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Re: [RedHotJazz] Keep The Spoon Out Of Your Cup was Button Up Your Overquote

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  • Gilber M. Erskine
    I have been following the recent posts here on New Orleans clarinetists with great interest. Here are a few rambling and random items--- [1] I was in New
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 5 6:42 PM
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      I have been following the recent posts here on New Orleans clarinetists with great interest. Here are a few rambling and random items---
      [1] I was in New Orleans on family vacation in the summer of 1946 and met Sam Ruvidiitch and Bill Bowers just before they met and recorded Emile Barnes. After he got back to New York, Sam sent me a copy of one of the tunes they recorded. I'm sorry to say I was not too impressed, maybe because the other musicians were not up to it.
      [2] By a WIDE margin, the New Orleans clarinetists were vastly superior to most all others in playing the blues. And the examples are multiple: Leon Roppolo, Sidney Bechet, Sidney Arodin, Albert Nicholas, Irving Fazola, Johnny Dodds, Edmond Hall, Larry Shields, George Lewis, Lester Bouchon, Raymond Burke, Jimmie Noone. When clarinetist Gus Mueller quit Paul Whitemans's band in the early '20s, one of the reasons he gave was "None of you know how to play the blues". BTW, if anyone has a copy of the Creole lable "Slow Blues" that Raymond Burke made in the early 1940s in Kansas City, I will pay a premium price for it.
      3] Most New Orleans clarinetists do not like the styles of Frank Teschemacher and Pee Wee Russell. I think it has to to with the clarinet tone. Barney Bigard once cancelled his subscription to DownBeat because Teschemacher won a ciritcs poll. When Raymond Burke heard Pee Wee's break at the end of "Serenade to a Shylock" [Jam Session at Commodore]. he just shook his head in disapproval.
      4] I've recently become obsessed with the tune "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me" and still play the Louisiana Five recording in 1919 with Acide "Yellow" Nunez, in spite of the primitive sound. The tune was recorded extensively in 1919 and 1920, and became a classic standard after Jimmie Noone's 1928 recording. Wild Bill Davison has done it multiple times from the 1950s until his death. I am astonished to find that my all time favorite performance of this tune is in a video clip of the Swedish trumpeter, Hans Carling, and his 15-year old son Max, at a concert in Poland in 1984. They are playing with a group of Polish musicians, and it is quite remarkable. The rhythm section is superb and the recording balance is professional. Give a listen especially to soprano saxaphonist Frans Sjostrom---
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EV-n6nkjrM

      -----GILBERT M. ERSKINE

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David Brown
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:44 AM
      Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Keep The Spoon Out Of Your Cup was Button Up Your Overquote


      Sincere thanks to Robert, to whom I bow on matters N.O. and from whom we do
      not hear enough, quoting or otherwise.

      First for the 'St Louis Blues' overview and do you hear these as copies of
      the Shields or a previously existent traditional blues 'solo' ?

      I'm still slogging through first hand N.O. but what strikes is much
      contradiction Uptown/Downtown, not least in geographical anomalies such as
      you describe with George.

      BUT everywhere is the idea that the music was universal and ubiquitous.

      ' the white and coloured musicians around N.O. all knew each other and there
      wasn't any Jim Crow between them. They didn't really care what color you
      were and I played with a lot of them around N.O.'

      -- to, hopefully, not overquote Pops Foster again.

      he also interestingly claims that :-

      ' the Dixieland band in those days was a mixed band and nobody paid any
      attention. The leader was Larry Shields and you had Achille Baquet playing
      with them. He was coloured and went all over with them.'

      Achille was born 1886 and must therefore be in the frame as a formative
      influence on Shields.

      All accounts have indeed the Creoles, on a socially downward path, as the
      most evilly racially conscious.

      Do you agree Bethel's thesis would seem to undermine the existence of polar
      extremes Uptown/Downtown which somehow merged into jazz as we know it ?

      I have in front of me now probably the first ever George interview from 'The
      Jazz Record' in 'Skip The Gutter' which must be about 1945. He mentions
      Picou, George Baquet, Charles McCurtis (sic) and Lorenzo Tio and especially
      Bechet. No Dodds nor Nelson. George did not start playing clarinet till 1916
      and Dodds left N.O. permanently in 1919 and was absent for periods before
      that. I wonder at the Dodds influence that has been ascribed to George and
      whether he was maybe not answering what he thought 'The Man' wanted to hear.

      Dave

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    • David Brown
      Hello Gilbert Always nice to hear from you especially as you were there whereas we only have the records and the books. What do you make of Uptown clarinet
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 5 11:53 PM
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        Hello Gilbert

        Always nice to hear from you especially as you were there whereas we only
        have the records and the books.

