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Re: Tommy Ladnier (was re: Hughes Panassie} Challis on Bix reading

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  • Albert Haim
    From Gene Lees in Waiting for Dizzy, New York, Oxford University Press, 1991. Interview of Bill Challis. I asked, Is it true that Bix couldn t read? Or that
    Message 1 of 44 , Jun 30, 2008
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      From Gene Lees in "Waiting for Dizzy," New York, Oxford University
      Press, 1991. Interview of Bill Challis.

      I asked, "Is it true that Bix couldn't read? Or that he just read very
      badly."
      "I think he read badly. I don't say he couldn't read. He'd just sit
      down and he had to work it out. I would write a chorus for him or half
      a chorus. I'd write the harmony. Harmony didn't bother him at all. He
      knew everything. What the next chord was. And I supplied it to him.
      The same with Trumbauer. He could read really, I would say, a little
      better than Bix. But Bix could read. When he sat down along side of
      Fuzzy Farrar and Ray Lodwig, he had no problem following those guys.
      "He'd come to a rehearsal. He'd go over the thing. Ferde would be
      there. If another trumpet player was there, they'd go over it
      together. He could read that. No problem reading that. Especially if
      he was doing it with another guy who could read. He could read some.
      Some."

      Also I have an audio tape (real media streaming file) by Russel B.
      Nye. Recorded August 5, 1972.

      Description: R. B. Nye summarizes his interviews with pianist/arranger
      Bill Challis, trombonist Bill Rank and drummer Chauncey Morehouse, all
      of whom worked with Bix Beiderbecke, and talking about the jazz band
      scene particularly in the 1920's with insights into Beiderbecke,
      Hackett, Armstrong, Whiteman and others. At the beginning of part 1,
      Nye recounts what Challis told him about Bix's skills as a musician.
      Part 1. http://bixography.com/challisinterviewnye.html
      Part 2. http://bixography.com/challisinterviewnyepart2.html

      Bix was not a good sight reader, but he could read and write (at least
      with Challis) music.

