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Re: Jackson´s Southern Stompers .. and an erratum note re: grammar and spelling

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  • kbrau44
    Hi Yves, sorry for delayed answer (or reaction), but your remarks are very interesting. For a long time now do I adore Len Davis´ tpt-playing. There aren´t
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 12, 2009
      Hi Yves, sorry for delayed answer (or reaction), but your remarks are very interesting. For a long time now do I adore Len Davis´ tpt-playing. There aren´t so many examples of his playing. Maybe he is the tpt player on Cl. Williams´ Zonky session Dec. 1929, but I am not so sure. And he plays probably first tpt on the New York McKCPs. He owns a majestic, strong style with beautiful tone and a rather essential phrasing, not fast-fingering. A perfect first tpt man. (By the way, authors of discographies never (?) try to find out who played first, second and so on tpt. With Ellington you always have Bubber Miley, Louis Metcalf cnt, whereas it should be Metcalf, Miley tpt. Only in later years every tpt-player in the Ellington band had to play first or any other part, but mainly the bands had defined parts for every tpt-player.) De Paris is a much better second player with his talking/preaching style (Boy In The Boat), playing a lot more notes than Davis, often muted and growling. A perfect team, Ellington would have been delighted! (By the way, can anybody tell me how de Paris can be assumed with Lem Fowler April 1926?? There is absolutely nothing which I associate with de Paris here!) Stock arrangements of the time always have two tpt parts, so there ought to be a second tpt-player, but maybe de Paris was not so secure in reading that he simply took a back seat ?? By the way, Davis played with Arthur Gibbs band from mid 1927 until mid 1928, changing over to Johnson, prob. together with Sampson. There is a very beautiful photo of this Gibbs Band in "Is This To Be My Souvenir?"
      Harrison is, I think, undisputed, the clt man Whitted, third alto Sampson with his Carterish solo, and the tenor man is, in my ears, Benny Waters. Just imagin: it was not a Johnson session, just a so-and-so little payed recording session for some publishing company, maybe Waters forgot it two weeks later. Caldwell, a very interesting musician, (also on the Gibbs band photo!)had a different style. For me, his style alwasy was some kind of erratic. He played the corner (or anchor) notes of his solos rather low, not laying much emphasis on them, and played the unimportant transitional notes rather loud, so that you have difficulty to recognise what he wants to say, if you know what I mean. He obviously was only temporarily in the Johnson band as a sub. And he played much more notes than Waters.
      This is not what I hear on the Jacksons. (By the way, do you know, that Chris Hillman suggested Ben Waters for the Lem Fowler Favorites? An excellent suggestion!) H. Langhorn certainly plays similar, but I think, that - at that time - everybody in Harlem tried to copy Hawkins, which resulted in these rather primitive tenor styles of Waters, Langhorn and co. Barney Bigard played a completely different style out of New Orleans, but in his hands the tenor sounded rather soapy.
      The arrangements: The Johnson band had no individual band sound! They mostly played stock arrangements. What we know of the Johnson band are mainly Benny Water arrangements, two Benny Carter arrangements - his earliest on record - , a completely improvised tune (Don´t You Leave Me Here), and two tunes, which might have been brought in by Thomas Morris (Paradise W. and Birmingham BB, which is very akin in structure to Ham Gravy of the Morris´ 7 Hot Babies). Don´t Forget is a stock (same as Henderson, Henderson playing the sax chorus with clarinets) and a blues which to is thought out by a piano player (the arpeggios at the end) thus perhaps a genuine Johnson arrangement?
      And then: I have the Jan. 1933 broadcasts. Here the Johnson band is as modern as Basie in 1936. You wouldn´t believe it !!!
      Enough for now, but I would like to read other´s opinions!

      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, yves francois <aprestitine@...> wrote:
      > Michael and all else interested   
      >     To be quite honest, listening to the trumpet on that record is sheer pleasure (and on the Condon session from Feb 1929 as well - I wish Eddie would have called upon the services of a trumpeter like Leonard Davis for at least some of the Commodore sessions)! I have been trying to figure it out for weeks - it certainly did not sound like Henry Goodwin (of the Cliff Jackson band, but then I do not think he was Jackson's trumpeter that early), and Jacques Butler (who certainly did have some remarkable bravado in his work, though I wonder if he would have been that self assured in late 1928, though his named is linked to a Mamie Smith session that Billy Fowler's Orchestra backed up in 1929, and the trumpet on that is excellent) may have been stretching it as well (Butler and the unrecorded Cuban Bennett were both in the Cliff Jackson band around 1928, certainly Cuban's reputation was great). It does resemble Leonard Davis' playing with the Condon
      > combo,but not as much the muted work on the Johnson Victor's - the trumpet on the Marathon is very positive playing (they sure had great trumpets in those days)     
      >      There is one other point that I would like to make - the Johnson Victor's were playing what was (probably) part of the bands book (Benny Waters certainly made me feel it was that, in my conversation with him, even if he felt the best stuff was not recorded), whereas the Marathon session is a band reading the stock arrangement for what is probably sight reading. We know that the Cliff Jackson recordings for Grey Gull were, in the main, stocks of songs that were presented to them in the studio - and it sounds that way. The Jackson Southern Stompers is also that - that is why I think many (like me) felt that it could have been the same band, the musicians are phrasing with a more tentative resistance than they would if they knew the material better. The only way I can hear this as a Charlie Johnson band is by listening to the trumpet, trombone, tuba and drums . We have no real piano to go by on this either, and also remember, none of this,IMHO, is
      > iron clad - but I do feel something of a revelation regarding Mr Davis' work - and the trombone DOES sound like Jimmy Harrison on the Marathon record (and to reiterate again, for what it's worth, I do not hear either Sidney deParis or Benny Waters, though I am not opposed to Ben Whittet being the clarinet) - could Happy have been sent as a sub by Benny Waters, or some other Harlem tenor (Bingie Madison or Horace Langhorn who was on the Jackson Crazy Cats recordings - to my ears the tenor sounds something akin to the tenor on the Cliff Jackson recordings)
      > all the best
      > Yves
      > PS I did want to make an apology regarding the spelling errors and also the grammatical errors in my message posted on Monday. I had accidentally hit the "send" button before I had a chance to proof read what I have
      > written. English was not my first language, though it is by far the language I am most proficient in - I would not even want to attempt to use the fractured French I would have at my disposal at this point in my life - perhaps a few years in Nice would do the trick for that, no? As always feel free to correct my grammar - life is about learning and remember English was not my first language.
      > --- On Tue, 11/10/09, Michael <Rader.Michael@...> wrote:
      > From: Michael <Rader.Michael@...>
      > Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Jackson´s Southern Stompers
      > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 2:03 AM
      >       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 
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