[Dixielandjazz] Emmett Berry

ROBERT R. CALDER serapion at btinternet.com
Sun May 2 19:33:47 PDT 2010

I have to confess that since I first heard it I've wanted to claim that the Emmett Berry solo I didn't name when I mentioned it the other day, was the greatest trumpet solo recorded in the 1940s.  With a little tug at Bill Haesler's leg -- actually I couldn't remember the title of the number or lay hand or cursor on a copy of it;  The title is "Jersey Jump Off "

Cozy Cole
Orchestra : Emmett Berry (tp) Eddie
Barefield (as)Coleman Hawkins, (ts) Johnny Guarnieri
(p) Sid Weiss (b) Cozy Cole (d) New York,
June 14, 1944  
Jersey Jump Off Savoy MG14110, SJL2218 

Old Man River that Bill mentioned was from the previous Cole session. I think Henry Allen was the pioneer of high speed but meaningful performances of that number. Benny Waters once told me he regarded it as sacrilegious for any white man to perform that song. 

I see one online reviewer of the Cozy Cole CDs on Classics finds it unfortunate that solos had to be kept short. The Berry Jersey Jump Off solo is not so short as to be merely a break, and I get the impression that it owes a lot to having been allotted so many bars and no more, following the decent Coleman Hawkins performance. 

The sound leapt better off the Savoy vinyl reissue. It may not sound like Bix, but as in one of the short Bix solos the hornman knew he had only so long a time in which to get somewhere interesting and back, and all the way and back by a lively route off the self-beating track. Berry comes back later muted, over the band, and prior to Hawkins and that solo he'd also a chorus of improvisation over the ensemble.  Thankyou, listmate whose Buck Clayton link reminded me of him. 


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