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Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

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  • Bob Eagle
    Octave Gaspard ( Musician, Orchestra ) was in Dallas in 1930 - he had been born in Louisiana in about 1870. How early would you like? Bob
    Message 1 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
      Octave Gaspard ("Musician, Orchestra") was in Dallas in 1930 - he had been born
      in Louisiana in about 1870.

      How early would you like?

      Bob




      ________________________________
      From: "patrice.champarou@..." <patrice.champarou@...>
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, 3 February, 2011 6:14:57 PM
      Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

       


      -----Message d'origine-----
      From: David Brown
      Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 10:54 AM
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

      > Robert C
      (...)
      > Thanks for bringing attention the Knowling sides. One does not somehow
      > expect tuba in a blues environment. Can't find these -- where are they now
      > available ?

      DOCD 5179 is out of stock, available as mp3 download from eMusic.
      The sides with Knowling can also be heard on Deezer.
      BTW, Tampa Red also had a brass bass accompanist on his first 1928
      recording, Through Train Blues.
      There was also an Octave Gaspard on bb with Billiken Johnson (also Lilian
      Glinn and Gertrude Perkins, but I have not heard that)

      P.







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • ALAN BOND
      Hi David,                  Mulligan was a complete anarchist who somehow led a charmed life. He was outrageous and many a time when I thought
      Message 2 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
        Hi David,
                         Mulligan was a complete anarchist who somehow led a charmed life. He was outrageous and many a time when I thought he was going to receive some hurt he actually got away with it. Jimmy Godbolt sums it up with an anecdote in 'All This & Ten Per Cent.'

                        George Melly was a diamond - he was as nicely outrageous as Mulligan was nasty. Altogether a lovely man and a great wit. There were far too many occasions when I heard Mulligan's Blue Magnolia band (or whatever he was calling it that evening) play badly because someone had got his gander up. I much preferred Freddy Randall's band and Fred was a nice chap to boot. I also missed out my favourite band of them all and that was Alex Welsh. I have an IPod which is almost entirely Alex Welsh and I never get fed up with it.

                        Next favourite - Eric Silk, and thereby hangs a tale related to me by Steve Lane. Steve was depping for Dennis Field on one occasion and, as usual, he got there a bit sharp and was met by 'pop' who used to be what would now be called a 'roadie.' Pop welcomed Steve and asked if he would like a drink, at which Steve requested an orange juice (being teetotal) which was delivered promptly. Now 'Pop' was organised to the extent that the band got paid at the end of the gig with the money in a nice little wage packet and which Steve duly received and popped in his pocket. When he got home and checked the money it was (as far as I can remember the figures) 9d (not 9p) short - 'Pop' had deducted the price of the orange juice from Steve's pay !

                        There are plenty more where that came from but too many of them are rude so I will draw a veil over the rest of the proceedings. Just as a taster though, has anyone ever actually shouted out 'Onions' during a performance of that tune - No ! - me neither.

        TTFN - 007

        --- On Thu, 3/2/11, David Brown <johnhaleysims@...> wrote:

        From: David Brown <johnhaleysims@...>
        Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses
        To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, 3 February, 2011, 11:17

        Hi Alan

        Nice memories. A smidge before my time. As ever, everywhere, far more
        musicians than ever were able to enter posterity through recording.

        Happy hours here too in John Kendall's cellar with that fungus smell. I
        still have stuff in the shelves from that source that are redolent.

        Admirable and rare that you 'crossed-over'  -- it was indeed war.

        Mulligan could be a fine trumpet player and the band could stomp. The
        vocalist tended to overpower but was a great writer.

        Dave


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        ------------------------------------

        ------------------------------------

        Yahoo! Groups Links








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Brown
        Alan Those were the days eh, when even Eric Silk had a roadie ! We can view Mulligan from both Godbolt and Melly and also from the records which unfortunately
        Message 3 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
          Alan

          Those were the days eh, when even Eric Silk had a roadie !

