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BFT #130 Reveal


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Apologies for the lateness.

1. "West End Blues", Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, 1928

Hot Fives & Sevens (JSP)


Louis Armstrong (tp,vcl), Fred Robinson (tb), Jimmy Strong (cl), Earl Hines (p), Mancy Cara (bj), Zutty Singleton (d)

This is Louis in June of 1928. Height of his creative powers, etc. etc. As already mentioned in the discussion thread, both Jeff Crom and I used the opening fanfare as our cell phone ringtone for a while. One could argue we're unoriginal, but I'd like to argue we're healthily obsessed. (Fun fact: when I got my first iPhone and set this as the ringtone, I asked a jazz friend "Hey, guess what I just set as my ringtone?" He got it in one guess. So maybe we are unoriginal...)

Whenever I hear someone say "such-and-such album is a must-hear" I think "no, Louis's 1928 'West End Blues' is a must-hear". So now you've heard it. Good on you!

2. "Miss Brown to You", Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra, 1935

Complete Columbia Golden Years Recordings (Definitive)


Roy Eldridge (tp), Benny Goodman (cl), Ben Webster (ts), Teddy Wilson (p), John Trueheart (g), John Kirby (b), Cozy Cole (d), Billie Holiday (vcl)

Yes, yes, I robbed Sony of precious $$$ by getting the Definitive release. The music is fantastic regardless.

3. "Minor Swing", Quintet du Hot Club de France, 1937

Paris and London (1937-1948) (JSP)


Django Reinhardt (g), Stéphane Grappelli (vln), Joseph Reinhardt, Eugene Vees (g), Louis Vola (b)

4. "Oh, Lady Be Good", Jones-Smith Incorporated, 1936

Classic Columbia, Okeh and Vocalion Lester Young with Count Basie (1936-1940) (Mosaic)


Carl "Tatti" Smith (tp), Lester Young (ts), Count Basie (p), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (d)

As someone mentioned in the discussion thread, this is from the session that introduced Lester Young to the record-listening public. Go buy this set, or anything else that has this whole session. Go. Now. I'll wait.

5. "The St. Louis Blues", Bessie Smith, 1925

The Complete Recordings (Volume 3) (Frog)


Bessie Smith (vcl), Louis Armstrong (cn), Fred Longshaw (reed organ)

Armstrong three years before West End Blues. Bessie being regal. I admit the organ never did it for me, but the whole is still magnificent.

I once got into a near flame-war with some of the more astringent members of this forum over whether the Frogs are better than the JSPs, etc. etc. I still can't hear the difference (or, rather, I can hear a difference, but it's entirely unclear to me which is "better"). Anyway, this is an attempt at a segue to a compilation on Affinity called "Armstrong and the Blues Singers", which is sadly OOP. It's worth hunting down, though if you're curious about Armstrong's playing behind singers in the 20's.

6. "Flying Home", Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra, 1942

The Lionel Hampton Story (Proper)


Eddie Hutchinson, Mannie Klein, Ernie Royal, Jack Trainor (tp), Fred Beckett, Sonny Craven, Harry Sloan (tb), Marshall Royal, (cl,as), Ray Perry (as,vln), Eddie Barefield, Illinois Jacquet (ts), Jack McVea (bar), Lionel Hampton (vib), Milton Buckner (p), Irving Ashby (g), Vernon Alley (b), Lee Young (d)

As mentioned in the discussion thread, Illinois Jacquet was 19 when he played his solo, and it became a part of the standard arrangement. (You can hear "Flying Home" without it. There are earlier recordings by Hampton.)

I don't know why I don't have this on a better release, but surprisingly I don't. These Proper boxes are kinda "meh". I really don't recommend them sound-wise. (They are cheap and have fun booklets, though.)

7. "The "C" Jam Blues", Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra, 1942

The Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings (RCA)


Rex Stewart (cn), Wallace Jones (tp), Ray Nance (tp,vln), Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown (tb), Juan Tizol (v-tb), Barney Bigard (cl), Johnny Hodges (as,ss,cl), Otto Hardwick (as,bass-sax), Ben Webster (ts), Harry Carney (bar,as,cl), Duke Ellington (p), Fred Guy (g), Alvin "Junior" Raglin (b), Sonny Greer (d)

What a band (even without Blanton)...

(Ho, hum, hum, hum... It won't let me post more images... Ho, hum, hum... How do I force it to not merge two consecutive posts, I wonder?)

