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BFT138 the answers

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Well, here we are; a few Latin things, some swing things, gradually becoming the blues, all of frequently dubious authenticity.

1 Perez Prado – Tabu – from ‘Latin satin’: RCA Victor LPM1459. Los Angeles, prob 1956.


Well, I always like to start off with something to make sure you all aren’t asleep, at least at the beginning. I mailed this cut to my daughter’s phone a few months ago and she was knocked out by it. (She has very good taste in music, though she ain’t a jazz fan.) It’s about as over the top as it’s possible to be.

One thing that intrigues me about this is its inclusion in an album called ‘Latin satin’ and the first line of the sleeve notes: “‘Latin satin’ is all that its name implies: it is Prado at his smoothest.” Yo! for the anonymous sleeve note writer! And another for the cover concept :g I think the world has heard smoother music than THIS! Actually, it seems to me that the purpose of the track, and its presence in the album, is to make a sarcastic joke at the expense of the lounge music fans who would have been the ones RCA Victor was targeting to buy the album. ‘Taboo’ was the lead track on Les Baxter’s album ‘Caribbean moonlight’ which had issued earlier that year and underplayed the Latin origins of this song, and others, as much as possible. Sorry about that TTK!

2 Harold Mabern – Samba d’Orfeu – from ‘Kiss of fire’: Venus TKCV35301. Tokyo 2 Dec 2001.


Mabern (p), Nar Reeves (b), Joe Farnsworth (d).

Mabern’s a pianist I’ve always liked, since I got Jimmy Forrest’s ‘All the gin is gone’ from 1959. And I’d got some of his Prestige albums, too. I saw this in the HMV shop in Ueno, Tokyo, in 2002 and was attracted by the sleeve, which I think is brilliant. Not so attracted by Eric Alexander’s presence, but I still bought the album without hesitation because of the track list. Anyway, I’ve bought a good few more of his Venus albums since then, but haven’t felt like getting any of the DIW material, which seems a bit too much like jazz for me. This is definitely my favourite Mabern album. Gotta confess, I shoved this in at the last minute, after I decided to move #22 to a bonus track, so if it doesn’t fit perfectly, sorry.

3 Orquesta de Felix del Rosario – Cubaeno embullao. From ‘Felix llego’ Borinquen DG1224. 1972.


Little discographical info on the web about this band. Felix del Rosario was the tenor sax player; the singer was Frank Cruz. Felix died in 2012 and was given a hero’s send-off as the King of Merengue by the government of the Dominican Republic. He didn’t invent Merengue but he replaced the accordion that had been used effectively by Angel Viloria (a VERY hot accordion player) with his own sax and heated up the music something terrible. I’ve never heard such a hot band.

I doubt if anyone on the board will have heard of this band, though there’s a near miss amongst you! Really the band’s here to introduce you to some cool and hot music that’s not really jazz but ain’t all that unlike it.

4 Perez Prado – Pianolo. From ‘Perez Prado plays mucho mambo for dancing’ RCA Victor LPM21. Mexico City, 1950.


This was Perez Prado’s first LP, which I found in Paris Jazz corner in July. LPM21!!!! Sleeve notes, amazingly, by Jerry Wexler, then on Billboard’s staff.

I love Prado’s band. If there were prizes for the filthiest and funkiest band in the world, Prado would win it every year. I know Perez played piano, so I should think the piano solo is his, but who knows.

5 Lord Kitchener – Alphonso in town. From 'King of calypso' Melodisc MLP 12-199. London, 1955.


No personnel given but these are clearly not your common or garden English musicians with Kitch. Jim Sangrey should have got this, because I sent him this cut a few years ago. However, Page did and says that the band is that of the Robert Nurse Caribbean band, which I've never heard of. So there may be more to tell on this one.

6 Plas Johnson – Jack sax the city. Warner Bros 5341 (a 45 single). 1963.


Probably Plas Johnson (ts), Bert Kendricks (org), Emil Richards (vib), Jimmy Bond (b), Wayne Robinson or Earl Palmer (d). This is the personnel listed on the Charter LP ‘Sax 5th ave’, the title track of which was the other side of the 45. But this cut never emerged on LP because it’s not notably easy listening. I’d guess, in view of the tympani, that it’s Earl Palmer on drums. But there might be two drummers on this cut.

Sorry it’s not a very tidy rip, but I’ve had this single for over fifty years and played it mucho. It’s probably the last of the honking sax records.