          We can view Mulligan from both Godbolt and Melly and also from the records
          which unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on taste -- are dominated
          by Melly.

          'I could never watch ( and the verb is chosen carefully ) George Melly
          singing without feeling embarrassed and the same goes for his writing.'

          Not me, Philip Larkin in a prissy review of 'Owning Up' from 1965.

          Alex Welsh we have done here before with also confrontational opinions. Same
          goes for the Dobell's 'redevelopment'.


          Tony

          Always nice to hear. You left us too soon.



          Dave


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Brown
          Doctor Clayton Pearl Harbour Blues , with its sublime lyric and the brass bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line. My
          Message 4 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
            Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
            bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.

            My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred Elkins
            on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
            discussed. What was this ?

            But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.


            Dave


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mordechai Litzman
            Easiest way of hearing it is to find it on YouTube. Did listen to the recording, and I can only hear some kind of brass bass but no string bass. (Perhaps
            Message 5 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
              Easiest way of hearing it is to find it on YouTube. Did listen to the recording,
              and I can only hear some kind of brass bass but no string bass. (Perhaps
              "imitation string bass" refers to the broom stick contraptions in string and jug
              bands?)

              Speaking about origins of bass, where does the humble jug come into the picture?





              ________________________________
              From: David Brown <johnhaleysims@...>
              To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, February 3, 2011 11:05:52 AM
              Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses


              Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
              bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.

              My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred Elkins
              on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
              discussed. What was this ?

              But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.

              Dave

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • patrice.champarou@free.fr
              ... From: David Brown Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 5:05 PM To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses ... He cannot be
              Message 6 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                -----Message d'origine-----
                From: David Brown
                Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 5:05 PM
                To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                > Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
                > bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.

                > My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred
                > Elkins
                > on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
                > discussed. What was this ?

                > But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.

                > Dave

                He cannot be heard with a full stereo equipment either, I guess Howard did
                not have time, or did not feel the absolute need to correct all doubtful
                information which were originally part of B&GR, bass played by either Alfred
                Elkins, Bill Settles, or William Mitchell being a favourite.
                I suppose that "imb." was the common "bass cano" (unless someone can provide
                a specific explanation for the latter), clothes line attached to a
                broomstick and played over a washtub (what we call "contrebassine", a French
                neologism subtly merging "double bass" and "pan")

                P.
              • patrice.champarou@free.fr
                There is a specific Yahoo group devoted to jug, and jug bands http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/jugband/ We almost had one of their former members here
                Message 7 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                  There is a specific Yahoo group devoted to jug, and jug bands
                  http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/jugband/
                  We almost had one of their former members here years ago, but he did not
                  appreciate that I blocked his first message, clearly aimed at his previous
                  moderator, so he left on the next day ;-)

                  P.

                  -----Message d'origine-----
                  From: Mordechai Litzman
                  Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:11 PM
                  To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                  Speaking about origins of bass, where does the humble jug come into the
                  picture?
                • tubaman@tubatoast.com
                  I have done extensive research on the imitation string bass (also sometimes listed as bass cano on some blues recording discographies.) There are many
                  Message 8 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                    I have done extensive research on the 'imitation string bass' (also sometimes listed as 'bass cano' on some blues recording discographies.) There are many possible answers to this and musicologists at several major museums and universities have helped me in my investigations.

                    1. It can be a vocal bass sound - like The Mills Brothers often did.

                    2. It can be a washtub or gut-bucket bass with one string that is tuned mainly by stretching or relaxing the string.

                    3. It can be a home-made bass with one or more strings tuned by pressing on a fret-board or neck and usually having a resonating chamber made of wood, metal, cardboard or other material. Searching on Gas Tank Bass gets some amazing results!
                    A large "Diddley-Bo" would sound like a bass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diddley_bow

                    4. The term "Bass Cano" is most likely a translation or typographic error - some bass players used a 5 or 10 gallon tin can as a resonating chamber instead of a washtub ( here is one example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44362663@N06/4429376297/ )

                    So the possibilities are numerous and it would be hard to be sure which instrument was being used on a particular recording without photographs of the session!