Edited by alex.
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8. "Lester's Dream", Benny Goodman Septet, 1940

Classic Columbia, Okeh and Vocalion Lester Young with Count Basie (1936-1940) (Mosaic)


Buck Clayton (tp), Lester Young (ts), Benny Goodman (cl), Count Basie (p), Charlie Christian (el-g), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (d)

Did you go out and buy this like I told you to above? No?! Why on earth not?! Anyway, here's Lester, Basie, Page, and Jones four years after "Lady Be Good"--this time with Clayton, Goodman, and Christian. One of those "wish I'd been in the studio for this one" sessions.

9. "Doctor Jazz", Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers, 1926

Jelly Roll Morton (JSP)


George Mitchell (cn), Kid Ory (tb), Omer Simeon (cl), Jelly Roll Morton (p,vcl), Johnny St. Cyr (bj), John Lindsey (b), Andrew Hilaire (d)

Nothing but awesome. Morton covering a King Oliver tune.

10. "Singin' the Blues", Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra, 1927

Bix Restored, Volume 1 (Origin Jazz Library)


Bix Beiderbecke (cn), Bill Rank (tb), Frankie Trumbauer (c-mel), Jimmy Dorsey (cl,as), Doc Ryker (as), Paul Mertz (p), Eddie Lang (g), Chauncey Morehouse (d)

I expected someone to jump on this fairly early, but my tyrannical rules held people back until the very end. :)

11. "Canal Street Blues", King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, 1923

Off the Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Archeophone)


Joe Oliver, Louis Armstrong (cn), Honore Dutrey (tb), Johnny Dodds (cl), Lillian Hardin (p), Bill Johnson (bj), Baby Dodds (d)

This is the best these recordings have sounded in years. Definitely the CDs to get if you want the '23 Olivers.

12. "Weather Bird", Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines, 1928

Hot Fives & Sevens (JSP)

Louis Armstrong (tp), Earl Hines (p)
Did I say you had to buy that Young/Basie Okeh Mosaic? I meant this one, too. Go get this one. It's cheap. Hell, get two, and give one to your neighbours. Make them listen to "West End Blues" and "Weather Bird". Tell them some nutcase on the internet made you listen to them, and forced you to pass on the gift.
I'm sleepy. The rest later this week. Again, apologies for the delay. Please don't let this derail BFT 131!
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13. "Perdido Street Blues", Louis Armstrong & Sidney Bechet, 1940

The Complete Decca Studio Master Takes 1940-1949 (Definitive)


Louis Armstrong (tp), Claude Jones (tb), Sidney Bechet (cl, ss), Luis Russell (p), Bernard Addison (g), Wellman Braud (b), Zutty Singleton (d)

I actually have the Mosaic now, and it sounds a little better, but I'm lazy and I haven't ripped that one yet, so this was easier to put on the BFT. Aaaanyway. Go listen to BFT 110 if you still have it and compare this to Dodds' classic recording of the same tune.

14. "All the Cats Join In", Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, 1946

Make Mine Music short (I ripped the music from the video)

I already included the video in the discussion thread, but here it is again.

There were many cartoons set to jazz scores in the first half of the 20th century. This is one of my favourites. I keep meaning to make a live-action version of this video with some dancer friends.

15. "Man from Mars", Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, 1939

Self Portrait (RCA)


John Best, Bernie Privin, Chuck Peterson (tp), George Arus, Les Jenkins, Harry Rodgers (tb), Artie Shaw (cl), Les Robinson, Hank Freeman (as), Georgie Auld, Tony Pastor (ts), Bob Kitsis (p), Al Avola (g), Sid Weiss (b), Buddy Rich (d)

16. "Tea for Two", Esquire All-American Jazz Band, 1944

Esquire All-American Jazz Concert (Jazz Archives)


Roy Eldridge (tp), Jack Teagarden (tb), Barney Bigard (cl), Coleman Hawkins (ts), Art Tatum (p), Lionel Hampton (vib), Al Casey (g), Oscar Pettiford (b), Sid Catlett (d)

If you liked this, you should definitely track down one of the releases of these concerts (the LaserLight is fine, too--it's one disc rather than two, and only has one of the evening's concerts on it--or a greatest hits set picked from the two, I don't remember). The 13 minute "Flying Home" jam is fantastic.

The announcer's introductions are sometimes annoying (really, you have to do a voice-over during the actual music, introducing the soloists?), and sometimes rather charming ("The First Jazz concert ever given at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York..."). The recordings are all taken from the radio wire.

