Re: [RedHotJazz] Jackson´s Southern Stompers
- Hello KB (please excuse my not knowing your full name) and all else re: the Marathon 78
I have spent the morning (and part of the afternoon) reading this excellent note regarding the Marathon Jackson 78 and have come up with a couple of conclusions.
KB - you are right, i was looking for DeParis and Waters, and the same type of arrangements that the Johnson band recorded for Victor. They are playing "stock" arrangements - probably sight reading them as well. The band does an excellent job. This "vertical" quality of reading is akin to the way the Jackson band plays it's stocks - HOWEVER I did notice a difference or two to the Jackson band and one is in the drums - they (the Marathon 78) swing like crazy (and I am doing this off the Hot and Sweet CD - a transfer rather similar to the Ristic and gaps LP's - will hope to get frogspawn in the next couple of weeks), in the same manner as Stafford on the Condon session from Feb 1929 and the Johnson band.
I also know that personnel of Harlem bands in the 20's are not as static as we think. Two things, the September 19 1928 session has the incredible "Walk That Thing"- about the closest we have in the tempo and musicians to the Marathon 78 (also closest in the time recorded). The arrangement is what is most different - and the trumpet. I also know that the two titles were recorded by Frankie Trumbauer in July and September 1928, so the Marathon would be of course recorded in the fall of 1928. I also know that Eddie Condon sites hearing the band in very late 1928 or very early 1929 (referring to the personnel he chosen for the Feb 1929 session w the 3 aforementioned musicians)and was most impressed in Leonard Davis (trumpet), George Stafford (drums) and ... Happy Caldwell on tenor sax. Funny, I thought Waters was with the band until 1932, could of he been out for a few weeks - who know now. Chilton also notes Caldwell being in the band (prob per Caldwell
- maybe as a sub, as he also notes Henderson - again I need to go to the library and read Mr caldwell's interview on Storyville) sometime before joining Vernon Andrade in 1929 (a bandleader who did not let his musicians sit in other bands, sub or record, but then Vernon did had a track record of sewing up good gigs).
What makes me rethink that it's the Johnson band is reading what you wrote, I needed to check some more extroverted Leonard Davis than on the Johnson Victor's - and yes, the trumpet is very similar to the trumpet on the Eddie Condon session - as is the drums. If Waters truly is not on the session (and it sounds like a typical harlem tenor man - Langhorn, Caldwell etc) - are we opposed to saying it could be the Johnson band without Sidney deParis and Benny Waters?? After all Condon heard the band and Caldwell was on tenor sax - could of Happy been the first call sub, or was Happy a member for a few weeks (Waters did speak of himself being rather inconsistent of a person in the early days before he gave up drinking) It sounds a little like caldwell - or any really ypical harlem tenor - slap tongue and all.
I wanted to tank you for pointing to Davis as the trumpet (the trumpet on this record floors me - as he does on the Eddie's Hot Shots), it made me listen to the record about 10 times today - and also to listen to the later Victor's and the Condon Hot Shots session - any reactions?
BTW when I question, I do feel that questioning such data is necessary to come to as close of a truth we can, without iron clad data that a personnel sheet or record label files can give us. I remember one LP with Punch Miller being accredited to the King Mutts - but that is another e mail that has been taken care of here months ago.
PS K.B. a bandleader - I too am a musician, and have transcribed a couple of old harlem charts ("Horse Feathers" and "Harlem Drag" being two of them) for my bands as well - have you recorded them, would be fascinated to hear them
all the best and thank for the persuasive argument for this record being the Johnson band - and ANY excuse to put on any record by that band is certainly worth it!! - I questioned it due to the "reading" of the horn section regarding the arrangements (you know when a musiicans sight reads he will play the part "stiffer" than knowing the song, and not hearing deParis and Waters - comments??
PS would love your take on the first two Johnson sessions, the Emerson (1925) and the first Victor w Jabbo - re the Emerson - Aiken on trumpet? - and the first Victor - I believe Thomas Morris is the other trumpet with Jabbo, do you??