                    BTW, there were some manufactured metal string double-bass instruments - aluminum chambers shaped to resemble traditional wooden string basses. http://alikat.com.au/history.html

                    Dave Richoux


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                    Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:05am
                    To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                    Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
                    bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.

                    My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred Elkins
                    on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
                    discussed. What was this ?

                    But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.


                    Dave
                  • David Brown
                    Hi Patrice So where can I hear Elkins in all his ersatz glory ? I pondered that what might be meant was a vocal bass line as the John Mills, jnr & snr. I guess
                    Message 9 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                      Hi Patrice


                      So where can I hear Elkins in all his ersatz glory ?

                      I pondered that what might be meant was a vocal bass line as the John Mills,
                      jnr & snr.

                      I guess that might also appear in blues ?


                      Dave



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • tubaman@tubatoast.com
                      The Jug was certainly the poor man s tuba - but the playing method is very different. This website has a lot of interesting jug history (that may or may not be
                      Message 10 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                        The Jug was certainly the poor man's tuba - but the playing method is very different. This website has a lot of interesting jug history (that may or may not be 100% true) -
                        http://www.juggernautjugband.com/crazy.htm

                        I have been on the jugband list for a few years now (mostly because of my research on 'imitation bass' but I also do blow some jug.)

                        Dave Richoux



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: patrice.champarou@...
                        Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2011 9:32am
                        To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                        There is a specific Yahoo group devoted to jug, and jug bands
                        http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/jugband/
                        We almost had one of their former members here years ago, but he did not
                        appreciate that I blocked his first message, clearly aimed at his previous
                        moderator, so he left on the next day ;-)

                        P.

                        -----Message d'origine-----
                        From: Mordechai Litzman
                        Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:11 PM
                        To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                        Speaking about origins of bass, where does the humble jug come into the
                        picture?



                        ------------------------------------
                      • tubaman@tubatoast.com
                        This article about the Memphis Jug Band is also pretty interesting: http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/memphis-jug-band-biography Dave Richoux ...
                        Message 11 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                          This article about the Memphis Jug Band is also pretty interesting:
                          http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/memphis-jug-band-biography

                          Dave Richoux

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: tubaman@...
                          Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:59am
                          To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                          The Jug was certainly the poor man's tuba - but the playing method is very different. This website has a lot of interesting jug history (that may or may not be 100% true) -
                          http://www.juggernautjugband.com/crazy.htm

                          I have been on the jugband list for a few years now (mostly because of my research on 'imitation bass' but I also do blow some jug.)

                          Dave Richoux
                        • patrice.champarou@free.fr
                          ... From: tubaman@tubatoast.com Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 7:59 PM To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses ... Yes,
                          Message 12 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                            -----Message d'origine-----
                            From: tubaman@...
                            Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 7:59 PM
                            To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                            > The Jug was certainly the poor man's tuba - but the playing method is very
                            > different.
                            > This website has a lot of interesting jug history (that may or may not be
                            > 100% true) -
                            > http://www.juggernautjugband.com/crazy.htm

                            > I have been on the jugband list for a few years now (mostly because of my
                            > research on 'imitation bass' but I also do blow some jug.)

                            > Dave Richoux

                            Yes, I clearly remember reading you over there...
                            My own question regarding the jug, as well as several other "novelty"
                            instruments like the harmonica, is whether at the time they were recorded,
                            they were not much more of a fashion than the "poor man's" intruments.
                            Thinking of the numerous songs on which Clarence Williams played that.

