[Dixielandjazz] Louis Jordan, Prima, Herman

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Mon Jan 29 19:21:02 PST 2007

On Jan 29, 2007, at 8:15 PM, Steve Barbone wrote:
> All of us kids, musicians and hipsters back in the late 40s, early 50s 
> loved
> this music, the way it was presented and the sexy dancing that went 
> with it.
> At the end of WW 2, how could one not like it? Wine, women & song were 
> back
> again after some hard times in the depression, and then the World War.
> Prima and Jordan were no fools. They swung like crazy and produced some
> really great dance music and entertained their audiences. No wonder 
> the kids
> left Dixieland for R & B and then R & R.

Yes, the "jump" shuffle beat patented by Jordan was a great lift and a 
great gift. What R&B added via Earl Palmer and others was a heavy 
backbeat to intensify the pulse. Too bad it became an automatic 
pile-driving effect, like someone shooting a pistol on 2 & 4.

I felt that Prima's shuffles had more of a manic energy whereas 
Jordan's was relaxed and well suited to the hip humor and bluesy 
feeling he generated. Two of my favorites were the classic "Let the 
Good Times Roll," plus a calypso number called "Run, Joe" and the 
pre-rap rap "Beware," with advice to guys about how to psych out 
feminist wiles.

Re "Caldonia," one of the great stunts in jazz was Woody Herman's 
record of it--after Jordan's hit but not a "cover" of it. It's a 
superfast tempo with Woody singing in his own humorous way while the 
band cooks like mad behind Don Lamond's totally hot drums. Not to 
missed, and once heard, not to be forgotten.

Charlie Suhor

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