Edited by alex.
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17. "Sugarfoot Stomp", Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra, 1939

Live at the Savoy: 1939-40 (HEP)


Dick Vance, Taft Jordan, Bobby Stark (tp), Nat Story, George Matthews, Sandy Williams (tb), Hilton Jefferson, Garvin Bushell (as), Teddy McRae, Wayman Carver (ts,fl), Tommy Fulford (p), John Trueheart (g), Beverley Peer (b), Bill Beason (d)

I believe this is one no one guessed. Back in BFT 67 I included "Lindyhopper's Delight", a studio recording from the same year, and with the same line-up. I was curious to see whether anyone would catch on...*cough*cough*youknowwhoyouare*cough*cough*

If you listen carefully, you can hear Ella urging on the band: "[something], Sandy!" (1:55) and "I hear you, Teddy!" (2:28).

This CD is all from the radio wire at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, birthplace of the lindy hop. The ballroom was closed in the late fifties and torn down to make room for apartment buildings, so there are very few videos from inside the ballroom, and sadly all are silent. Here's a video of a performance at the Savoy, with music dubbed in. It gives you at least some idea of the size of the place (a NYC block long):

18. "Petite Fleur", Edmond Hall Quartet, 1958

Petite Fleur (Mighty Quinn)


Edmond Hall (cl), Ellis Larkins (p), Milt Hinton (b), Jimmy Crawford (d)

"Recorded for the talented listener"! What a brilliant record cover! The music is still better, though.

19. "Les Flots du Danube", The Rosenberg Trio, 2009

Free As the Wind (download from artist website)


Stochelo Rosenberg, Nous'che Rosenberg (g), Nonnie Rosenberg (b)

So...this EP was free to download from the Rosenberg Trio's website, but their website seems to be currently broken, so I can't check whether it still is. Hmm. Annoying.

"Les Flots du Danube" ("The Waves of the Danube") is originally a Romanian waltz. You might also recognize it as this:

(Al Jolson, "Anniversary Song")

20. "On Revival Day", LaVern Baker, 1958

Precious Memories / LaVern Sings Bessie Smith (Collectables)


Buck Clayton (tp), Vic Dickenson (tb), Paul Quinichette (ts), Sahib Shihab (bar), Nat Pierce (p), Danny Barker (g), Wendell Marshall (b), Joe Marshall (d), LaVern Baker (vcl)

As much as I like Bessie's original, this I enjoy more.

Edited by alex.
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21. "Bucktown Blues", Bent Persson, 1976

Louis Armstrong's 50 Hot Choruses for Cornet Volume 1-2 (Kenneth)


Bent Persson (tp), Bob McAllister (tb), Tomas Örnberg (cl,ss), Ulf Johansson (p), Göran Stachewsky (bj), Christer Ekhé (d)

In 1927, Walter Melrose and Elmer Schoebel gave Armstrong an Edison cylinder phonograph and a bunch of wax cylinders. He recorded more than 50 solos and more than 120 breaks, and Schoebel and Melrose then had them transcribed and published them in the book Jeff Crom and I mentioned int he discussion thread: http://thescreamonline.com/music/music2-1/armstrong/index.html (Unfortunately that's just a few pages of the book.)

Beginning in the 70's, Swedish trumpet player Bent Persson recorded a bunch of the solos and breaks for Gösta Hägglöf's Kenneth Records. (Gösta was also the guy behind the excellent Armstrong-only "Ambassador Records".) The records and CDs are OOP and hard to find. When I was in Sweden a few years ago, one of my goals was to find the CDs. Another of my goals was to take a jazz clarinet class at a major jazz dance and music camp. I found one of the CDs at Andra Jazz in Stockholm (excellent shop). When I got to the camp, to my surprise Bent turned out to be one of my teachers! He still had a copy of one of the other CDs (I'm still hunting for the third...).

Anyway: Armstrong's chorus is the last 32 bars of this recording. The break at the end of the intro is also Armstrong's.

22. "Söderhamn Blues", Jan Johansson, 1960

Blues (Heptagon/CDBaby)


Jan Johansson (p), Gunnar Johnson (b), Ingvar Callmer (d)

The Swedish section of the BFT, part 2!

