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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Frankie Newton

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  • Dan Van Landingham
    Shaw,from what I remember,had read Marx.He wasn t a card carrying Marxist but McCarthy did speak to him about it.Ava Gardner remembered that when she was
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 6, 2008
      Shaw,from what I remember,had read Marx.He wasn't a card carrying Marxist but McCarthy
      did speak to him about it.Ava Gardner remembered that when she was married to the man
      he brought her Marx's Das Kapital to read.McCarthy was to have told Shaw that he was a
      "dupe" of the Communists.Some of the information I have came from Shaw's The Trouble
      with Cinderella plus bios I had read about Lana Turner and Ava Gardner.John Best,who was
      with Shaw between 1937 and '39,once described Newton as a G_d D___ed Communist.I
      was sipping Scotch with him back in 1978 at a concert he gave in Eugene,Oregon.I spoke
      with the man off and on between 1995 until his death a couple of years ago.

      --- On Sat, 12/6/08, rogerstrong257 <roger@...> wrote:

      From: rogerstrong257 <roger@...>
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Frankie Newton
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, December 6, 2008, 12:54 AM

      Thanks for that. I have much of the material that you mention. the
      sides for Bluebird had Newton,Mezz, Pete Brown,James P.Johnson,Al
      Casey,John Kirby, and Cozy Cole. There are a couple of CDs around but
      they tend to repeat the same sides. One is on Archives of Jazz and
      the other on the Afinity label.
      I wouldn't have said that Artie Shaw was a Marxist and I'm not
      sure that he ever said he was. Newton's politics do seem to have been
      far left but just how far left is hard to determine at this stage. I
      would have doubted that McCarthy would have been interested ina
      rather obscure jazz musician-he had bigger prey. It's this and his
      painting as well as the pretty sparse material from people who
      actually knew him that interests me most.

      Roger Strong

      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com, Dan Van Landingham
      <danvanlandingham@ ...> wrote:
      > Regarding Frankie Newton:He had done a tour of duty(so to speak)
      with Mills' Blue Rhythm
      > band in 1937.I had an album I bought back in 1971 that featured
      Mezz Mezzrow on clari-
      > net plus Pete Brown on alto.I've forgotten the personnel of the
      band save the fact that it
      > recorded for Bluebird in 1939.Newton employed singer Billie
      Holiday  in late 1938.She was
      > with Newton until 1939.
      >      Newton was remembered by some musicians as being an ardent
      Marxist:Artie Shaw
      > and Newton were believers in Marxism.I don't know if McCarthy ever
      latched onto him in
      > his witchhunt which ended in 1954.Newton died that year in his
      late '40s.
      >      The album I spoke of was a "revived" Vintage Series which
      never got rave reviews but
      > it didn't save the series from being a success.Columbia, back in the
      early '60s,released a
      > great boxed set which featured a batch of bands I had never heard
      before.It included early
      > recordings which included Newton,Stuff Smith,Charlie Barnet pre
      1939,a few tracks of J-
      > ack Teagarden's 1939 band plus tracks of Bobby Hackett's
      equally unsuccessful 1939
      > band.Also featured on the album were some 1940 Bud Freeman sides I
      had on album cal-
      > led Comes Jazz which featured Teagarden's trombone plus Dave Tough
      on drums.The
      > boxed set I had was called 52nd Street which was  issued on Epic
      circa 1962.There was
      > so much odd ball stuff I had never heard before or since.It seems
      to me that the album was
      > sold by way of Ray Anthony's record shop.If I do anything,I'll
      check out and see if ebay
      > has it on CD.The name of Anthony's record shop was called Big
      Bands '80s.This should
      > help you out.Newton's birth year was in 1906.It's interesting to
      know that Hot Lips Page
      > was born around the same time and both died the same year.
      > From: rogerstrong257 <roger@...>
      > Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Frankie Newton
      > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com
      > Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008, 6:09 PM
      > Hi Yves,
      > I wonder if you can contact me about the material you might have
      > on Frankie Newton. I am still looking for more information about
      > Roger Strong
      > roger@nikau- nursery.co. nz
      > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com, "rogerstrong257" <roger@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com, yves francois <aprestitine@ >
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Roger
      > > > ... please give me a couple of days, I will write some detailed
      > > information re: Newton, I have a full discography* etc, and can
      > > any information you want that is available, Newton happens to be
      > one
      > > of my all time favorite musicians (Lips Page is the other post
      > > Armstrong trumpet I like as much, though several others were also
      > > great), I will respond with quite a bit of data by Monday
      > > > all the best (and I will check some sources re: his paintings I
      > am
      > > very interested as well re his art)
      > > > BTW he did a lot of teaching under privileged students trumpet
      > > lessons ... for free, he was a very principled man, I will also
      > list
      > > some articles, share antidotes from Franz Jackson as well (who
      > played
      > > with him in Boston in 1943) etc
      > > > Yves Francois Smierciak
      > > >
      > > > Yves
      > > Thanks in anticipation! I have always thought that there was
      > a
      > > very vivid character behind the music-a man with many different
      > > facets to his character and talents and man who died much too
      > > as well. Look forward to your reply when ever you have time.
      > >
      > > Roger
      > > > * I will also list what items in a recent CD reissue are NOT
      > solos
      > > by Mr Newton
      > > > --- On Fri, 10/24/08, rogerstrong257 <roger@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > From: rogerstrong257 <roger@>
      > > > Subject: [RedHotJazz] Frankie Newton
      > > > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com
      > > > Date: Friday, October 24, 2008, 9:00 PM
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > I am interested in finding out more about Frankie Newton. The
      > > > material about him in reference books seems to repeat the same
      > > sorts of
      > > > things-that he didn't like Big Bands/that he drank to excess/
      > that
      > > he
      > > > was a political activist/that he painted more than played in
      > > last
      > > > years. He died March 11th,1954 aged only 48. Born january
      > 4th,1906.
      > > > I can find about 45 sides that he recorded but I am interested
      > > > anything has been written about him in the last few years. Do
      > > of
      > > > his painting still exist-what style did he use and indeed
      > anything
      > > new
      > > > or interesting that I can find out about him.
      > > > Can anyone help please?
      > > >
      > >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Van Landingham
      Now that I think about it,Swing Street WAS the name of that boxed set on the old EPlabel issued by Columbia.I also have found out that many of those tracks
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 6, 2008
        Now that I think about it,Swing Street WAS the name of that boxed set on the old EPlabel issued by Columbia.I also have found out that many of those tracks were issued on CBS'
        Collector's Series somtime in the ' 80s.One of my favourite 1941 Harry James sides called
        The Mole.I have a couple of Columbia 78s of the tune which use the same master I heard
        via Billy May's studio band in the early '70s(from that Big Band tribute May did for Capitol
        after Glen Gray died and the project ended up in the hands of Billy May.I knew a number
        of the men who took part on those sessions:Skeets Herfurt on alto sax;John Best was one
        of the trumpeters and Al Hendrickson who did a  couple of sessions on guitar.I coresponded with Skeets from 1982 until his death in 1992.Al Hendrickson was a very dear
        friend  of mine.I lost him in July of 2007 and his wife Patti the year before.Both were buried
        in a Coos Bay,Oregon cemetary.John Best and former Shaw alto saxist Les Robinson
        who played lead alto for Shaw from 1937 until early 1942.John was in Shaw's Navy band
        along with drummer Davey Tough who was Shaw's drummer in late 1941 and early '42.
        The only source of band information was found in Billie Holiday's 1956 bio called Lady
        Sings the Blues which she co-wrote with attorney William Dufty.It was outrageously
        inaccurate when compared to the book Billie's Blues by John Chilton from 1973.


