Big Eye on Buddy Bolden
- I came across this today and thought it of interest:-
From *"Big Eye" Louis Nelson* in *The Jazz Record*, June 1946, by Robert
Suddenly a question flashed through my mind:
"Louis, you knew Buddy Bolden pretty well didn't you?"
"Sure, as well as you, that is, I mean a lot better."
"Bob Lyons contends that Buddy didn't start to play until about 1900"
"I guess that's right"
I opened a copy of *Jazzmen* which contained the letter from Bunk
Johnson in which he stated that he left [Adam] Oliver's orchestra to join
King Bolden in 1895. I even pointed out a certain sentence:
"When I started playing with him, Bolden was a married man and two
children. He must have been between 25 and 30 years old at the time."
Alphonse Picou had come up to us and both of them stood for a while
thinking. Picou was the first to speak:
"That's impossible. Emmanuel Perez was the first jazz trumpeter in about
1898, and Bolden came after that."
"Bunk Johnson's statement is impossible" added Louis......"Besides," he
added, "I have positive proof".
He pulled out his wallet and extracted an article from the
"Times-Picayune" of July 1900.
"Here's the date that doesn't lie. Its the announcement of my father's
death. That week I was playing at Club 28 with Buddy Bolden, and at that
time he didn't even have his own orchestra. He was just a young apprentice
playing the accordion and making his first attempts on the trumpet."
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