BillF

Jazz Musicians' Pseudonyms

56 posts in this topic

I recently bought Getz's Early Stan and was amused to read in the liner notes that for contractual reasons one of the album's sessions was originally issued in the name of "Sven Coolsen", Stan having considerable Scandinavian connections at that time. The pseudonyms adopted by jazz musicians have always intrigued me. I suppose the first I came across was Charlie Parker appearing under the name of "Charlie Chan" on the 1953 Miles Davis "Serpent's Tooth" session. My favourite, though, is Johnny Smith's elevation of his common-or-garden name to "Sir Jonathan Gasser" on the Jazz Studio 1 session. :lol:

Let me know of the ones you like. What's the earliest example of this practice and does it still go on nowadays? Of course, there may have been a thread already on this, but if there has, I couldn't trace it. If so apologies and please provide a link! :)

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not quite a pseudonym but i like this cover a lot

67827713382.jpg

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My favourite, though, is Johnny Smith's elevation of his common-or-garden name to "Sir Jonathan Gasser" on the Jazz Studio 1 session. :lol:

:D :D If "common or garden names" were a criterion then Andrew Hill would have had to "pseudo" his entire recorded output IMO ... ;)

As for the earliest examples of this, would all those pseudonym band names used for many of the 20s jazz band recordings also released on other (often budget-ish) labels count, or are these excluded because they were marketing ploys and you want this to be limited to "cover-ups" only? ;)

One of my favorite ones is Dizzy Gillespie's apearance as one "Hen Gates" on some 40s Charlie Parker session on Savoy. Which is what has caused considerable confusion or wishful thinking among discophiles ever since as a few years later the "Hen Gates" name was used as a bogus artist credit on several R&B LPs, some of which actually featured the Freddie Mitchell band (but there were other LPs where that name was used for other recordings too).

Also check this:

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article_print.php?id=1405

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Here's a complete list, compiled by board member stereojack - this practice seems to be almost as old as jazz recording contracts.

I like Dizzy Gillespie's pseudonyms, e.g. B. Bopstein, or Cannonball Adderley as Buckshot La Funque - but there are plenty great ones that make me laugh.

Edited by mikeweil

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BTW, can anybody enlighten me to the REAL identity of CLAUDE CLOUD of the "Claude Cloud & His Thunderclaps" fame (10in LP on MGM, variously entitled either "Rock & Roll" or "Let's Get Cat-Static")? The general concept of that LP is similar to that of Boots Brown (Shorty Rogers) on RCA and a line-up I have seen includes REAL names such as Sam The Man Taylor and Leroy Kirkland band members, but Claude Cloud figures in between (on drums, IIRC), though I have a HARD time believing there really was person by that REAL name. ;)

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BTW, can anybody enlighten me to the REAL identity of CLAUDE CLOUD of the "Claude Cloud & His Thunderclaps" fame (10in LP on MGM, variously entitled either "Rock & Roll" or "Let's Get Cat-Static")? The general concept of that LP is similar to that of Boots Brown (Shorty Rogers) on RCA and a line-up I have seen includes REAL names such as Sam The Man Taylor and Leroy Kirkland band members, but Claude Cloud figures in between (on drums, IIRC), though I have a HARD time believing there really was person by that REAL name. ;)

"Claude Cloud" is a group name - there is no such person. Here's the (nearly) full personnel:

Unknown (tp)

Unknown (tb)

Sam "The Man" Taylor (ts)

Haywood Henry (bars)

Freddie Washington (p)

Leroy Kirkland (g)

Lloyd Trotman (b)

Panama Francis (d)

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Thanks Jack :tup - I had a hunch that If I'd get a reply it would come from you. ;)

Haven't got the line-up I mentioned on hand now but I remember that strnagely enough one "Claude Cloud" figured there. Your combination makes much more sense, of course. Now who made up the brass section, I wonder? ;)

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A friend had an album from the 60's where sideman J. J. Johnson was credited as "C. C. Cecil".

(As I was in 10th grade at the time, I can't provide further details.)

