[Dixielandjazz] High Society Obligato

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Mon Aug 31 17:11:39 PDT 2009

My mate Don Ingle wrote [in part]:
> 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."

Dear Don,
If that was the October 1949 Frank Bull & Gene Norman  Dixieland  
Jubilee concert at the LA Shrine Auditorium, I have the Decca 10" LP  
of it, including the massed bands' version of "High Society". Playing  
it again now.
Thank you for the reminder. It must have been spectacular 'live'.
When I met the charming and gentle Mr Miller at the 1979 Australian  
Jazz Convention in Perth, with the Worlds Greatest Jazz Band, someone  
in a group of fans asked him if he had recorded much on clarinet. ”No“  
was his reply. However, when I mentioned a few of his 1930s clarinet  
sides in my collection (including the Louis Prima stuff, Bob Crosby's  
"South Rampart Street Parade" and the wonderful "Dogtown Blues") he  
seemed quite surprised, for he didn‘t think Australians even knew who  
he was!
Yes, I have all the Eddie Miller clarinet solo recordings, as you  
would expect. 26 sides over 10 sessions between Feb 1935 and Feb 1938  
with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, the Mound City Blue Blowers, Louis  
Prima's Orch, and Bob Crosby. Although his clarinet can be heard with  
Matty Matlock in the ensembles of the Wingy Manone' 1934-35-36  
sessions Eddie Miller only solos on tenor.
There was also the lovely "Cajan Love Song" for Capitol in 1945.
But then you knew all that.
Very kind regards from sunny wintery Sydney,

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