7 Rusty Bryant – A night in Tunisia. From ‘For the good times’ Prestige P10073.


Rusty Bryant (as), Hank Jones (el-p), Joe Beck, Hugh McCracken (g), Tony Levin (b), Steve Gadd (d). Van Gelder’s, 9 Mar 1973. Produced by Ozzie Cadena.

Rebellion against Latin rhythms :) I do like it when someone recasts a burner in a different shape. Not all burners have to be played the same way and this is a lovely tune and Rusty brings out that loveliness.

That's that for the Latin cuts. As Smiley Lewis sang, Thursday is a hard working day. And the plumber came to fix our kitchen tap in the middle of this and has only just gone. Further answers after dinner, I expect.


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OK, part 2

8 Gerald Wilson – I’ll string along with you. Excelsior 161. Taken from ‘Gerald Wilson: 1945-46’ Chronological Classics 976.


Gerald Wilson (tp,arr,dir) Joe "Red" Kelly, Hobart Dotson, James Anderson, Snooky Young (tp) Ralph Bledsoe, Robert Huerta (tb) Melba Liston (tb,arr) Isaac Livingstone (tb) Floyd Turnham, Leo Trammel (as) Vernon Slater, Eddie Davis (ts) Maurice Simon (bar) Jimmy Bunn (p) Benny Sexton (g) Bob Rudd (b) Henry Tucker Green (d) Thrasher Sisters (vcl) Los Angeles, 1945

Sometimes you find a record in which everything is as completely perfect as can be. I think this is one of those. Well, I’ve gotta say a lot of Gerald Wilson’s work is like that.

By the way, Eddie Davis is not Lockjaw.

9 Sarah McLawler and Richard Otto – Caravan. From ‘We bring you swing’ Vee Jay LP1006.


Sarah McLawler (org), Richard Otto (vln), Lefty Bates (g), Eldee Young (b), Issac "Redd" Holt (d) Chicago, October 26, 1958

Sarah McLawler was one of the first of the new wave of musicians to record on organ – that was early in 1953. She started working with Richard Otto in August that year and married him later. Here’s a discography of the trio they had together.


Lord’s discography says that she recorded on organ in 1950 but the Red Saunders Research Foundation page on Premium Records says she played piano on those sessions and I think they’re more reliable than Lord. Someone there actually has that record and has listened to it.

Sarah was born in 1928 and is still around. Pete Fallico interviewed her in 1994 and she was still playing then, with no signs of slowing down. Well, maybe another 20 years has slowed her a bit.

This is a nice, unsensational but unusual, band which I thought would be interesting for people to hear.

10 Ray Nance & the Ellingtonians – Blues for Duke. Esquire 10-041.


Ray Nance (tp,vln), Dick Katz (p), Lauderic Caton (g), Coleridge Goode (b), Ray Ellington (d). London, 1 July 1948.

Well, an English bunch of Ellingtonians! Ray Ellington will be known to many for taking part in the radio programme ‘The goon show’ in the fifties, playing the minor parts of Chief Ellinga, The Wad of Char, Sheikh Rattle’n’roll, Lady Seagoon and The Red Bladder. He also provided the musical interlude for each show. Katz, Caton and Goode were his regular band at the time.

11 Amos Milburn – Flyin’ home. Aladdin 3125. Taken from ‘The complete Aladdin recordings of Amos Milburn’ Mosaic MQ10-155.


Amos Milburn (vcl, p), Willie Smith (ts), Bill Hill (prob ts), Leroy Robinson (as, bars), Wayne Bennett (g), Leonard Sonny Wiliams (b), Eldeen McIntosh (d), Maxwell Davis (mus dir) LA, 30 Jan 1952.

Well, Amos Milburn had run a big territory band in Houston in 1945, before taking up R&B and making pots of dough, so don’t ask what he’s doing singing ‘Flyin’ home’ and singing Illinois Jacquet’s solo, yet! Those R&B men out on the West Coast knew jazz as intimately as Gerald Wilson did.

12 Joe Thomas and Bill Elliott – The thinker. From ‘Speak your piece’ Sue LP1025.


Joe Thomas (ts), Robbie Porter (bars), Jiggs Chase (org), Jimmy McLinton (g), Bill Elliott (d) New York, 1964

Well, this is what happened to the Rhoda Scott trio after she’d left Newark and gone to France. I did say some of this stuff was of varying authenticity, didn’t I?

