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Re: [RedHotJazz] Bernard Wolfe, Mezzrow, and Really the Blues

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  • Tony Standish
    Can t help you there Robert, but your query did prompt me to dig out my ageing Dell paperback of the book (or one of the books, anyway) that changed my life.
    Message 1 of 79 , May 22, 2009
      Can't help you there Robert, but your query did prompt me to dig out my
      ageing Dell paperback of the book (or one of the books, anyway) that changed
      my life.
      For the better?
      Who knows?.
      Mezz was extremely lucky to get the talented Wolfe as co-writer. The two
      obviously shared sociological attitudes and an affinity for the linguistics
      of black and/or Jewish America.
      Down here, we followed Wolfe through one of his other significant works
      (Limbo 90) and locked into the phrase "dodge the steamroller".
      Now I'll have to go to Albibis and buy a copy of RTB and read it all over,
      as my paperback has yellowed so much that it will disintegrate as I turn the
      I never met Mezz, but I did speak to him on the telephone once.
      It was a lazy afternoon at Jazz Journal. The editor, Sinclair Traill, had
      gone off to lunch with some of his cronies. I was back at Willow Vale in
      Shepherds Bush, doing some paste-ups and playing a few records when the
      'phone rang.
      "Jazz Journal" .
      "Is Traill there" said a heavyily accented American voice.
      "No, he's out" said I in a heavily accented Australian voice.
      "Tell him Mezzrow called" said the voice.
      And hung up, before I could say that I'd love to grab a taste of millenium,
      You've got to seize the moment...
      Tony Standish

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert Greenwood" <robertgreenwood_54uk@...>
      To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 6:35 PM
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Bernard Wolfe, Mezzrow, and Really the Blues

      > Can anyone tell me, please, in which edition of Mezzrow's Really the Blues
      > did the afterword by Bernard Wolfe, Mezz's ghostwriter, first appear? I
      > have been asked to write a review of the latest paperback incarnation of
      > RTB and would like to add this information.
      > Can anyone help?
      > Thanks
      > Robert Greenwood.
      > ------------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Howard Rye
      Sadly, I have to report that ³the sweeter side of King Keppard² was a discographical misattribution on which Rudi Blesh built a flight of fancy. This
      Message 79 of 79 , Jun 16, 2009
        Sadly, I have to report that ³the sweeter side of King Keppard² was a
        discographical misattribution on which Rudi Blesh built a flight of fancy.

        This particular piece of tosh is to be found in the ŒPostscript¹ appended to
        later editions of Blesh¹s ŒShining Trumpets¹. Keppard isn¹t even on the
        record cited as proto-Beiderbecke, Doc Cook¹s ŒI Got Worry¹. The trumpeter
        is probably Elwood Graham, whose presence is confirmed by his file
        attribution as a member of the vocal trio on ŒHum and Strum¹. As the date
        is 1928 comment on the likely direction of influence is probably
        superfluous. This is a showband doing what showbands do (giving the public
        what it wants). It would be an exaggeration to call ŒI Got Worry² a
        Whiteman-imitation but they are aiming at the same territory and Graham
        plays in the style he or the arranger considered appropriate for that job. I
        seriously doubt that anything more compliacted is happening.

        Incidentally despite what discographies say about the personnel of this
        session, Doc Poston is certainly present since the files name him as one of
        the vocal trio too, unless there really was a musician called ³Postum² in
        the band.

        on 16/06/2009 18:01, Tommer at tommersl@... wrote:

        > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
        > "Tommer" <tommersl@...> wrote:
        >> > I didn't read this Murray but IMO improvisation on Blues texture (hot) is
        >> different than improvising on the something that wraps the Blues (sweet).
        >> >
        >> > IMO Louis' "West End Blues" the piano is sweet. They also don't swing much.
        >> On the other hand the piano on Johnny Dodds' "New St. Louis Blues" is hot and
        >> they swing. I was reffering to the piano but it is more or less what I feel
        >> about the whole of each of the two.
        >> >
        >> > What I prefer? The hot!
        >> >
        >> > Tommer
        >> >
        > I have to add something accordingly. I think that one of the problems in
        > understanding among Jazz listeners the connection between Jazz and Blues is
        > that because unfair argues. Like, saying anything Louis did was hot which is
        > not true. What those that like "West End Blues" is the virtuoso trumpet thing,
        > but in terms of hot music it is not so much.
        > Why I mentioned this is complicated to explain, first because I saw that West
        > End is regarded by Albert and I am sure others think the same as one of the
        > two (with Singin the Blues) most important records of the 1920's, and for me
        > this record is a symbol to the end of the most powerful Blues era in Jazz,
        > because this as well as Singin are records that goes from collective efforts
        > on Blues texture to virtuoso use of Blues for other things.
        > And I don;t mean 12-bar Blues, because 12-bar can play without improvisation
        > on the texture, as much as other forms can be played inside the texture.
        > What I believe is that because assuming everything Louis did was "hot" is why
        > Rudi Blesh claimed that Bix wasn't influenced by Louis but, he was influenced
        > by the sweeter side of King Keppard.
        > Because assuming everything Louis was doing at the time was hot, causes a
        > problem, how can a always hot musician influence so much a musician Blesh
        > believed was sweet?
        > And this is what confuse people! Because there are romantic descriptions to
        > deal with this.
        > So, Murray omitting Oliver or for that same matter any list is questionnable,
        > at the time Bunk and George Lewis were rediscovered they weren't as able to
        > deal with Blues texture too much. That era is over since the 1920's are over.
        > But, Murray could say that on Bunk because Bunk was from the old times!
        > However, Oliver had Jazz Babies Blues and Alligator and Krooked Blues and
        > Canal Street Blues, and other that were some of the best Blues in Jazz ever
        > recorded IMO. I don't believe he omitted Oliver, maybe he didn't hear the
        > right records or just forgot about him or had a short selevtive or
        > representative list.
        > Tommer

        Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
        Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098

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