[Dixielandjazz] High Society Obligato

Don Ingle cornet at 1010internet.com
Mon Aug 31 13:19:40 PDT 2009

Stephen G Barbone wrote:
> On Aug 31, 2009, at 1:04 PM, dixielandjazz-request at ml.islandnet.com 
> wrote:
>> dwlit at cpcug.org (Sheik wrote - polite snip)
>> As for the "High Society" clarinet solo, Melrose in the late 20s 
>> published
>> an orchestration by Fud Livingston with clarinet trio by Benny Goodman
>> (another sax trio was written by Tram). Goodman's trio does ca. half the
>> Picou solo, then goes off into a variation that doesn't resemble the
>> Picou. I suspect that Melrose did a version of the chart early in the 
>> 20s,
>> whenever the tune first became popular, but haven't seen it. My fake 
>> book sheet has the Johnny Dodds version of Picou from the King Oliver 
>> record.
> Yes, and it is close enough for jazz. <grin>
> All clarinet players who wish to pay homage to Picou and/or Dodds 
> should get a copy of the solo from Sheik, and/or buy his fake book, 
> which is EXCELLENT.
> BTW, even Charlie Parker often quoted the first two bars of the Picou 
> solo, paying homage,  on many records of various songs, including his 
> Koko written over the changes of Cherokee at somewhere around 325 
> beats per minute.
> When the bridge would give band mates trouble, he would smile and say; 
> "Think Tea For Two and then modulate". That would straighten them out.
> Cheers,
> Steve (clarinet wannabe) Barbone
> www.myspace.com/barbonestreetjazzband
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To me it would be hard to top the event in L.A. in the late '40's, when 
six or more trad bands took part in a  Dixieland Jubilee concert. For 
the finalies there were massed bands playing come sharts by Matty 
Matlock, and one of these numbers was his Picou solo arranged 
(note-perfect with the original) for six of the top trad players working 
in L.A. at that time. It was
an astonishing event and cannot be forgotten if you had the luck to be 
there as I was.

Among the players were Eddie Miller on Clainet as well as Matty, Bill 
Woods, Stan Story, Rosie McHargue and other great players of that time 
and place. Many forget that the South Rampart Street Parade recording by 
Bob Crosby had a great clarinet solo in the style of Picou. Matty 
Matlock,with whom I studied arranging, told me once that people would 
come up to him and compliment him on his great solo on that recording, 
Matty, with that gentlemanly Paducah, KY voice, would smile and say 
"thank you, but that was MISTER Eddie Miller's solo."
You can image just how superb that Picou event was - I'd match it with 
any one since, or even before for the sheer magic it was for the 
audience and the players.
Sometimes you are just plain lucky to be there when such great moments 
happen. The Lord has been nice to me over the years in that regard.
Don Ingle

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