Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Shields 'St Louis Blues' was Bunk Johnson and George Lewis
- Hello Robert and David (and everyone else)
Shields and Nunez were the first two clarinet players from NOLA to record extensively, I would believe that the influence of both players would have reached the homes of aspiring musicians even back home in NOLA. I have read various articles about those two (and Sweatman, though not musicians from NO) impressing clarinet players around the country in the 1918/21 period (most New York musicians did not have a clarinet tradition, so much so that when Jim Europe put a brass and woodwind band together, he needed to find several Puerto Rican musicians to play clarinets), this may explain why some of Shields' solos have become part of the oral tradition of NOLA music (St Louis Blues, but also the "Tiger Rag" Bigard David mentioned)
RE: Race and NO, there was a different way of seeing racial matters with the Creole, the French, the Mexican familial influences in the early days of NO, than the rest of the nation in the early 20th century, so certain musicians of these backgrounds could go from one social (racial?)group to another with an ease unfamiliar to the rest of the USA on the early 20th century (Morton did it in the studios in 1923). Remember that the Tio family were Mexican, this would be close to Nunez, no? The creole families even in present day Afro French societies (Haiti, Mareinique etc) still see such differencs, certainly Morton and Bigard ,both from NOLA, certainly did*. I don't think that, despite what some of some early jazz writers may of thought (shades of Rousseau perhaps?), that most musicians really did not care about the race of who was playing what they were hearing (was it George Lewis that liked Woody Herman's "Woodchoppers Ball", and we all know
Armsrtong's pechant for Lombardo), personally, I believe that lack of pretension regarding where the influence came from is (part of) what makes the music from the early New orleans musicians so attractive, and why it is
so hard to capture the essence of a Dodds, a Lewis or a Barnes by today's more studied musicians.
* wasn't it Barney Bigard speaking of being French on a Down Beat article around 1942/3 that got Bunk so upset not considering himself (Bigard) black.
--- On Tue, 2/24/09, Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
--- In RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@ ...>
> I have found Shields influence on a player who left :-
> 'Barney Bigard's part in Ellington's 1929 'Tiger Rag' is
> virtuoso amplification of what Shields had recorded 11 years
> Harrison ' Essential Jazz Records '.
> I would add that Shields original is itself pretty virtuosic.
From: Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...>
Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Shields 'St Louis Blues' was Bunk Johnson and George Lewis
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 7:30 AM
Racial science, and racial explanations for jazz or anything else
have, of course, rightly been long discredited but, as a means of
dividing up the human race, they have been replaced by
multiculturalism, an ideology no more enlightened or progressive than
racial "science." Behind this issue of the Shields solo possibly
wielding so much influence (and I'm surprised no one has raised the
similar case of Brunis's Tin Roof Blues trombone solo), is there,
might I suggest, some dismay or suspicion (not that I share it, and I
know that David doesn't either) at the very idea that a white
clarinettist may have influenced the playing of black clarinettists?
- <<<It neverceases to amaze me that musicians who had played until the early hours... could a few hours later, (play with) results were often superb...---Nick Dellow>>>
I hope I can be forgiven for telling this swing-era story of the only bona-fide jam session I ever heard involving a major figure.
By 'bona-fide jam session', I don't mean those commercial jam sessions put on by Joe Segal in Chicago where you pay for admission.
Tenor saxophonist Sam Donahue, who idolized Chu Berry, organized a dance band when he got out of the Navy. Sometime around 1946, his band was playing for the waltz crowd at a swanky club in Louisville. Local clarinetist Bobby Jones [who was later in Jack Teagarden's combo when Teagarden died in New Orleans] was at the club, and asked Donahue if he wanted to jam after his gig.
"Donahue's eyes went wide with excitement," said Jones. He was on a tiring road trip, but the prospect of a jam session was too good to turn down.
So, around 2AM, Jones and Donahue turned up at a black night club in an unfashionable section of town, and jammed with the legendary Palmer, a blind, black man with astonishing jazz talent. Palmer had his bass player, and Don DeMichael played drums. On and on they jammed, and when we left to take Donahue to his hotel, it was daylight. Fantastic music. I don't think sessions that good happened much after the 1940s.
---------GILBERT M. ERSKINE
----- Original Message -----
From: Nick Dellow
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:03 PM
Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Shields 'St Louis Blues' was Bunk Johnson and George Lewis
I should think that many jazz and dance bands had a different approach when
it came to the cold red light of the three-minute studio recordings
compared with playing through the smoky yellow haze to real audiences in
dance halls, night clubs and restaurants where numbers could be extended way
beyond three minutes and a more relaxed approach could be taken. It never
ceases to amaze me that musicians who had played until the early hours in
such establishments could a few hours later, after little sleep, find their
way to the recording studio and play again for unseen audiences (and, little
did they realise, for posterity!); they were sometimes cold and tired, and
sometimes hung-over! The results were still often superb, as we know; on the
other hand, Coleman Hawkins more than once observed that the studio
recordings by the Henderson band hardly reflected the band's true drive
when playing on the bandstand.
When I used the term "more accurate reflection" I just meant that it helps
if the recording is being played at the correct pitch and in the correct
key! Perhaps "a better indication" would be more appropriate.
2009/2/26 Patrice Champarou <patrice.champarou@...>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nick Dellow" <nick.dellow@... <nick.dellow%40gmail.com>>
> To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com>>
> Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 2:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Shields 'St Louis Blues' was Bunk Johnson and
> George Lewis
> > There are numerous theories to explain why many early jazz records do not
> > run true at the running speed that the original recording company states
> > is
> > correct (usually 78 or 80 rpm depending on the company), from cold grease
> > and worn gears on the cutting machine to inexperienced operators (hardly
> > likely at Victor though) and even deliberate slowing down of the speed
> > during cutting of the master to increase the "frenetic element" when the
> > recording is subsequently replayed at 78 rpm! The latter has certainly
> > been
> > suggested as the reason for the ODJB Victors sounding so hectic!
> I already did some experimental speed adjustment for blues records, but
> never tried that for jazz. Do you think that lowering some tunes down to
> most probable accurate key would give a reasonable idea of what they
> like, or are there other parameters?
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