[Dixielandjazz] ODJB in 1917

Anton Crouch a.crouch@unsw.edu.au
Tue, 13 Aug 2002 18:02:53 +1000

Hello Tito

Thanks for the response - it'll be interesting to hear Jimmy LaRocca's views.

Brian Rust knew Nick LaRocca and had access to his diaries. Rust actually
goes further than many jazz historians by arguing that the ODJB not only
did not record in late January 1917 but also did not even visit the
Columbia studios. Rust bases his conclusion on the absence of any reference
to visiting Columbia in January 1917 in Nick LaRocca's personal papers. We
all know however that absence of evidence is not evidence for absence. 

The evidence for the January Columbia visit comes from ODJB trombonist
Eddie Edwards. The details (with no reference to source) are given by H O
Brunn in "The story of the Original Dixieland Jazz band" (1960) and (with
reference to source) by Tim Gracyk in "Popular American recording pioneers"

The information in the Columbia 60000-64000 matrix series is also relevant
here. This series was for 10" trials and personal records and the details
have been inspected by discographers Tim Brooks, Brian Rust and
(presumably) at least one of the Storyville team who revised Horst Lange's
"The fabulous five", 1978. The series started no later than June 1916 and
there is no reported reference to the ODJB. My conclusion is still that the
ODJB probably visited the Columbia studios in January 1917 but that there
was no recording.

All the best