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RE: [RedHotJazz] Re: Ernest Virgo/Nelson, was: Oh no, not Flo again

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  • David Brown
    Hello JT Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to offend and will withdraw phantom and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you
    Message 1 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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      Hello JT

      Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to offend and
      will withdraw 'phantom' and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you like.

      I never knew Ernest Virgo but actually find his unbridled obsessive
      enthusiasm for Arnett in many ways admirable. But he had a far from hidden
      agenda -- to place his hero on as many sessions as possible.

      What we now have is a report from Rains from a report from Gladen of an
      undefined hearsay report of Eva. Is this the only evidence for trying to
      find Wade musicians on Clarence sessions ?

      'Flo' leapt into the saddle here due to the apparent Dodds influence,
      somewhat anomalous in NYC. Careful and sustained listening through all the
      possibilities brought me to the conviction that it is Arville, working back
      from the cast iron Arville we have, the Waller Buddies, through to the
      clinching Tibbs sides of 1928. Arville was a decent journeyman player and,
      as I wrote yesterday, care must be taken in approaching his ascribed
      presence. I think that several examples exist of him being falsely debited ,
      like Ed as catch-all, with the work of lesser players. But I agree that ears
      are subjective.

      As you say, so little substantiated King and I have heard nothing remotely
      like 'Flo'. What examples do you cite ?

      We have done Arnett here before several times and I've just checked the
      Archive and there is some debate on just how great was his connection to
      N.O. He was born Ellisville MS, 8.3.1892, 146 miles from N.O., and is still
      shown near there on census 1917. This contradicts reports that he arrived in
      Chicago in 1916.

      We have also well done here the mythical Uptown/Downtown N.O. clarinet
      'schools'. Oh, I'd better make that unsubstantiated.

      I have never listened for Wade on 'Flo' but shall now do so.

      Dave





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Brown
      Back again. That didn t take long. It sounds, as always, like Ed and that rudimentary fiddle could never be The Dark Angel . On Eva. I reckon the poor old
      Message 2 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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        Back again. That didn't take long. It sounds, as always, like Ed and that
        rudimentary fiddle could never be 'The Dark Angel'.

        On Eva. I reckon the poor old lady got flummoxed and/or pissed by all the
        questions and came up with anything, such as 'Thomas', to keep the man
        quiet. I just cannot imagine her volunteering the fact that she worked with
        the Wade band. I can imagine her being asked if she ever worked with the
        Wade band.

        Dave





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Howard Rye
        It hardly needs saying but I can confirm that the same applies to Dixon and Godrich. There were no academic grants for this work. Whatever was produced had to
        Message 3 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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          It hardly needs saying but I can confirm that the same applies to Dixon and
          Godrich. There were no academic grants for this work. Whatever was produced
          had to be affordable to the collectors who were the only source of finance.
          This meant compromise, compromise, compromise, all the way, and we are all
          lumbered with the resuilts.

          The biggest problem is ³inherited personnels², those which have been
          accepted by collectors since forever. With a sufficiently thorough search of
          John Godrich¹s files it is often possible to produce reasons for decisions
          he made, and I hope I can always justify subsequent changes (which doesn¹t
          mean that I am always willing or able to devote the time to doing so just
          because someone is curious. Sorry.), but in the nature of the case (Dixon &
          Godrich both had day jobs) they had no alternative but to accept personnels
          which were ³already established², often for records that only two or three
          informants had then heard, and one of them possibly very anxious to increase
          the sale value by reporting someone important and desirable on it. And this
          factor is much more forcefully operative with jazz instrumentals, along with
          the widespread conviction that every solo that isn¹t actually incompetent
          must be by a musician who has already been heard of.

          Looked at like this it¹s a wonder the whole thing isn¹t a worse mess than it
          is!




          on 16/10/2009 01:40, jtdyamond at fearfeasa@... wrote:

          > He
          > was hampered, as we all are, by the fact that neither Rust nor Dixon &
          > Godrich found it necessary to detail the bases on which their personnel
          > ascriptions were made. (Brian Rust once told me in a letter that this
          > was for lack of space.)
          >
          >
          >


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




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • jtdyamond
          There s nothing mythical about there being two broad NO clarinet schools, whatever present-day iconoclasts might posit. It arises out of the way society was
          Message 4 of 24 , Oct 17, 2009
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            There's nothing mythical about there being two broad NO clarinet
            schools, whatever present-day iconoclasts might posit. It arises out of
            the way society was organised in the city. Check Gumbo Ya-Ya.

            There may have been some debate as to how much of a connection Arnett
            had with NO; there was also a claim that his birthplace was in Missouri,
            if I remember correctly. Not all debate is informed. The area he was
            born in was within the socio-commercial ambit of NO - the NO hinterland
            if you like. As a musician he would have been drawn to the city, just as
            Oliver, Ory, Bunk and so many others were. He may have spent time in
            travelling bands with tent shows or on the vaudeville circuits passing
            through NO and so on and so forth. Check out the train lines, too.

            On the apparent Dodds influence on the Flo clarinettist: doesn't that
            argue against Arville Harris? There's nothing in his authenticated
            recordings to suggest Dodds, and he was a New York man. King on the
            other hand was Chicago-based and must have heard Dodds live in various
            cabarets.

            Didn't Yves François list some of King's recordings back in July or
            August in this thread?

