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Re: Noone Procope Benny Waters Johnny Dodds)

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  • ROBERT R. CALDER
    So far as I understand, Johnny Dodds had dental problems in the 1930s and somewhere in the mists of my archives I may have some ancient publication with a
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 20, 2011
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      So far as I understand, Johnny Dodds had dental problems in the 1930s and somewhere in the mists of my archives I may have some ancient publication with a reference to this. It is possible that at one or both of the later sessions he had false teeth.  There are of course other lines of inquiry regarding the variety of playing to be heard from Johnny Dodds, like the wonderful front line duetting with Louis A on "I'm Goin' Huntin'" with Blythe and Bertrand...  The years before 1938 when JD was unrecorded had some effect. Maybe he felt different. And he was in different company especially in 1938.

      The intro to "Lonesome Blues" with the Hot Five, I do recall reading, possibly in a publication older than I am, had something to do with JD beginning around the time of the session to play with a heavier reed, but there is evidence that if he was slightly inconvenienced by such a switch -- beyond my memory of something read long ago -- he was subsequently in full command of the instrument.

      Sandy Brown certainly regarded the final Dodds session as something of a breakthrough into a new approach, and said that these two titles were where his own playing came from.

      I certainly wasn't saying that Evan Christopher can sound like anybody, he can modify his playing to sound more like Bechet not by doing the sort of impersonation which I gather Bruce Turner liked to do a musical fun, but by making the most of what his playing normally has in common with Bechet's, which is still continuous with his own playing,  which shades toward sounding like Albert Nicholas and indeed Herb Hall as well as Ed Hall.  But the fact that musician C sometimes sounds like musician  B or whoever doesn't mean there's any impersonation going on.  

      Bennie Wallace leaned towards the Hawkins in his playing when he recorded the Hawkins centernary concert in Berlin without in the least shading toward impersonation.

      I also recall someone once dismissing Benny Carter's trumpet playing as too close to Armstrong.

      A test that would get in the way of a lot of the legacy of swing trumpeters


      Robert

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    • David Brown
      I m with Tony & Howard and think Simeon was -- to quote Robert -- the most widely accomplished pro of all on the New Orleans list. I think that JRT s and
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 22, 2011
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        I'm with Tony & Howard and think Simeon was -- to quote Robert -- 'the most
        widely accomplished pro of all on the New Orleans list.'

        I think that JRT's and others' opinions of his later work might be
        predicated on opinions of Wilbur's N.N.O.J. which always was, and still can
        be, I believe, richly divisive.

        I too place Dodds 'decline' to his various health, including dental,
        problems. I guess there is also small mileage to be made out of a claim that
        he too was adjusting to 'modern' trends as with Ed Hall and Simeon. I would
        struggle to hear his late sides as a 'breakthrough' but then Sandy Brown
        always was a magnificently idiosyncratic man and musician.

        Pithy Howard ! The blues influence on Dodds both in the mythical early N.O.
        blues clarinet style and possibly later in Chicago. Me, I place Dodds as
        font of both with some early input from Bechet and Emile Barnes. I would
        argue that the, really quite small, school of blues Chicago clarinettists
        are out of Dodds.

        Coincidentally, just yesterday listening long and exposed Carter trumpet on
        Una Mae Carlisle 'Walkin' By The River'. Less than overwhelming as ever, he
        was rather a 'straight' player, technically pretty good but not
        temperamentally nor technically equipped to be very near Louis although, of
        course, as with everybody, some Louisms. Possibly one could look to his
        avowed hero, Doc Cheatham, and the enigmatic Cuban Bennett as influences.

        Wells was one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time but he had a
        problem and quite early this could produce an embarrassing travesty. But I
        expect that he had good and not so good nights.

        Dave






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      • Alexandre Litwak
        Hello everyone, A while ago I participated in this forum by proposing a recording of Yiddish Mama played by a swing band and I received a complete and
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 21, 2012
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          Hello everyone,

          A while ago I participated in this forum by proposing a recording of Yiddish Mama played by a swing band and I received a complete and satisfying analysis of this recording. I am here to present a recording of the same song, this time sung by Billie Holliday, I believe in 1956. I think a number of you already know this version, no doubt recorded between two "real" takes... I was wondering if you know anything about this version? Who is playing? Why are they amusing themselves with this particular song? At a certain moment, we hear the cooing of a baby, which for me makes the recording even more poignant.


          Thanks in advance.

          Alexandre Litwak
          Swing musician and archivist in the French center of jewish musics (www.cmfj.fr)
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