[Dixielandjazz] Helm-related notice from another list.

M J (Mike) Logsdon mjl@ix.netcom.com
Mon, 02 Sep 2002 12:27:13 -0700

[From the Anglican Mailing List. For those bothered by religious
language, please focus on the essential subject matter instead.]

Re my request for prayer of a short while ago, Mr Helm moved on
yesterday, September 1.

For several years now I have been posting the occasional notice of the
passing of a traditional jazz artist.  Though it's no doubt obvious to
most, we all, above and beyond our love for God, have at least one
special attachment to something by which God helps us to "enjoy Him
forever" (Shorter Westminster Catechism, Qu. 1) in this fallen world,
and mine has always been traditional jazz ("dixieland" for those that
need clarification).  Here on the west coast, back in the late 1930s, a
time seemingly oblivious to the fact that it had sold its collective
soul to the interesting but over-commercialised form of jazz known as
the "Big Band" style, a group of musicians tired of the big band ratrace
and dying to revive the type of music they were hearing on the 1920s 78s
of Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, et al, they were
ravenously collecting, did exactly that by starting what most mainline
jazz histories relegate to a footnote labeled "San Francisco New Orleans
Revival."  The three biggest names in that young bunch were Lu Watters
(d. 1989), Turk Murphy (d. 1987), and Bob Helm.  (Those familiar with
San Francisco life might know that May 30th is "Turk Murphy Day.")

Mr Helm was the last of the original bunch.  He played with such gusto
that even when young he was accused of intonation problems, which only
worsened as he aged and his damaged inner ear lost its ability to hear
what he was actually playing.  But he never lost that splendid spirit
which truly (in my opinion) earned him long ago the position of
Traditional Jazz Statesman of Good Will, after the Mighty Turk, of

I'm blest to have met him, and I can only hope that my letter of last
week reached him before things got too bad.  If not, oh well.  His
blessing remains and continues, nonetheless,

M J "Mike" Logsdon, Cleric, NAORC (http://www.naorc.org)
Salinas, CA