[Dixielandjazz] Re: ODJB

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Wed, 14 Aug 2002 00:21:36 -0400

Hi Bill:

Like you say, we must agree to disagree. What you say makes sense, Mine is more of
a gut feel. Memory may be hazy at best, except that on momentous occasions,
memories are long lasting and much clearer. E.G. I remember exactly where I was and
what I was doing when I heard that John F. Kennedy was shot.

The first jazz recording? That would have been such a momentous occasion for Nick
LaRocca and Eddie Edwards. In my opinion, they would have remembered that
perfectly, in exact detail, until the day they died, just like I remember perfectly
the first time I recorded in 1952, on a demo LP, or the circumstances of the first
time I played with Coleman Hawkins. I have forgotten a lot of other stuff, since
1952, but not those momentous (to me) details.

Nothing to back it up but my ears which hear differently from yours and a hunch.

Steve Barbone

Bill Haesler wrote:

> 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
> 1929).
> Kind regards,
> Bill.