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A friend had an album from the 60's where sideman J. J. Johnson was credited as "C. C. Cecil".

(As I was in 10th grade at the time, I can't provide further details.)

It was actually "C. C. Siegel" on the Charlie Parker 10th Memeorial concert (Limelight).

Thanks Jack :tup - I had a hunch that If I'd get a reply it would come from you. ;)

Haven't got the line-up I mentioned on hand now but I remember that strnagely enough one "Claude Cloud" figured there. Your combination makes much more sense, of course. Now who made up the brass section, I wonder? ;)

Some discographies list the drummer as "Claude Cloud". However, I guess the real leader on this date is probably Leroy Kirkland.

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Thanks Jack :tup - I had a hunch that If I'd get a reply it would come from you. ;)

Haven't got the line-up I mentioned on hand now but I remember that strnagely enough one "Claude Cloud" figured there. Your combination makes much more sense, of course. Now who made up the brass section, I wonder? ;)

Some discographies list the drummer as "Claude Cloud". However, I guess the real leader on this date is probably Leroy Kirkland.

My guess too as far as Leroy Kirkland goes. But why would some list one "Claude Cloud" when the identity of Panama Francis seems to have been established? Does a drummer make for a "token" leader figure? Strange things happening with THAT pseudonym ...

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Departing slightly from my theme here, I know, but seeing Allen Eager listed as "A.N. Other" reminds me that later in his life he was given to referring to himself as Allen Reluctant! :lol:

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I have read that Art Pepper was once listed as Art Salt. Can't remember the album, though.

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I did a 6-days-a-week jazz radio show for nearly 4 decades, so I was subject to lots of calls from listeners pro- and con- the content.

One I especially remember was from a man who berated me for not playing his favourite tenor player, but playing everybody else: Hawkins, Young, Coltrane, Don Byas, Plas Johnson, Dexter, well the list went on and on, but I never played Johnny Beecher.

When I told him Johnny Beecher WAS Plas Johnson, he said "Oh." and hung up.

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Does Booby Hutcherson qualify?

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I did a 6-days-a-week jazz radio show for nearly 4 decades, so I was subject to lots of calls from listeners pro- and con- the content.

One I especially remember was from a man who berated me for not playing his favourite tenor player, but playing everybody else: Hawkins, Young, Coltrane, Don Byas, Plas Johnson, Dexter, well the list went on and on, but I never played Johnny Beecher.

When I told him Johnny Beecher WAS Plas Johnson, he said "Oh." and hung up.

:lol:

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Not forgetting that cool but elusive Sun Ra sideman - Krumar Mainman :D

Wasn't pianist Jane Getz 'Mother Hen' on some of those 60s/70s rock albums?

Edited by sidewinder

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and wasn't "Hen Gates" also a name of pianist James Foreman (late forties Dizzy sideman, stepfather of Mtume...) does it stand for anything in english/is there a joke I don't get?

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Wasn't pianist Jane Getz 'Mother Hen' on some of those 60s/70s rock albums?

d1457275jee.jpg

Is this she?

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Does Booby Hutcherson qualify?

Maybe I was dreaming this, but wasn't there also a "Herbie Handcock" screw-up on some BN CD reissue sometime in the last decade?

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I have read that Art Pepper was once listed as Art Salt. Can't remember the album, though.

Art Salt = Art Pepper (Shorty Rogers “Cool & Crazy”, RCA Victor, 1954; Shelly Manne & His Men,

Contemporary, 1953)

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Does Booby Hutcherson qualify?

Maybe I was dreaming this, but wasn't there also a "Herbie Handcock" screw-up on some BN CD reissue sometime in the last decade?

Yes.

51eDDjQIPGL._SS500_.jpg

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Here's a complete list, compiled by board member stereojack...

Based on some of the posts that have been made and questions that have been asked since Mike's post (#4 above), I'm getting the impression that some folks didn't see the link in his post. Really, it's worth checking out: http://www.jazzdiscography.com/fitzgera/pseudo.htm

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