[Dixielandjazz] Oboes/Garvin Bushell

Anton Crouch a.crouch@unsw.edu.au
Sun, 23 Jun 2002 00:48:28 +1000

Hello all

Like Bill Haesler, I was going to let this one go through to the keeper.
However, after reading Bill's lament at having mislaid Garvin Bushell's
"Jazz from the beginning" I thought I'd better give it a go.

Bushell's book contains numerous references to the use of the oboe in jazz.
He first mentions it in relation to a job a the Club Alabam (with Sam
Wooding) in 1924 and describes the use of a full reed section in
performances of "Mandy, make up you mind". It must have been wonderful -
"On each chorus the reeds would switch - we'd have a trio of oboes, then
bass clarinets, then sopranos, clarinets, and basson, flute, and oboe.
People would just stand up and applaud". Mandy must have been quite a gal -
is it a coincidence that this is the piece on which Sidney Bechet played

The discography in "Jazz from the beginning" lists Bushell as playing oboe
only rarely on record - with Sam Wooding in Berlin in July 1925 and
September 1926; accompanying singer Barbara Lea in NY in April 1957; and
with Gil Evans in NY in April 1964. Bushell mentions that he played oboe
with Cab Calloway at the Cotton Club. He also played cor anglais and used
it on record with John Coltrane in NY in November 1961.

The oboe was relatively common in English dance bands - the famous oboist
Leon Goossens can be heard on record with Ray Noble. Frank Johnson and E O
(Poggy) Pogson also recorded with the oboe.

All the best