Jiggs Chase deserves to be a LOT better known than he is. As far as I know, this was his first recording. He also appeared on one track of Buddy Terry’s LP ‘Natural soul’ on which Larry Young played piano! In subsequent years, he was mainly associated with Joe Thomas but also appeared on one side of Pharoah Sanders’ India Navigation LP ‘Pharoah’ in 1976. Later, he became a producer for Sugar Hill records and produced, co-composed and arranged one of the greatest Rap classics ever – ‘The message’ by Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. He also produced, arranged and wrote for Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Kool & the Gang, Cheena, the Sequence and other rap and soul artists. So now you know.

13 Ivory Joe Hunter – Siesta with Sonny. King 4220. Taken from ‘Ivory Joe Hunter 1947-50.


Ivory Joe Hunter (p), Harold Baker (tp), Tyree Glenn (tb, vib), Russell Procope (as, cl), Oscar Pettiford (b), Sonny Greer (d). Cincinnati 5 Dec 1947.

This was the B side of Ivory Joe’s hit ‘Don’t fall in love with me’. So there’s another one for the Duke Ellington experts :)

And here’s another…

14 Wild Bill Davis – Things ain’t what they used to be. Mercer 1955. Taken from ‘April in Paris’ Ocium OCM0046. This was also included in a various artists compilation on Mercer Lp1002: ‘New stars – new sounds’.


Wild Bill Davis (org), Duke Ellington (p), John Collins (g), Jo Jones (d) New York, October, 1950

I wondered whether anyone WOULDN’T recognise Duke Ellington pounding the piano on this one and quite a few didn’t. A good bit of detective work by Jim to work it out.

Well, managed to get this one in before dinner. You'll have to wait for the next lot, I'm afraid.


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And here we are at part 3.

15 Erskine Hawkins – After hours. Bluebird B10879. Taken from ‘The original Tuxedo Junction’ Bluebird CD ND90363.


Sammy Lowe (tp,arr) James Harris, Marcellus Green, Erskine Hawkins (tp) Ed Sims, Bob Range (tb) William Johnson (as,arr) Jimmy Mitchelle (as,vcl) Paul Bascomb, Julian Dash (ts) Haywood Henry (bar) Avery Parrish (p) William McLemore (g) Leemie Stanfield (b) James Morrison (d) New York 10 June 1940.

The original version of the black national anthem – the real one, the one that reflected what the community wanted, rather than the middle classes at NAACP (though there’s nothing wrong with ‘Lift every voice’). I think I have more versions of this tune in my collection than anything other than ‘Summertime’. Just as did Illinois’ solo on ‘Flyin’ home’, Billy Butler’s on ‘Honky tonk’, Steve Cropper’s on ‘Green onions’, Avery Parish’s solo here became the tune.

I’ve always had a very soft spot for this band (well, since I bought my first LP of theirs in 1969). Its arrangements, mostly by Sammy Lowe, with some by Avery Parrish and William Johnson,  were so seamless you could only hear band, not the individuals. And they were so popular in the ghetto; not so much with the wider public, though they did have a fair number of hits. Their stuff is real black pop music. This track made #3 on the R&B chart in 1946, when it was reissued on RCA Victor.

It's said that Hawkins was elected the leader, when the guys (who'd come up from Alabama as the 'Bama State Collegians, on a tour arranged by the college) decided they liked New York, because he could play the high notes. But looking at the rather better reproduction of the same photo on the sleeve of this album of their 1936-38 recordings for Vocalion,


it seems to me that he would have been elected because he was a really handsome guy who could get all the ladies interested.

I wish Mosaic would issue a box of their recordings.

16 Al Casey – Casey’s blues. From ‘Buck jumpin’’ Swingville SVLP2007.


Rudy Powell (as), Herman Foster (p), Al Casey (g), Jimmy Lewis (b), Belton Evans (d) Van Gelders, NJ, March 7, 1960.

I love this album, which I got in 1969 in Harrow, of all places. It was cracked right through, which I never noticed for a while, but played OK, though after a few years, the sound of the crack got a bit obvious, so I taped it, then bought the CD when it came out on OJC. I’ve already included one cut from the album in a BFT several years ago.

This was the King Curtis band of the time, with Rudy Powell subbing for Curtis. Rudy and the one and only Herman Foster tend to take the shine away from Al’s very nice, but rather quiet, solo. Rudy, whose career on records stretched back to 1924, and had worked with Casey in the Fats Waller band in the thirties, blasts and shouts the blues like he never had an opportunity before. And the one and only Herman Foster plays, as usual, at the top of his form. Foster had an interesting career, shuffling back and forth between King Curtis, Lou Donaldson and Gloria Lynne.