      Albert


      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "silverleafjb" <silverleafjb@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Roger,
      > My point of contention was the statement you made that Ladnier had, in
      > your opinion "much great (sic) limitations than Bix did." Frankly, I
      > see no such limitations in Ladnier's playing. Maybe you believe that
      > his playing was limited, but as a musician I was pointing out the
      > fact, not opinion, that Bix was the one with limitations, i.e., his
      > reading ability, which was a severe handicap for him in working for
      > Goldkette and Whiteman - and one which he was keenly aware of, I might
      > add.
      >
      > Clearly you have a great appreciation for Bix. I do too, and his
      > playing was one of the reasons I became involved with playing jazz.
      > But I can't, and never will be able to see any "limitations" with one
      > musician's playing over another. The fact that Bix gives you more
      > plesure than Ladnier is best stated that way, rather than seeing
      > another player whom you don't appreciate as somehow being "limited".
      > Personally, I get the same amount of joy listening to the work of
      > Louis, Bix, Ladnier, Frank Guarente, Freddie Keppard, Tommy Dorsey (on
      > trumpet), Jack Purvis, Roy Eldridge, Bunny Berigan, et. al., I would
      > never deign to say one was "better" than another as a jazz musician. I
      > love them all for their abilities and what they said musically - each
      > wonderfully different from the other.
      >
      > Regarding Armstrong's reading ability, I've been over this several
      > times here and on the Dixieland Jazz Mailing List. Yes, Armstrong
      > could read; he couldn't have played with Fate Marable's band on the
      > Streckfus riverboats if he couldn't. Period - end of story. Marable's
      > was a reading band, especially for a cornet/trumpet player. Louis
      > stated that David Jones, saxophonist and mellophone player with the
      > band, helped him with his reading. Again, as with Ladnier, Louis would
      > not have been able to play with Fletcher Henderson (or King Oliver,
      > for that matter), if he couldn't read. He may not have been a
      > brilliant sight reader, but then again, maybe he was. I just don't
      > have evidence as I do the definite evidence of his ability to read.
      >
      > Frankly, I have as hard a time understanding your lack of appreciation
      > for Ladnier as much as Tommer's lack of appreciation of Bix. But
      > nothing that either of you may write will dim my enthusiasm for either
      > player.
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Chris Tyle
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "rogerstrong257" <roger@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "silverleafjb" <silverleafjb@>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I have to strongly disagree here. As a cornet player of many years,
      > > > the statement about Bix being "better" than Tommy Ladnier is
      > > > poppycock! It's an "apples and oranges" comparison as far as their
      > > > jazz playing is concerned. But, on the technical level, Bix was a
      > > > lousy reader; not so for Ladnier who was accomplished enough to
      > > play
      > > > with the bands of Sam Wooding and Fletcher Henderson. You had to be
      > > > damn sharp as a reader to play with Henderson.
      > > >
      > > > Listen to Ladnier's accompaniment on Bessie Smith's "Foolish Man
      > > > Blues," for example, to illustrate what a fine player Tommy Ladnier
      > > > was. Or, for that matter, any of his sides with Fletcher Henderson
      > > > (especially, "Snag It" with the Dixie Stompers). Or "Play That
      > > Thing"
      > > > by Ollie Powers. Ladnier was a New Orleans, blues-playing, King
      > > Oliver
      > > > inspired player. Bix was not - his inspiration came from elsewhere,
      > > > even though he undoubtedly heard both Oliver and Ladnier.
      > > >
      > > > Cheers,
      > > > Chris Tyle
      > > >
      > > > I certainly agree it's all a matter of opinion and obviously
      > > what you hear when you hear Ladnier is something special-what I hear
      > > is not, especially compared with Bix. Again the influence of black
      > > musicians is a matter of opinion. Poppycock (to you) or not it's my
      > > listening opinion over more than 50 years and has the same validity
      > > as any one else.
      > > I think its a huge red herring to bring in the matter of
      > > ability to read music well or poorly. It fairly well documented that
      > > Louis Amstrong was not a good reader at least initially and possibly
      > > even later in life. I sould say that most poor jazz readers had a
      > > variety of ways to compensate and it certainly didn't affect their
      > > creative abilites. There must have been thousands of good fast
      > > reading section men over the years but the truly creative jazzmen
      > > have been much fewer in number.
      > > Again Bix certainly had a much greater influence (in my opinion)
      > > on other musicians that Ladnier ever did. While not a huge influence
      > > one can hear traces of Bix in many trumpeters even to the present. I
      > > would suggest it would be harder to trace the influence directly of
      > > Ladniers style and sound on other musicians.
      > >
      > > cheers,
      > >
      > > Roger Strong
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Olivier Douville
      > > > <douvilleolivier@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > And what 'bout that dear old Ward Pinkett ?
      > > > > OD
      > > > >
      > > > > To say that Tommy Ladnier was as good or better than Bix may
      > > be
      > > > > your opinion but in mine its complete nonsence!
      > > > > We all have our blind spots with regard to various artists but
      > > > > that is just so weird. I think that in you attempt to make some
      > > racial
      > > > > point you have got more than a little carried away.
      > > > > Of coure I can conceed that you (for some reason) can't hear
      > > > > anything special in Bix' playing but I am doubly surprised that
      > > you
      > > > > hear anything great in Ladnier's playing He had much great
      > > limitations
      > > > > than Bix did.
      > > > >
      > > > > Roger Storng
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Olivier Douville
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Directeur de publication de PSYCHOLOGIE CLINIQUE
      > > > >
      > > > > 22, rue de la Tour d'Auvergne 75009 Paris
      > > > > tel : 06 77 69 24 51
      > > > > ou
      > > > > 01 53 20 91 81
      > > > >
      > > > > douvilleolivier@
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > liens
      > > > > http://www.dunod.com/pages/ouvrages/ficheouvrage.asp?id=49180
      > > > > http://www.psycho-ressources.com/olivier-douville.html
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • Mordechai Litzman
      Growing up in Sweden I met Orjan Kjellin (and Lars Ivar Edegran, p) in 1962 playing in the Imperial Band. This band was modeled on the early American revival
      Message 44 of 44 , Jul 3 2:33 PM
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        Growing up in Sweden I met Orjan Kjellin (and Lars Ivar Edegran, p) in 1962 playing in the Imperial Band. This band was modeled on the early American revival bands from the 40's and 50's. They recorded their first titles on Sture Hallstom's Pirate Records. On a pre Katarina visit to New Orleans a few years ago I found a CD issued on GHB BCD-144 with all their 17 recorded titles. These recordings have stood the test of time. How a bunch of Swedish teenagers aged 17-18 could sound almost as good as the 1953 Delmark recordings of Geo Lewis is beyond me.


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: silverleafjb <silverleafjb@...>
        To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 6:58:32 PM
        Subject: [RedHotJazz] Orange Kellin


        Yes, I'm aware that Orange Kellin was born and spent his early years in
        Sweden. But, he has spent most of his life in New Orleans playing New
        Orleans jazz. Hence, in my mind, he's a New Orleans clarinetist.

        BTW, I work and have worked with Orange quite a bit. He was a member of
        my Silver Leaf Jazz Band in New Orleans and I work with his group the
        New Orleans Blues Serenaders. I will be playing the Edinburgh jazz
        festival later this month with Orange.

        Cheers,
        Chris Tyle






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