[Dixielandjazz] Re: ODJB

Bill Haesler bhaesler@nsw.bigpond.net.au
Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:50:20 +1000

Dear Steve,
I hear you, but can't agree with your opinion.
As a discographer since the 1940s, tutored the hard way (by mail) by experts,
including friends Walt Allen, John RT Davies and Brian Rust, I have a greater
faith in matrix numbers than in musicians' recollections.
(Through discographal research I was the first (I believe) to point out the now
accepted fact that Kid Ory could not be on the Louis Armstrong Hot Sevens
recorded in Chicago, as he was in New York with King Oliver at the time.)
Matrix numbers are serial numbers, allocated to recordings, by technicians, at
the time they were made. 
Respectivity in those days MAY have occurred within days, but never (in my
experience) months later.
What Anton did not say (but is well aware of, for we have discussed it) was that
the take numbers (the number of waxes cut) for the ODJB Columbias  involved 4
for "Darktown"  of which -3 and -4 were issued and 3 for "Indiana" of which -2
and -3 where issued.
7 masters at one sitting. Quite a day!
I'm still with me mate Anton. 
Now for the ear test.
Considering the different recording studios (conditions/equipment/recording
technique) I can't agree with your statement that the >Columbia "Darktown" and
"Indiana" are musically inferior to Victor's "Livery Stable/Dixie Jass Band One
Step" release.<
To satisfy this long-held opinion I have just played the 6 versions. The
Columbia's are more relaxed rather than inferior.
They are also the only set of alternates of the ODJB we have and show that,
within the tight arrangements, there is a degree of improvisation.
As Walter C Allen said to me in about 1949: "Let us agree to disagree".
So far as memory is concerned: I am preparing my contribution to the annual
(Graeme) "Bell Jazz Lecture" -the 10th- which will cover my association with the
annual Australian Jazz Convention over the last 56 years.
I am having trouble accurately recalling events in the 1940s-1970s! 
And I still have most of my faculties.  Like Messrs Cooke, Hooks and Beebe. 
Well, "That's The Way I Feel Today" (McKinney's Cotton Pickers, 6 November
Kind regards,