[Dixielandjazz] Oliver Cornets etc.

Bill Haesler bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au
Mon May 5 20:58:40 PDT 2003

Friends, particularly Anton.
Herewith a self-explanatory post from me mate Dan, an expert.
Kind regards,
From: "Daniel Hardie" <daniel_hardie at hotmail.com>
To: bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au
Subject: Oliver Cornets etc.
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 6:46 PM
Dear Bill,
  I am incommunicado to the list as a result of Computer and Isp server
problems. I can read the DJML headings but can't even open any recent
messages. This hotmail account is my only temporary vehicle for sending
email. I feel I owe Anton Crouch a response to his query on two cornets.
Could you post the note below to the list for me? I hope a new computerwill
solve some of my problems sometime soon
  regards DH

  Hi Anton and Others,
  A few of the early black musicians said that the practice of using two
cornets was common in the old days. Unfortunately they were usually not
specific about when that was. Bunk Johnson was an exception, claiming that
he played second cornet   in the Bolden Band in 1895 (read 1905?)
  Here are some others:
  Celestin and Ridgeway used Joe Howard in their Tuxedo Orchestra they
started in 1917 (concluding 1924).
  Chris Kelly’s Band  had Mutt Carey on second cornet at the Bulls Club in
  Buddy Petit was reputed to have been an excellent second cornet player but
details are obscure except that he played sometimes with the Camellia Brass
band after 1917.
  Fate Marable’s 1918 riverboat band had Joe Howard and Louis Armstrong on
  I think there is enough evidence that it was not an innovation in 1923,
and the white band experts can probably quote examples from the early
1920’s. What is more certain is that the common line up early black New
Orleans bands well into the 1920’s was: Violin (leader), cornet, clarinet,
trombone, guitar, bowed bass fiddle and drums. It seems jazz aficionados are
reluctant to acknowledge the role of the violin. Is it too challenging to a
long held belief in the ‘genuine 7 piece  New Orleans line up’ of the New
Orleans revival years? Bolden’s band that Bunk described had a violin, so
did the Tuxedo Orchestra quoted above. King Oliver used the violin lead
until he hired Louis Armstrong after 1921. Sadly only the Armand Piron
recordings give us a glimpse of the original black New Orleans  sound. The
revivalist recording groups of the 1940’s should probably have used Peter
Bocage more on violin.
  My tastes lean to the ‘mouldy’ but I think the Mouldy Fygge era is now
just another part of the history. Being interested in History I heartily
support those who try to distinguish between eras and classify styles as
this is essential to understand the development of the music. Jazz probably
died as an innovative art some time back; at least I find it hard to
identify anything very new after bop.

  Dan Hardie
  Check out the Early Jazz History website at:
Hotmail now available on Australian mobile phones. Go to

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