[Dixielandjazz] Re: 1919 March/Rag

Don Mopsick mophandl at landing.com
Fri Nov 28 10:17:35 PST 2003

Many thanks for everyone's interest and effort on this topic. I will add a
little more to the pile of knowledge: Jim Cullum had in his possession a
complete (and I mean complete) arrangement of 1919 Rag by Paul Crawford that
had never been performed by the JCJB, although Chuck Reilly had an
abbreviated version of it that he used with his Alamo City Jazz Band. Jim
gave me the score and I extracted all the parts on Finale. We began playing
the chart several weeks ago when we began rehearsals for the upcoming
Riverwalk recording in December.

Ron Hockett and I agree that if played at a faster tempo (close to a
gallop), this arrangement does indeed sound suspicioiusly like a circus
march that COULD have been composed by Karl L. King (Ron and I both have
experience playing this type of music, Ron obviously more than I since he
was in the "President's Own" USMC Band in DC for 29 years). Also, Crawford's
arrangement has two interludes, one of them a bugle call, that are not
included in the Watters/Murphy chart.

I asked Jim what he knew of the origin of the tune, and he said he thought
that Crawford had learned it in New Orleans. It's interesting that Crawford
wrote out ALL the parts, including all the horn parts on the ride-out
chorus, leaving no spaces for improvised ensemble playing. Could he have
taken all of that from the original march? If so, my guess is that he was
working from a published score. In any case, Crawford's chart was clearly a
labor of love.

BTW, FYI the upcoming Riverwalk recording session will be two shows: one
about Danny Barker and the Last Days of Storyville (contains 1919 Rag), and
one about the Night Club Era (Prohibition) in NYC, both starring Vernel
Bagneris. Sorry, but attendance for these is by invitation only. The shows
will be broadcast some time in January.


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