RE: [RedHotJazz] Re: Ernest Virgo/Nelson, was: Oh no, not Flo again
- 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.
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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...?
ps The early Wade Paramounts are prime candidates for remastering/reissue.