As the heart of this research is the
      recollections and identifications of trombonist Bill Dover (pronounced
      Duvver, rather than like the English seaport) I think they are beyond doubt.

      Nelson wrote Buddy's Habit, which was copyrighted on 11 May 1923.


      on 4/4/08 9:57, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

      Many many thanks to Bob and Howard.

      I discover that Ellisville is only 13 miles from St Louis and a long, long
      way from N.O. If Arnett was resident in this area till at least age 25
      difficult to understand how Lee Collins mistook him for N.O. Can anybody who
      has the Collins add ? Also difficult to understand how he is supposed to
      have absorbed 'Creole' clarinet style. Much more likely that St Louis was
      prime influence.

      I've just listened the Wades and both 'Mobile Blues' 1923 and 'Gates Blues'
      1928 offer low-register, rather rudimentary clarinet solos. Nothing here
      with Rev. Thacker's 'portamentos' redolent of N.O. Creole clarinet style.
      The Wade photo on RHJ shows a supposed Arnett holding a tenor with a soprano
      in front of him and there may also be a clarinet. The Mutts 1929 also offer
      clarinet soloist with similar style although more obviously Dodds
      influenced. I suggest that any N.O. in Nelson was derived from Dodds, whose
      style was dominant on the South Side in the 20s.

      Also the various styles, as even noted by Virgo, are always suspicious of
      various players.

      What other clarinettists were active in Chicago blues area in the 30s ?

      Dave

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


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




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    • David Weiner
      ... Don t forget, Gerry, that many bands had tuba and string bass side by side at the same time - this is readily apparent in many of the Vitaphone shorts of
      Message 38 of 38 , Jul 26, 2010
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        >
        > So now limiting the discussion to "big band/large ensemble" and avoiding
        > string-bands, quartets/quintets: I had always assume that this
        > setting--for recordings--generally had tuba. As such I was looking for who
        > began using string bass as a replacement for tuba, if it concentrated in
        > one or a few individual groups.
        >
        > .
        >
        > -- Gerry
        >
        >
        Don't forget, Gerry, that many bands had tuba and string bass side by side
        at the same time - this is readily apparent in many of the Vitaphone shorts
        of 1927-30 - often, a band also had a banjoist and a guitarist playing
        simultaneously, too. There are numerous records - like Gus Arnheim's "One
        More Time," from 1931, where tuba is in use on the first half of the disc,
        with a switchover to string bass for the "hot" final choruses to add an
        extra measure of excitement to the performance.

        Dave Weiner
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