            JT

            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hello JT
            >
            > Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to
            offend and
            > will withdraw 'phantom' and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you
            like.
            >
            > I never knew Ernest Virgo but actually find his unbridled obsessive
            > enthusiasm for Arnett in many ways admirable. But he had a far from
            hidden
            > agenda -- to place his hero on as many sessions as possible.
            >
            > What we now have is a report from Rains from a report from Gladen of
            an
            > undefined hearsay report of Eva. Is this the only evidence for trying
            to
            > find Wade musicians on Clarence sessions ?
            >
            > 'Flo' leapt into the saddle here due to the apparent Dodds influence,
            > somewhat anomalous in NYC. Careful and sustained listening through all
            the
            > possibilities brought me to the conviction that it is Arville, working
            back
            > from the cast iron Arville we have, the Waller Buddies, through to the
            > clinching Tibbs sides of 1928. Arville was a decent journeyman player
            and,
            > as I wrote yesterday, care must be taken in approaching his ascribed
            > presence. I think that several examples exist of him being falsely
            debited ,
            > like Ed as catch-all, with the work of lesser players. But I agree
            that ears
            > are subjective.
            >
            > As you say, so little substantiated King and I have heard nothing
            remotely
            > like 'Flo'. What examples do you cite ?
            >
            > We have done Arnett here before several times and I've just checked
            the
            > Archive and there is some debate on just how great was his connection
            to
            > N.O. He was born Ellisville MS, 8.3.1892, 146 miles from N.O., and is
            still
            > shown near there on census 1917. This contradicts reports that he
            arrived in
            > Chicago in 1916.
            >
            > We have also well done here the mythical Uptown/Downtown N.O. clarinet
            > 'schools'. Oh, I'd better make that unsubstantiated.
            >
            > I have never listened for Wade on 'Flo' but shall now do so.
            >
            > Dave
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Brown
            Hello JT I think we well rehearsed here the arguments for and against the N.O. clarinet schism theory as well as more generally the Uptown/Downtown schism
            Message 5 of 24 , Oct 19, 2009
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              Hello JT

              I think we well rehearsed here the arguments for and against the N.O.
              clarinet schism theory as well as more generally the Uptown/Downtown schism
              theory. I don't want to repeat and refer you to the archive. The threads
              often get altered but a search with Dodds would find most of the material. I
              would certainly welcome comment from so informed a source.

              We also touched on the argument you seem to advocate of social history over
              art history i.e. that social conditions in N.O. were dominant over artistic
              in deciding the shape of the music. The starting point for our previous
              debate was the lack of apparent influence left by Dodds, and the postulated
              pre-existent Uptown blues clarinet school, apart from a few examples such as
              Willie Joseph and Andrew Morgan. But really very little and none later than
              late 20s and none from the revival.

              Also nowhere in any of the eye witness accounts do we have a single name of
              a non-Creole clarinettist. Dodds himself, although not apparently taught by
              Tio, was taught my Charlie McCurdy/McCurtis, a straight reading musician. If
              we believe Dodds is on the Oliver CJB 'Zulu's Ball' session he shows
              himself to be capable, expert even, in standard Creole clarinet style.

              I suggest that the Uptown blues clarinet school was devised to explain the
              unacceptable creative originality of the man known as 'Toilet'. Evidence is
              that Dodds ran with Bechet and Milé Barnes and that their styles were
              individually and collectively formed on the basis of that of Louis Nelson
              Delisle, a Creole, well fringe Creole.

              As to Arnett, I think Bob Eagle found definitive biographical details from
              census. His style seems eclectic and to defy geographical classification.

              As to Arville, I did find and cite further examples of his playing in 'Flo'
              style. Arguable whether it's Dodds influence. Bob Fuller was surely the
              dominant East Coast clarinet stylist and I would place Arville under his
              sphere. Fuller can also sound, at times, not a million miles from Dodds. I
              have no sure way to account for this but I believe that the CJB records
              would have been in wide circulation among musicians. I could also not
              discount the existence of an independent, if not hermetic, East Coast
              clarinet style which arrived at some of the same solutions as Dodds.

              I could find no similarity to 'Flo' in the King sides cited. The
              attributions are anyway seriously insecure and the playing there far more
              redolent of Noone, next to whom King sat with Cook, than to Dodds.

              Dave





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            • spacelights
              On the subject of the Wade band in New York... is this the basis for the Perry Bradford Timeless CD s firm identification of a Wade group on the 1926 Georgia
              Message 6 of 24 , Nov 15, 2009
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                On the subject of the Wade band in New York... is this the basis for the Perry Bradford Timeless CD's firm identification of a Wade group on the 1926 Georgia Strutters dates? Do our Arnett Nelson researchers hear him on the Strutters' Wasn't It Nice?/Original Black Bottom Dance?

                Here's a relevant (if somewhat open to interpretation) excerpt from Bradford's 1965 memoir... He attributes this quote to Eddie South:

                "...Perry gave Jimmy Wade's band our first break when we came to New York... yes, he laid four recording dates on us, and through Perry's efforts we got a five months' engagement at Club Alabam. Our band followed Fletcher (Smack) Henderson into this exclusive club when Smack moved into the Roseland Ballroom."

                Wade's group recorded with Bradford for Gennett in April 1927; the other dates seem to be the OKeh Bradfords...?

                John

                ps The early Wade Paramounts are prime candidates for remastering/reissue.
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