                            Patrice
                          • patrice.champarou@free.fr
                            ... From: David Brown Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:55 PM To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses ... I suppose
                            Message 13 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                              -----Message d'origine-----
                              From: David Brown
                              Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:55 PM
                              To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                              >Hi Patrice

                              >So where can I hear Elkins in all his ersatz glory ?
                              >I pondered that what might be meant was a vocal bass line as the John
                              >Mills,
                              >jnr & snr.
                              >I guess that might also appear in blues ?
                              >Dave

                              I suppose Howard knows farmore than I do, but to me the answer would be
                              "nowhere", meaning that Elkins' and some others' names were added whenever
                              an efficient muffled string bass sound could be heard in the background.
                              Ransom Knowling was the real exception, something like the equivalent of
                              Louis Vola in the so-called folk blues field.
                              There were probably many examples of bass voices in quartets and Gospel
                              choirs, but I do not think the equipment allowed intended imitation of the
                              bass as an instrument in the pre-war days, the earliest example I can think
                              of is Clifton Givens singing bass lines in Sonny Boy Williamson' 1951
                              recordings!

                              P.
                            • Ron L'Herault
                              Vince Giordano, and the bass player in a band local to my area both play aluminum basses. Ron L ... From: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                              Message 14 of 25 , Feb 3, 2011
                                Vince Giordano, and the bass player in a band local to my area both play aluminum basses.

                                Ron L

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tubaman@...
                                Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 12:53 PM
                                To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                                I have done extensive research on the 'imitation string bass' (also sometimes listed as 'bass cano' on some blues recording discographies.) There are many possible answers to this and musicologists at several major museums and universities have helped me in my investigations.

                                1. It can be a vocal bass sound - like The Mills Brothers often did.

                                2. It can be a washtub or gut-bucket bass with one string that is tuned mainly by stretching or relaxing the string.

                                3. It can be a home-made bass with one or more strings tuned by pressing on a fret-board or neck and usually having a resonating chamber made of wood, metal, cardboard or other material. Searching on Gas Tank Bass gets some amazing results!
                                A large "Diddley-Bo" would sound like a bass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diddley_bow

                                4. The term "Bass Cano" is most likely a translation or typographic error - some bass players used a 5 or 10 gallon tin can as a resonating chamber instead of a washtub ( here is one example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44362663@N06/4429376297/ )

                                So the possibilities are numerous and it would be hard to be sure which instrument was being used on a particular recording without photographs of the session!

                                BTW, there were some manufactured metal string double-bass instruments - aluminum chambers shaped to resemble traditional wooden string basses. http://alikat.com.au/history.html

                                Dave Richoux


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                                Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:05am
                                To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                                Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
                                bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.

                                My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred Elkins
                                on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
                                discussed. What was this ?

                                But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.


                                Dave





                                ------------------------------------

                                ------------------------------------

                                Yahoo! Groups Links
                              • Howard Rye
                                It¹s kind of you to adopt the generous interpretation, Patrice, but theoretically the fourth edition corrected instrumentation wherever there was a perceived
                                Message 15 of 25 , Feb 4, 2011
                                  It¹s kind of you to adopt the generous interpretation, Patrice, but
                                  theoretically the fourth edition corrected instrumentation wherever there
                                  was a perceived need to do so. We didn¹t have to time to check all cases so
                                  some will have slipped through where no query had ever been raised. In this
                                  instance someone definitely thinks they hear two bass instruments. If they
                                  are wrong, it¹s a mistake.

                                  As to why my predecessors decided that ³imb² was an appropriate abbreviation
                                  for tub bass, I have no idea, but it is so well established that there was
                                  no point in changing it. This is supposed to be the only possibility. The
                                  other ones listed by Dave Richoux should be differently described. Vocal
                                  basses certainly are. Diddley-bows should be but this would be dependent on
                                  someone recognising the sound.

                                  The use of tub bass on so many records from the 1930s has more to do with
                                  the need to employ non-union musicians whenever possible than it does with
                                  tradition, I¹m afraid. We owe a great deal of this music primarily to the
                                  need to fill jukeboxes at minimum cost.

