[Dixielandjazz] Their were saints
cornet at 1010internet.com
Sat Aug 15 21:38:43 PDT 2009
Good mate Bill:
The followed started with a couple recent questions that came my way
I was asked one recent day what I thought was Benny Gooman's best solo.
That was an easy pick.
The 1929 Red Nichols (bigger) Five Pennies recording of China Boy. As
the young Goodman, playing deep down into gut and heart on
the solo, played it was fire and brimstone. No smoothed-out, Reginald
Kelled double lip sound of later years, it was a husky, almost growling,
grunt sound, but
it was the hottest damn clarinet solo I ever heard anyone play since,
and because it was youth, talent, and burning desire to play merging at
the same point it was electric.
That is my opinion, but I am not alone in sharing it.
In the same conversation I was asked who I thought played the best tenor
sax. "Other than my dad when he was on," I said with a son's familial
I'itwould be either Eddie Miller,or the Prez." Both played unique styles
and sound and rank high with me. The thing about favorites is that it is
always a personal
thing based on what the ears hear, the style that stands out, and some
inner tug of the heart that says..."this is it."
Since we got off on this sort of thread with Miff Mole, the mater of
trombonists is also a matter of my ears and experience. I loved Jack
Jenny with Shaw - Stardust is a model of great
modern day trombone; but to deny my admiration for Teagarden would be
foolish. I also loved the work of valve trombonist Brad Gowens, with a
similar good regard for the less known Frank Orchard. Certainly
Brookmeyer later was a find, and Bob Evoldsen made the stationary
sackbutt worth a listen any time.
Cornet - Bix of course - his ideas flow as fresh today as when he
recorded them - a modernist long before so-called modern jazz arrived.
Hackett ? A given. For unknown geniuses on the horn add Bobby
Anderson, who came out of Fond Du Lac, WI, recorded a few Jump sides,
and seemed to disappear after that. Add Rico Valese, another guitartist
turned cornetist who had a very Hackett like sound who also appeared on
several dates on Clive Acker's Jump label. And on trumpet I'd add Chuck
Mackay, again one serveral Jump sides,and also on several of the Red
Ingle sides for Capitol.
Wow! Getting started is tough to stop as more of the lesser-known but
outstanding jazz men of the almost legenday variety keep popping up to
mind. I owe it to them to remember them so others might find them and be
Obviously others with have their picks and I will no doubt agree with
many of them, but this is just a personal view about my favorite "ear
I would add that the late Clive Acker kept a young wannabe's record
collection composed of quality if not quanity at the time when the
major labels did little to expand the opportunities
for a young player to be exposed to good playing. Like the Commadore
label, such sides were eagerly looked for in a desert of mundane teen
There were saints - and Saint Clive was one.
G'day and g'night, good mate,
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