Johansson is not well-known outside Sweden (and, let's face it, even inside Sweden). The thing you're most likely to have heard of his is the theme song for the Pippi Longstocking television show of the 60's. Here's the original, på Svenska:
23. "Gut Bucket Blues", Carling Family, 2004
20th Jubilee (Heptown)
Hans Carling (tp), Gunhild Carling (tb), Max Carling (cl), Aina Carling (bj), Ulf Carling (d)
Swedish section of BFT, part 3!
The Carling family (father Hans, Mother Aina, children Gunhild, Max, and Ulf) plays traditional jazz and performs random circus acts: acrobatics, juggling, etc. Gunhild, for instance, does this:
(Make sure you watch till 4:30 or so, or at least fast forward to 3:25 and 4:50.)
These fine folks, apart from goofing about, also play some very fine New Orleans and Chicago style jazz. They're the main music teachers at the camp I mentioned in number 21 above. Aina is a sweetheart. Hans just sort of screams at the students. Gunhild leads her own band most of the time, so unfortunately she doesn't come. Ulf is very serious. Max seems to always wear red converse. Anyway, one of the years I went I ended up performing "Canal Street Blues" in a little band of seven with Bent Persson (on trumpet) and Aina Carling (on banjo). I made squeaky noises on a clarinet and tap danced. Four other students played reasonable approximations of jazz (actually, one was very good). I almost added this (dreadful, despite the talent of the teachers and the one skilled student) performance to this BFT. Be thankful I spared you. Better behave, or I'll put it in next time.
Another bit of trivia: on some of Bent's Armstrong Chorusses recordings, a 12-year old Gunhild plays trombone. (I considered including one of those for novelty's sake, but to be honest I think her playing is only O.K.--if you know she's 12 it's amazing, if you don't it sounds weak at times. Still, loads better than I will ever play any instrument, but...)
24. "Volkswagen Thing", Asylum Street Spankers, 2009
God's Favorite Band (Yellow Dog)
I don't think I have anything interesting to say about this adorable bit of silliness. :)
O.K., that's all, folks! Thanks for listening and commenting. I hope you found something new you enjoy, or perhaps rediscovered something you already owned. ;) Please let me know if you liked something in particular and want more recommendations along the same line.

Wow! You have a lovely collection, Alex. Ik ben jaloers! :)

Haha, dankjewel! :)

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Man, I can't believe I didn't recognize Gunhild! I have several of her arrangements which she has so kindly shared. (She does sing too, I'm not going to try her trombone parts.) I didn't know about this album though. And that I missed the Rosenberg trio. :banghead:
I was very curious about nr. 18 which struck me as lovely. Re Ella, I did take note of the things she called out, but I didn't recognize her.
Thanks again for a lovely BFT Alex, it has been fun!
Kind regards, page

Edited by page
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Man, I can't believe I didn't recognize Gunhild! I have several of her arrangements which she has so kindly shared. (She does sing too, I'm not going to try her trombone parts.) I didn't know about this album though. And that I missed the Rosenberg trio. :banghead:

I was very curious about nr. 18 which struck me as lovely. Re Ella, I did take note of the things she called out, but I didn't recognize her.

Thanks again for a lovely BFT Alex, it has been fun!

Kind regards, page

To clarify for why page is upset she missed the Rosenberg Trio: they're Dutch. Do you get to hear them live, page? *envy*

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No, unfortunately I didn't, or at least not the whole trio itself. I have seen family members play apart from each other at the uitmarkt in Amsterdam, as a guest elsewhere. I would have loved to have seen them with their tour with Herman van Veen. He's my favourite singer here. He wrote a song with multiple time measure varying from 5/8, 6/8 to 9/8 and back which he did with them. I still have that song on my wishlist to sing since it has such striking lyrics. The Rosenberg trio is amazing here as you can hear.

Enjoy! :)

edit: Since most of you won't understand the lyrics, I''l explain. It is about people being different but you can love them with their differences each in a different way. This doesn't mean you love the one any less or more than the other, just different. So a bit like there is room for all in your heart Yeah, corny right, busted. I'm a sucker for a beautiful phrase. Edited by page
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Alex, I really loved this BFT because it was focused on the great recordings of pre-bop jazz. We don't hear from that era in the Blindfold Tests as much now as we used to. I was a little bit surprised that some of the songs were not better known by our very knowledgeable members. It makes me realize that my experience as a jazz fan could be related to my age. I started listening to jazz and buying a lot of jazz albums in the mid-1970s. There were many fewer years of recorded jazz to cover back then, and it was a given that a jazz fan would go back to the 1930s and early 1940s in his or her listening and buying. Now with so many decades having passed, it may no longer be so natural.

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