                                  The same goes for quite a few traditional personnel identifications of the
                                  kind you quote as well. Since ³Alfred
                                  Elkins, Bill Settles, or William Mitchell² obviously means ³unknown² in
                                  plain language I didn¹t see any reason to engage in argument about it. I
                                  didn¹t and don¹t understand why anyone thinks this kind of speculation is
                                  useful but much attention is still devoted to it.

                                  It took a couple of lifetimes to build up this body of traditonal lore in
                                  blues and jazz discography, and if anyone would like to donate a lifetime to
                                  trying to verify every personnel suggestion that has been handed down they
                                  will place posterity deeply in their debt!




                                  on 03/02/2011 17:21, patrice.champarou@... at patrice.champarou@...
                                  wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Message d'origine-----
                                  > From: David Brown
                                  > Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 5:05 PM
                                  > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  > Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses
                                  >
                                  >> > Doctor Clayton 'Pearl Harbour Blues', with its sublime lyric and the brass
                                  >> > bass of Ransom, is available to hear or download free from jazz-on-line.
                                  >
                                  >> > My discographical source on this lists a second bassist namely Alfred
                                  >> > Elkins
                                  >> > on 'imitation string bass' which is not a bass non-instrument we have
                                  >> > discussed. What was this ?
                                  >
                                  >> > But I must say that listening through phones on the PC I cannot hear him.
                                  >
                                  >> > Dave
                                  >
                                  > He cannot be heard with a full stereo equipment either, I guess Howard did
                                  > not have time, or did not feel the absolute need to correct all doubtful
                                  > information which were originally part of B&GR, bass played by either Alfred
                                  > Elkins, Bill Settles, or William Mitchell being a favourite.
                                  > I suppose that "imb." was the common "bass cano" (unless someone can provide
                                  > a specific explanation for the latter), clothes line attached to a
                                  > broomstick and played over a washtub (what we call "contrebassine", a French
                                  > neologism subtly merging "double bass" and "pan")
                                  >
                                  > P.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >


                                  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]
                                • Howard Rye
                                  Elkins appears as an accompanist to 23 artists in the B&GR index. Vocal bass lines do appear but are not very common except in vocal groups. Can¹t think of
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Feb 4, 2011
                                    Elkins appears as an accompanist to 23 artists in the B&GR index.

                                    Vocal bass lines do appear but are not very common except in vocal groups.
                                    Can¹t think of any off hand.


                                    on 03/02/2011 17:55, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Hi Patrice
                                    >
                                    > So where can I hear Elkins in all his ersatz glory ?
                                    >
                                    > I pondered that what might be meant was a vocal bass line as the John Mills,
                                    > jnr & snr.
                                    >
                                    > I guess that might also appear in blues ?
                                    >
                                    > Dave
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >


                                    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]
                                  • Howard Rye
                                    It¹s not quite as bad as that! Elkins is named in some file data. As the personnel with both basses on the Doctor Clayton session goes back to Jazz Directory
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Feb 4, 2011
                                      It¹s not quite as bad as that!

                                      Elkins is named in some file data. As the personnel with both basses on the
                                      Doctor Clayton session goes back to Jazz Directory I will be amazed if this
                                      is not one of them.

                                      Also various informants such as Memphis Slim on whose sessions Elkins
                                      appears were quizzed about this by people like Yannick Bruynoghe and Hughes
                                      Panassié before the ³please validate my theory² boys contaminated their
                                      memories.

                                      So there is a solid base (pun intended) which may not always have been built
                                      on intelligently, but these sessions were contractors work and we have a
                                      pretty good idea who was contracted to whom.

                                      The classic examples of vocal bass on record (the Mills Brothers ARC
                                      recordings and the Monarch Jazz Quartet) are pre-war, so the theory about
                                      recording equipment can be completely discounted. If blues artists were
                                      using vocal basses on gigs and not on record the reason is artistic or
                                      financial.


