[Dixielandjazz] Re: Charlie Frazier

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Wed Jun 29 23:12:23 PDT 2005

Dear John,
There were two Charlie Fraziers in jazz and swing music, one black and one
white. Both of them were reedmen.
Charlie 'Chuck' Frazier (1907-2000) had the distinction (among others) of
being the last living musician to have recorded with King Oliver. He was
also a long-time member of the Cab Calloway band.
The other Charlie Frazier played tenor sax and flute with Jimmy Dorsey.
Unfortunately, most discographies index them together as one.
Your Charles was an unsung sideman and, according to George T Simon
(reviewing the Dorsey band in 1939) was a very good section musician.
So far, Charles Frazier has escaped the big band biographers, like many
other fine musicians who spent years in the 30s swing orchestras.
He was with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra from late 1936 until Nov 1945.
However, he would have been overshadowed by Dorsey's hot tenor soloist,
Herbie Haymer  
He then worked with the George Paxton orch in New York for about a year
(1945-46) along with tenor man Boomie Richman.
You advise that he then moved into Frank Dailey's (note spelling)
Meadowbrook Orchestra in New Jersey, went to the West Coast, then settled in
North Arlington, New Jersey. You also provide the fact that he passed away
in the late-1980's in Clearwater, Florida.
See, it's coming together already.
Jimmy Dorsey's "I Got Rhythm" (mentioned by you), with its furious clarinet
lead, was recorded for Decca on 3 March 1937. (Playing it now.)
Charles' two solo spots in the second part may well have been his regular
feature with the band.
I have nothing else regarding other recorded solo work by Charlie Frazier
with either Dorsey or Paxton. Which is not to say that there isn't any.
Kind regards,


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