17 & 18 Edgar Hayes – Blues at dawn pts 1 & 2. Exclusive 110. Taken from ‘Edgar Hayes 1938-48’ Chronological Classics 1053.



Edgar Hayes (p), Teddy Bunn (g), Curtis Counce (b), Bryant Allen (d). According to the Lord discography and the sleeve notes to 1053, there is no tenor saxophonist present, not even an unknown one, so I don’t know who it is, either.

Edgar Hayes had an extraordinary career. I first heard of him as the straw boss, pianist and arranger of Mills Blue Rhythm Band and looked him up in Wiki, finding that he, like so many others, started with territory bands - in Ohio in his case - in the twenties and led, wonderfully, a band called Eight Black Pirates. I can only imagine their stage outfits, as there’s no photo on the web. He was with the Blue Rhythm Band from 1931 to 1936, then started his own band. He was much influenced by Duke Ellington and so much of his stuff is really interesting to hear. It was this band that originally recorded ‘In the mood’ – Joe Garland was in the band. But he never had a hit record with his big band. He left New York in 1942 and went back to the territories – this time Los Angeles – and formed a quartet. It was hard deciding what of his to put in this BFT but, as I love Teddy Bunn, too, picked this one. It was his second very small R&B hit – it made #12 on the R&B chart for one week in 1949.

19 Chuck Berry – Blue feeling. Chess 1671 (The A side was ‘Rock and roll music’). Taken from ‘One dozen Berrys’ Chess 1432.


Chuck Berry (g), Willie Dixon (b), Fred Below (d), Johnnie Johnson (p) 21 Jan 1957.

I DID say dubious authenticity. What more needs to be said?

Well, quite a bit, actually, because Johnnie Johnson is not an uninteresting, though obscure, guy. He was the leader of a jazz and blues group called the Sir John Trio in East St Louis, with Ebby Hardy on drums and Alvin Bennett on sax. New Year’s Eve 1952, Bennett had a stroke, so Johnson called in a musician who, due to inexperience, probably wouldn’t have a gig that night. That was Chuck Berry, who became a regular member of the band when it was clear that Bennett wouldn’t be playing again. The band carried on as the Sir John Trio until mid 1955, when Chess records put Berry’s name on the hoardings.

20 Big Maybelle – My country man. OkeH 7000. Taken from ‘Big Maybelle 1944-53’ Chronological Classics 5089.


Big Maybelle (vcl), Alfred Cobbs (tb), Sam "The Man" Taylor (ts), Dave McRae (bar), Fletcher Smith (p), James Cannady (g), Grachan Moncur (b), Charlie Smith (d), Leroy Kirkland (ldr,arr) New York, 8 Oct 1952.

21 Dakota Staton – Country man. From ‘I want a country man’ Groove Merchant GM521.


Dakota Staton (vcl), Cecil Bridgewater, Marvin Stamm, Burt Collins, Joe Newman (tp), Eddie Bert, Bill Watrous, Garnett Brown (tb), Jerry Dodgion (sops), Joe Firrantello (as), Frank Wess (ts), Pepper Adams (bar), unknown rhythm, Manny Albam (ldr). New York, February 20 & 26, 1973

Very different approaches to the same song. I’ve loved these two ladies’ work since 1960. I saw Big Maybelle in the film ‘Jazz on a summer’s day’ then. And around the same time of the year, the first two Soul Jazz albums I ever bought (on the same day and without having heard anything of them), before I’d even heard of Soul Jazz, were by Dakota. I didn’t know ‘Country man’ was a Maybelle number until I got the Chronological Classics CD last year.

These two versions of the same song seem to me to point up Dakota’s originality. Her singing voice is awesomely capable but, on most of her material, she uses it in a way which is, at bottom, disrespectful of the songs she sings. She puts on strange accents – often an English accent which sounds very odd – sings phrases in a little girl voice at not necessarily appropriate moments, powers down on notes where that doesn’t seem to be right, breaks up the timing in incongruous ways or, sometimes, as in the present case, can’t be bothered to memorise the words properly. It seems to me that she’s not exactly parodying the songs. Rather she’s saying, ‘look, these songs aren’t for real. They’re just things someone’s put together to earn a buck and not truly worthy of respect. Life’s not serious, so let’s have some fun.’ And, though I made my living by not respecting much of anything and can understand that many people don’t feel this way, I think she’s right. Most love songs don’t deal with reality but with an imagined reality in which everyone finds or can find, loses or will probably lose, their one true love; an idea created by or on behalf of secular and church politicians, as Athens, then the rest of Europe, became partial democracies. And ‘Country man’, is one of those songs; not reality but a fantasy; there ARE no men like that.