--- On Mon, 11/9/09, kbrau44 <kbrau44@...> wrote:
From: kbrau44 <kbrau44@...>
Subject: [RedHotJazz] Jackson´s Southern Stompers
Date: Monday, November 9, 2009, 5:56 AM
When receiving Ristic 26 about 40 years ago, I immediately wrote a letter to John R.T. expressing my assumption, that this was the Charlie Johnson band. First of all was the drumming absolutely identical to that of George Stafford, second the bjo-playing was of the Bobby Johnson kind, third Harrison was easily identifiable and the overall sound was what I knew of this band. John R.T. did not agree but I was happy when in later years I found my assumption listed in RUST 4.
There really is no band that I have studied more than the Johnson band. It still is my favorite, and I have copied most of their arrangements for my own band. Today I am collating everything to be found in the books about them, hoping to publish the material in the future. And out of my knowledge I am pretty sure that the Jacksons are the Johnsons.
I admit that I do not identify de Paris, but Leonard Davis instead. And I do hear B. Waters, although he himself has denied his presence in later years. For me there is no resmblance to the Jackson´s Crazy Cats.
By the way, Rev. Jackson was "one pseudonym which Joe Davis himself used" (Never Sell A Copyright p. 45) and : "it is by no means impossible for this to be a Joe-Davis-arranged group" (same). It should have been easy to hire the Johnson band under a pseudonym with so little recording activities at hand! According to my files the personnel is that of the second half of 1928.
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- Listening ten or so times for the trumpet really is dedication ;-) and if the Hot'n'Sweet uses the Davies transfer, it can't entirely be torture. After what KB said, I listened particularly for the drums and the rhythm section and while I think I hear drums similar to those on the Charlie Johnson Victors, especially in one passage towards the end of "Dusky Stevedore", I'm also fairly sure that it is Cyrus St. Clair on the brass bass instrument - when he come to the foreground, he sounds like the St. Clair we all know from Clarence Williams recordings (e.g. the QRS "Midnight Stomp"). Now I'll try to find up-tempo Leonard Davis.
The notes to the Frogspawn still give the Johnson band as probably personnel, but superficially it does sound quite like the Krazy Kats (better name than Marvin Smolev) on their faster numbers (Horse Feathers, The Terror).
- Michael, sorry, yes, I forgot to name St. Clair. It certainly is him! The Ristic personnel listed Buster Bailey as clarinetist, but I think it is just Ben Whitted on clt, with his simple and functional down-to-earth and no-nonsense clt-style. He is a much better man than hitherto regarded!! (I think, Harry Dial´s claim that Whitted was thrown out of Waller´s Rhythm because of being unable to improvise is simple nonsense. He was not a spectacular musician as others were, rather modest and unassuming.) Also, the Ristic sleeve said, that there is no piano. Charlie Johnson himself was a very unassuming man (just think of his recorded output) and not a great piano player, but a great leader to his band, so it would be obvious for him to stay in the background, especially, as these were stock arrangements.
Re Ben Whitted: It would be most rewarding to check all through the reedmen in the Clarence Williams bands, as listed in Tom Lord. I myself have found a lot of better "guesses"! But about that in a later Yahoo item!
--- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <Rader.Michael@...> wrote:
> Listening ten or so times for the trumpet really is dedication ;-) and if the Hot'n'Sweet uses the Davies transfer, it can't entirely be torture. After what KB said, I listened particularly for the drums and the rhythm section and while I think I hear drums similar to those on the Charlie Johnson Victors, especially in one passage towards the end of "Dusky Stevedore", I'm also fairly sure that it is Cyrus St. Clair on the brass bass instrument - when he come to the foreground, he sounds like the St. Clair we all know from Clarence Williams recordings (e.g. the QRS "Midnight Stomp"). Now I'll try to find up-tempo Leonard Davis.
> The notes to the Frogspawn still give the Johnson band as probably personnel, but superficially it does sound quite like the Krazy Kats (better name than Marvin Smolev) on their faster numbers (Horse Feathers, The Terror).
> Michael Rader