        What do you make of Uptown clarinet style ? Did it still exist -- assuming
        it ever did exist -- in your time in N.O. and if so what players ?

        You are spot on about N.O. clarinet players and blues and this could be
        extended to N.O. players generally.

        I know we discussed the wonderful Ray Burke before and your report of him
        listening to PWR. I had assumed he admired PWR but that is apparently not
        the case ?

        Yes, technique -- proper technique -- is stressed as paramount in accounts
        of early N.O. 'Illegitimate' tone was not prized maybe until Oliver whose
        use of mutes seems to have been widely admired. And maybe here we have the
        reason why Dodds left about no legacy in N.O.

        Dave





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      • Robert Greenwood
        ... wrote: First for the St Louis Blues overview and do you hear these as copies of the Shields or a previously existent traditional blues solo ?~ I don t
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 6 1:20 AM
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          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
          wrote:
          "First for the 'St Louis Blues' overview and do you hear these as
          copies of
          the Shields or a previously existent traditional blues 'solo' ?~

          I don't know what it is. How could I? The truth is that, by now,
          we'll never know what the truth is. One can only keep an open mind.
          Black American musicians used whatever they felt would make them
          better, even more employable, musicians whether it derived from
          klezmer, the cries of street vendors, or recordings of the ODJB.

          "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...> wrote:
          "George did not start playing clarinet till 1916
          and Dodds left N.O. permanently in 1919 and was absent for periods
          before
          that. I wonder at the Dodds influence that has been ascribed to
          George and
          whether he was maybe not answering what he thought 'The Man' wanted
          to hear."

          Bethell quotes George Lewis as having heard Dodds in New Orleans in a
          band with Louis and Ory.
        • David Brown
          I don t know either but my informed opinion is that they were copying the Shields solo. How this so entered the public domain I have no idea. Possibly one
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 6 1:45 AM
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            I don't know either but my informed opinion is that they were copying the
            Shields solo. How this so entered the public domain I have no idea.
            Possibly one player copied it first -- Milé -- and the others copied him. I
            don't think they all sat round and studied the record. Maybe they heard it
            from brother Harry who reported that he copied it note for note and always
            played it. How did Picou's solo on 'High Society' become standard ?

            Did George ever claim Dodds influence ?





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          • Dan Van Landingham
            Just what is Uptown clarinette style?I ve never heard the term before.When I think of the likes of Nunez,Shields,Tio and the rest,I only know of Louisiana
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 6 8:35 PM
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              Just what is "Uptown" clarinette style?I've never heard the term before.When I think of the
              likes of Nunez,Shields,Tio and the rest,I only know of "Louisiana Traditional Jazz" versus
              the so-called "Chicago Style" type of jazz.At any rate,I really enjoy reading these blogs
              as I am constantly learning something new from this website.For Howard Rye:I used to
              have an old British Decca 78 by the Harry Roy band called "Stepping Out at Midnight" or
              something like that(the obverse is "Barrel House Boogie" not to be confused with a Harry
              "The Hipster" Gibson Musicraft 78 with the same title).It was a great band.As for the title,
              the hole in the center of the record was enlarged due to hard use by whomever owned the
              record years before I bought it in 1969 at a Salvation Army thirft store in Coos Bay,Oregon.
              The only other bands from England I was somewhat more familiar with were Ambrose,Ray
              Noble and his New Mayfair Orchestra(on HMV)and Jack Hylton.Somewhere I have an old
              CD of Coleman Hawkins circa 1939 and the very last track was Hawkins with Jack Hylton's
              band.The only other English bands I have heard were by  George Chisolm,Ted Heath and
              another band whose leader's name escapes me at present.His band appeared here some
              forty five or so years ago and a label called "Top Rank".It was another good band;the only
              cut I recall from the album was called "Blue Denham" and "London Derierre".

              --- On Fri, 2/6/09, David Brown <johnhaleysims@...> wrote:

              From: David Brown <johnhaleysims@...>
              Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Keep The Spoon Out Of Your Cup was Button Up Your Overquote
              To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, February 6, 2009, 1:53 AM






              Hello Gilbert

              Always nice to hear from you especially as you were there whereas we only
              have the records and the books.

              What do you make of Uptown clarinet style ? Did it still exist -- assuming
              it ever did exist -- in your time in N.O. and if so what players ?

              You are spot on about N.O. clarinet players and blues and this could be
              extended to N.O. players generally.

              I know we discussed the wonderful Ray Burke before and your report of him
              listening to PWR. I had assumed he admired PWR but that is apparently not
              the case ?

              Yes, technique -- proper technique -- is stressed as paramount in accounts
              of early N.O. 'Illegitimate' tone was not prized maybe until Oliver whose
              use of mutes seems to have been widely admired. And maybe here we have the
              reason why Dodds left about no legacy in N.O.

              Dave

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