        From: Bob Mates <bluesbob@...>
        Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Frankie Newton
        To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 10:09 PM

        Hi. I remember an Epic boxed set, called Swing Street. It
        originally came out in the mid-'60's. I could be wrong, but I
        think it had Will Bradley's "Beat Me Daddy, 8 to the Bar." I know
        it "Flat Fleet Floogee" by Slim and Slam. It had early
        recordings by big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie, The Spirits of
        Rhythm, and others. I also remember that the Reader's Digest
        Album of the Month had a boxed set, called 52ND STREET, which
        featured mostly old Commodore stuff, by Coleman Hwkins, Chu
        Berry, Lester Young, and a lot of stuff, from that famous town
        Hall Concert, from 1945. Great set! Incidentally, a lot of that
        stuff, (the Commodore recordings), came out on a label, called
        Jazzland, which was popular in the 1950's. They were in real
        thin jackets. I had a bunch of 'em; Jelly Roll Morton; Fats
        Waller; Chu Berry; Jimmy Yancey, Etc. Actually, the label issued
        old Commodore and Victor stuff. They were a lot of fun to
        collect. Well, I've really rambled, and not like the guy the
        song is about! hahaha Bob

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Brown
        I would like to offer sincere thanks to Yves for his exhaustive and profound overview of the work of the wonderful Frankie Newton. I look forward to future
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 11, 2008
          I would like to offer sincere thanks to Yves for his exhaustive and profound
          overview of the work of the wonderful Frankie Newton. I look forward to
          future instalments if possible but appreciate the amount of work involved.

          There are at least a couple of Newton sites online which offer biographies
          and personal reminiscences.

          Critically, I like Charles Fox in 'Essential Jazz Records -1'

          ' Most jazz musicians can contrive to sound either exuberant or melancholy
          but rarely within the same solo. Newton, though, was a trumpeter capable of
          making sudden shifts, able to justify switching from one emotional stance to

          Late lamented Sudhalter in 'Lost Chords' has Frank 'achieving volume and
          high register by pressing the mouthpiece into his upper lip. His sound and
          execution in the final ensembles of quite a few of his records display the
          forced over-percussive attack characteristic of this practice.'

          There is indeed sometimes a strained quality in his work and these technical
          problems may account for the premature end to his career and his switch to
          Flugelhorn and what appears to be bass trumpet. ( There is a photo to be
          found online.)

          This also raises the issues of how both 'incorrect' often self-taught
          technique, especially in brass players, and high note trumpet syndrome have
          moulded the music --- for better or worse.


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