[Dixielandjazz] Phil Napoleon & more

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 08:01:48 PDT 2011

>>  Pete Daily on one side and Phil Napoleon and his
>> Memphis Five on the other.  The liner notes describes the Napoleon
>> band as "a large slice of jazz history," whereas, according thereto,
>> "the Pete Daily band represents a conscious revival of the old style
>> by a rough and ready group of younger men."

Steve, did you ignore the "younger" on purpose?  Three of the Daily
sidemen played in the twenties, and were not "consciously reviving"
anything - just playing 'their thing," as did Phil Napoleon.

>> True, Napoleon's group contains Tony Spargo of the ODJB, but the
>> others: Phil Olivella, Billy Maxted, Andy Russo and Jack Fay - can
>> hardly be regarded as real veterans (or rather, could not in those
>> days).  The Daily band, on the other hand, in addition to the leader
>> (a little younger than Napoleon) includes Joe Rushton (hardly a
>> "younger man"), Rosy McHargue and Country Washburn.

> after he had reformed his "Original" Memphis Five. As you say his various
> groups there were not all "original" veterans. Certainly Spargo, who
> appeared with him frequently was, but the rest were not.
> However, the music was true to Napoleon's concept at the beginning of the
> jazz age. He was not "consciously reviving" it, but rather playing what his
> groups had always played since 1917 and using his own arrangements.
> A subtle distinction, or a play on words perhaps, but Napoleon was doing
> what he had always done. Whereas Daily's band was making a conscious attempt
> to revive a style that others had played before him.

Again - perhaps before Daily, not Rushton.  And I am not at all sure
that the first bands in which Daily played did not play the music of
the '20's - 1930 was a transitional year, with music still closer to
the 1920's than to the later swing style.
> I think he would have used Miff Mole (an original in his early band)

But he used Andy Russo, who was definitely "consciously reviving the
old style, " as were Maxted and several others " a rough and ready
group of younger men," playing an old style.


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list