                                      on 03/02/2011 19:27, patrice.champarou@... at patrice.champarou@...
                                      wrote:

                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Message d'origine-----
                                      > From: David Brown
                                      > Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:55 PM
                                      > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com>
                                      > Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses
                                      >
                                      >> >Hi Patrice
                                      >
                                      >> >So where can I hear Elkins in all his ersatz glory ?
                                      >> >I pondered that what might be meant was a vocal bass line as the John
                                      >> >Mills,
                                      >> >jnr & snr.
                                      >> >I guess that might also appear in blues ?
                                      >> >Dave
                                      >
                                      > I suppose Howard knows farmore than I do, but to me the answer would be
                                      > "nowhere", meaning that Elkins' and some others' names were added whenever
                                      > an efficient muffled string bass sound could be heard in the background.
                                      > Ransom Knowling was the real exception, something like the equivalent of
                                      > Louis Vola in the so-called folk blues field.
                                      > There were probably many examples of bass voices in quartets and Gospel
                                      > choirs, but I do not think the equipment allowed intended imitation of the
                                      > bass as an instrument in the pre-war days, the earliest example I can think
                                      > of is Clifton Givens singing bass lines in Sonny Boy Williamson' 1951
                                      > recordings!
                                      >
                                      > P.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >


                                      Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                                      howard@...
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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • David Brown
                                      Hi Patrice and everybody I think the John Mills (x 2) were indulging in brass bass imitation and can be very well heard on 30s sides. I have the very first
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Feb 4, 2011
                                        Hi Patrice and everybody


                                        I think the John Mills (x 2) were indulging in brass bass imitation and can
                                        be very well heard on 30s sides.

                                        I have the very first Mills on now 'Nobody's Sweetheart' 1931 (in a JRT
                                        transcription) and the 'tuba' of John Jnr almost dominates.


                                        Dave


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • patrice.champarou@free.fr
                                        ... From: David Brown Sent: Friday, February 04, 2011 9:57 AM To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses ... Well, yes, Dave,
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Feb 5, 2011
                                          -----Message d'origine-----
                                          From: David Brown
                                          Sent: Friday, February 04, 2011 9:57 AM
                                          To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Early Brass Basses

                                          > Hi Patrice and everybody

                                          > I think the John Mills (x 2) were indulging in brass bass imitation and
                                          > can
                                          > be very well heard on 30s sides.

                                          > I have the very first Mills on now 'Nobody's Sweetheart' 1931 (in a JRT
                                          > transcription) and the 'tuba' of John Jnr almost dominates.

                                          Well, yes, Dave, quite obviously!
                                          Sorry for such a late, and probably pointless reply, for some reason my
                                          mailer had sent this one to an unrelated folder.

                                          Vocal imitiation of brass bass (in which a human voice is still
                                          recognizable) was the starting point, I only meant to say that the process
                                          had not, as far as I know, been used in pre-war *blues* - an arbitrary
                                          category indeed, but one under which neither the Mills nor the Ink Spots are
                                          usually filed.
                                          Also that the separate indication of "imb." which appears in discographies
                                          does not seem to refer to anything else than imitation of *string* bass.
                                          I tried several recorded examples in which Elkins was mentioned, and all I
                                          could hear until now was either, clearly nothing at all as in Clayton's
                                          case, or some muffled sound merging with the piano basses... BTW, I was
                                          unfair to Bill Settles if I added him to the list, because he usually played
                                          a real double bass, and the difference is quite obvious.

                                          I admit that the term "technical limitation" was not the proper one, but the
                                          post-war examples I mentioned, actually faking the pizzicati of a string
                                          bass with voice, seemed to require a PA mike and a separated amp with some
                                          primitive reverb.

                                          Patrice
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