[Dixielandjazz] Fiddle-burnings?

ROBERT R. CALDER serapion at btinternet.com
Wed Nov 4 13:32:39 PST 2009

I remember telling a German pianist-friend about the horrendous evangelising which went on in Highland Scotland under the influence of extreme theological doctrines. There had been bonfires of fiddles. My friend suggested bonfires of double basses  . . . . and he is anything but OKOM.  His face lit up at thought of Dave McKenna and NO BASS HIT. 
He had been toiling too long with a bassist who differed from Milt Hinton's perspective. 
Milt said, and I may have a copy of a tape, the first thing is the time, and then it's just a matter of knowing where to put the fingers. 
Milt was a John Lindsay disciple, and the New Orleans bass was one of the major elements in producing jazz rather than the more rigid music hitherto performed in northern and eastern regions. Milt was also rude and dismissive of his earlier tuba playing, with Tiny Parham, 
But of course the Pops Foster influence affected the music in more than instrumentation, and it would be unusual if tuba-players weren't trying for a bit more after the revelatory experience of string bass as pioneered by Pops.And Pops on tuba was definitely Pops on tuba and no lesser musician. 
Besides Pops and John Lindsay and Al Morgan and Wellman Braud there was also Ransom Knowling, who played tuba solos on recordings by the eccentric blues singer Dr. Clayton with Blind John Davis on piano. A definite point of reference for tuba scholars.
Knowling went on to record with Arthur Crudup and his phenomenal high-speed Fosterish 
bass propulsion was copied pulse for pulse by Elvis Presley's bassist.  Does anybody do Crudups' "My Baby Left Me"?
Just a little archaeology. 


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