Jump to content

BFT 140 - Rara Avis Revealed


Recommended Posts

Thanks to all who listened.


1. Fred Dale and His Orchestra - "Mean to Me"; June, 1954. Band includes Fred Dale, Al Kiger, Doug Mettome - trumpet; David Baker, Urbie Green - trombone; Jerry Coker - tenor sax; Al Plank - piano. This was basically the Indiana University Jazz Band, with a few ringers thrown in for the recording. You can read the full story here, but the band won a collegiate jazz band competition, and part of the prize was a recording session. There were four sides, issued on 78 and 45, but I doubt they've ever been reissued. I've loved this one since finding it in the first box of 78s my grandmother gave me 40 years ago. Dave Baker wrote the arrangement, and solos are by (I'm pretty sure) Mettome, Urbie Green, and Jerry Coker. Coker's playing is particularly beautiful, as several people pointed out.


2. Jeremy Steig - "Dark as a Dungeon"; NYC, 1963 . Steig - flute; Denny Zeitlin - piano; Ben Tucker - bass; Ben Riley - drums. This track is from the Flute Fever sessions, but has never seen the light of day except for this 45 RPM issue. (The picture is of the flip side, a two-minute edit of "Oleo.") Some of you really liked this one. I don't think it's as strong as the tracks chosen for the LP, but it's pretty good.


3. Bunky Green - "Sweet Inspiration" (Met); probably Chcago, 1968 or 1969. Okay, this one ain't much, but it's Bunky Green! This record doesn't show up in any discographies I've seen, and I once emailed Mr. Green asking about it, but never received a reply. The flip side of this Paul Serrano-produced record is "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." In retrospect, not much to see here, I suppose.


4. Howard McGhee - "Crepe Suzette" from a Stardust 45 RPM EP, c. 1971. McGhee - trumpet; Cecil Young - piano; Doles Dickens - bass; Juel Curtis - drums. This is another impossibly rare record, very little known - Howard McGhee with a middling rhythm section on Harrison Smith's Stardust label. I like McGhee's playing, but many of you were not particularly impressed with this one. In addition to the listed personnel, Eddie Jefferson sings on "Sammy." Rare as this one is, I found a picture on a Japanese website.


5. Eddy Howard - "Stardust"; NYC; October 4, 1940. Eddy Howard - vocal; Bill Coleman - trumpet; Benny Morton - trombone; Edmond Hall - clarinet; Bud Freeman - tenor sax; Teddy Wilson - piano; Charlie Christian - guitar; Billy Taylor - bass; Yank Porter - drums. Mostly-forgotten pop singer Eddy Howard made one session for Columbia with a great little jazz band led by Teddy Wilson. Although one person liked Howard's singing, this was included mostly for Charlie Christian's short, but lovely guitar solo. This track should have been included in the Columbia Charlie Christian box for that solo, but wasn't. I know this session was issued on LP in Europe at some point, but it has remained difficult to find.


6. Hurricane Brass Band - "Olympia Special" from Leroy Jones and His Hurricane Marching Brass Band of New Orleans (LoAn); New Orleans, March, 1975. Band includes Leroy Jones, Gregory Davis, Gregg Stafford - trumpet; Lucien Barbarin - trombone; Darryl Adams - alto sax; Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen - tuba; Charles Barbarin - bass drum. I thought more folks would like this, although it's obviously pretty raw. This is an important album in the history of New Orleans brass band music, even though it's very hard to find a copy. It was recorded at a time when the music was apparently dying out - older musicians were retiring, and young guys had no interest in the music. But Danny Barker organized the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, which led to the Hurricane, which led to the Dirty Dozen and to the revitalization of the Olympia. These guys were aged 17 to 23 when this was recorded, and most went on to prominent musical careers - by New Orleans standards, anyway.



Edited by jeffcrom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not familiar with any of these tracks. I would never have guessed #1 in a million years. What a truly rare record, and since I enjoy playing it repeatedly and would never have heard it in my life except for this BFT, all I can say, is "Thanks......Thanks LOADS!"  (That is what Dexter Gordon once said onstage, in response to frenzied applause and screaming from an audience which I was a part of).

2. I have always liked Steig, and again, would have never heard this track except that you included it here.

3. I would not have guessed who this is, but I enjoyed this very much for what it is. I like this kind of music generally.

4. You were not kidding with the "Rare" designation for these tracks. I like this one very much.

5. This was identified early. I am glad to know of one more Charlie Christian recording, since his overall output was rather small unfortunately.

6. I like New Orleans Brass Bands, but do not know much about them. I like your historic information about how this particular band sparked a revival of this tradition.


Again, many thanks for an excellent set of tracks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...