[Dixielandjazz] Jess Stacy

Burt Wilson futurecon@earthlink.net
Tue, 12 Nov 2002 21:37:17 -0800

What is so sad about Jess Stacy's life (he's my favorite piano player, BTW)
is that for about the last 20 years of his life he was working as a
warehouseman at the Max Factor cosmetic company in Hollywood. To this day I
don't know whether he just didn't want to play or whether nobody knew he was

Burt Wilson

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-admin@ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-admin@ml.islandnet.com]On Behalf Of Stephen
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 8:20 PM
To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Jess Stacy

For those not familiar with Jess Stacy, the following bio comes from a
google search just performed, and it is sourced from Scott Yanow in the
"All Music Guide".  If you haven't heard this Stacy solo in the context
of Sing, Sing Sing, by all means, give it a listen.

Steve Barbone

Alexandria Stacy
BORN: August 11, 1904, Bird's Point, MO
DIED: January 5, 1994, Los Angeles, CA

One of the great swing pianists, Jess Stacy's greatest moment of fame
was an unexpected one, when during the latter part of "Sing, Sing, Sing"
at Benny Goodman's historic 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert, the clarinetist
motioned to Stacy to take a solo (which he never had previously on that
song). The pianist constructed a remarkable impressionistic
improvisation that stole solo honors and was fortunately documented (and
released for the first time in 1950). A mostly self-taught player who
performed on riverboats during the early '20s, Stacy was part of the
fertile Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s
with his style being influenced by both Earl Hines and Bix Beiderbecke.
Still obscure when he joined Goodman's big band in 1935, the pianist
soon became well-known as one of BG's top sidemen, working with him
through 1939 and on-and-off during the next five years. Stacy also spent
time with the bands of Bob Crosby, Horace Heidt, and Tommy
Dorsey, recorded with Eddie Condon, did some solo recordings of his own
(starting in1935), had a short-lived marriage to singer Lee Wiley, and
tried twice to lead big bands of his own. He became fairly obscure after
moving to California in 1947 (mostly playing in piano bars) and, in
1963, Stacy retired from music altogether, only to return briefly on a
few special occasions (and for two Chiaroscuro recordings) over the next
20 years. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

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