But when she gets to a song that really DOES deal with real life, she can, and does, use that tremendous equipment to shrivel your guts. This is most often on a blues from the bottom of the spittoon; Willie Dixon’s ‘I can’t quit you, baby’, well known through the Otis Rush recording on Cobra, or Denise LaSalle’s ‘Your husband’s cheating on us’ (both of which are on Dakota’s 1991 Muse album ‘Darling, please save your love for me’). Though there are real places Dakota doesn’t seem to dare to go – I’ve never heard her sing ‘Don’t explain’ or any other of Billie Holiday’s own songs.

22 Coupé Cloué et l’Ensemble Select – Mon compe/Ti bom – from ‘Ti bom’; Mini Records MRS1067. Audiotek, Haiti, 1978. Produced by Fred Paul.


Bellerive Dorcelien (lead g), Moise Jean & Rigal Jean-Baptiste (rh g), Daniel Dolce (b), Ernst Louis (d), Serge Bernard (cga), Rene Petion (bgo), Assard Francoeur (vcl)

(Mini Records was a Brooklyn firm, not Haitian.)

Coupé Cloué was a band sponsored by, and named for, a Haitian football hero called Jean Gesner Henri, nicknamed Coupé Cloué by the fans (it means cut and nail). He’s supposed to have sung and played guitar with the band, too, but he apparently isn’t on this or the other album I have of theirs. It’s him on the cover of the album and the vocal on this track matches the description of his style, so my guess is that it simply wasn’t felt necessary to mention him in the sleeve notes.

There are two other excellent bands I’ve found from Haiti: Schleu Schleu and Les Loups Noirs (The Black Wolves – and how’s THAT for the name of a band?) I spent a day and a half of my holiday in Paris in July trying to find a record shop specialising in music from the Antilles – found one by accident 20 years ago, before I was ready – but without success. I even asked a Haitian greengrocer, but he was no help. As a result, I know little about Haitian music, but Coupé Cloué is wonderful, so I’ll be getting a few compilations from Amazon in a while.

That's shallot!


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Obscure!? Well, Sarah McLawler is probably quite obscure, though she's well known in organ circles. I bet our host even knows her. And Chuck, who seems to know every musician in Chicago. But the other artists are all pretty famous, though sometimes for OTHER types of music. But that is the wonderful thing about so many musicians - they're not the simple, one-dimensional, people they're often presented to the public as being, and usually consent to, but sometimes get, and take, the opportunity to play out of the box. I love it when someone does that!

(Felix del Rosario and Coupé Cloué are not even marginally obscure in their own countries, of course.)


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Thanks again for a lovely BFT, MG. My cup of tea, you were right about that.

A few comments:
About no 5, I'll send you a picture of the record where the name of the band is shown. I'll have to search where I've found that, since I can't remember.
About no.7 Migh! So he's the man behind that track! I hope your tap got fixed, it is a nuisance when it is broken.
Then No 8, I'd love to own that record myself. I'd love to hear more of his arrangements!
And No 11, now that's one cute pic I'd want to post in that sexy album thread you guys have on the forum. A guy girls would love to have a cup of tea (with a touch of milk) with in his days I presume. Ha! Quite a lady killer with that smile!
Thanks again, it has been a pleasure listening!
kind regards, page

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The tea was sort of a figure of speech. We have this 'expression' of wanting to share a biscuit rusk with someone. I figured tea would be a good British equivalent for that; not that I actually know that it is. Ha! Maybe I will, now that I have your permission. :)

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No not really. It's more like saying you think someone is cute or hot or something and you are implying that you'd like to have breakfast with him or her. That doesn't necessarily mean that you'd really try to pursue that, since you can say it about someone who is famous and you don't even know personally. It would be bold a bold thing to tell to someone's face, although it is (sort of) a compliment. So more like a figure of speech to state someone is attractive in your opinion. In Dutch "een beschuitje willen eten met.." ("to want to have/share a rusk with...") Not really an official expression, more like slang. Language is fun!

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  • 2 weeks later...



I am embarrassed chipping in this late. I listened to your BFT quite a bit and started comments several times during the month of the BFT but came up with nothing. I am not good at writing in the first place but as it turns out, I have not heard most of the artists and actually have not even hear OF a number. That is, of coarse, what I like in a BFT but I know as a presenter you are looking for feedback. Sorry I let you down on that.


I do want to thank you for your effort. I enjoyed listening.

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