[Dixielandjazz] NYC Dixieland Bands circa 1950

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 2 14:23:19 PST 2003

Hi Benny & List mates:

I've heard the names, but didn't know any of them personally except Bean

(Coleman Hawkins). I played with him a few times. Once in Southampton
Island when he joined with the Southampton Dixie, Racing and Clambake
Jazz band for a concert at the Hampton Arts Theater.

He was a regal guy, and as you know, the father of Jazz Saxophone.
that, and several other gigs that we played together I tried to draw him
about Louis Armstrong, as we had always heard that it was Armstrong's
in the Henderson Band that inspired Hawkins emergence as a jazz sax
instead of just a comedic slap tongue player.

Learned that he respected Armstrong, but generally didn't seem to get
with him. Not sure why, but he did imply that after he heard Armstrong
he decided that he could do that on sax. I think, perhaps he may have
Armstrong too boisterous. Bean was very laid back.

He was highly intelligent and a great listener who just soaked
you said up, and then gave a very incise commentary on his views about
subject. And, he was a marvelous player who continuously experimented
jazz harmonics (even to playing with Monk) until he passed away.

Steve Barbone

Benny Theiler wrote:

Steve:  You mentioned Sol Yaged as having played in NYC during the early

50's.   I have a cassette recording that was made "Live" at the
which was given to me by my friend Harry Sheppard.  This tape features:
Paul Guffman, Dr. - Roy Francis, Bass. - Harry Sheppard, Vibs. - Claude
Hopkins, Piano. - Coleman Hawkins, Tenor. and Sol Yaged, Clarinet &
This group really swings on "Love Me Or Leave Me" - "I'll Never Be The
Same" - "I Would Do Most Anything For You" - "Blues" in Ab - and
Coleman Hawkins on "I Can't Get Started".  (And others).

After this long introduction to you, I was wondering if you can recall
info on any of these "Artists".  I know Harry Sheppard personally, and
played with him here in Houston several times.  Are any of the others
living, and playing anywhere that you know of.  Any info would be
appreciated, as I know you have a vast knowledge of music and musicians.

Regards, Benny.............

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 1:29 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Bands

> Bands performing frequently in the NYC area in the 50s in addition to
> Condon's groups and the DeParis Brothers included those led by:
> Phil Napoleon    at Nick's
> Pee Wee Irwin   at Nick's
> Billy Maxted      at Nick's
> Conrad Janis      at Central Plaza
> George Lewis     at Childs
> Charlie Shavers  at the Metropole
> Jack Fine           at The Cinderella Club
> Bob Wilber       at Stuyvesant Casino
> Sidney Bechet   at Ryan's till Feb 1950.
> as well as local favorites like:
> The Southampton Dixie Racing and Clambake Society Jazz Band
> Village Stompers
> Beale Street Stompers
> Charlie Shavers largely ignored in Dixieland circles, had written some

> bitching arrangements for the Kirby band decades earlier including
> Georgia Brown which I saw/heard yesterday, performed by the Onyx Club
> Band at the Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp. One time when Shavers
> couldn't make the Metropole Gig, he sent Dizzy Gillespie as a sub and
> according to reports by those who were there, it was great. Even Tony
> Parenti who was on the gig enjoyed it. He and Diz got along just fine.

> Lots of mix and match bands performing Dixieland in the 50s headed by
> such luminaries as Tony Parenti, Warren Vache Sr., Sal Pace, Tony
> Spargo, (Sbabaro of ODJB fame), Roy Eldridge, Lee Gifford, Joe
> Frank Hubbell, Ed Polcer, Charlie Traeger, Johnny Windhurst, Kenny
> Davern, Dick Sudhalter, Dave Frishberg, Marty Napoleon, Big Chief
> Russell Moore, Kenny John, Sol Yaged and a host of others who are in
> memory banks somewhere. What a decade it was in NYC.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

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