Personnel: Louis Armstrong,
Mutt Carey [tp], Billie Holiday [v], Barney Bigard [cl],
Kid Ory [tb], Charlie Beal, Meade Lux Lewis [pn], Bud
Scott [gu], Red Callender [sb], Zutty Singleton, Minor
Songs: Flee as A Bird/When the Saints Go Marching In, West End
Blues, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, Brahm's Lullaby,
Tiger Rag, Buddy Bolden's Blues, Basin Street Blues, Raymond Street Blues,
Milneberg Joys, Where the Blues Were Born in New Orleans, Farewell to
Storyville, Beale Street Stomp, Dippermouth Blues, Shimme-Sha-Wabble,
Ballin' the Jack, King Porter Stomp, Mahogany Hall Stomp, The Blues Are
Brewing, Endie, Honky Tonk Train.
New Orleans Soundtrack -
Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Kid Ory
Marcel Joly - Jazz Critic for JazzGazette.com
NEW ORLEANS - THE SOUNDTRACK, OUT-TAKES AND ASSOCIATED MUSIC FROM THE
(a) Louis Armstrong And His Band: Louis Armstrong (tpt,vcl) Kid Ory (tbn)
Barney Bigard (clt) Charlie Beal (pno) Bud Scott (gtr,vcl break)George
"Red" Callender (bs) Zutty Singleton (dms)
(b) as (a) but with unidentified studio musicians added to obtain a marching
(c) as (a) but Bigard omitted and Armstrong only vcl
(d) Louis Armstrong (tpt) Charlie Beal (pno) Red Callender (bs)
(e) as (a) but Armstrong and Beal omitted
(f) as (a) but Thomas "Mutt" Carey (tpt) and Eli "Lucky"
Thompson (ts) added
(g) Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra: Louis Armstrong (tpt,vcl) Robert
Butler, Louis Gray, Andrew
"Fats" Ford, Ed Mullins (tpt) "Big Chief" Russell
Moore, Waddet Williams, Nat Allen, James Whitney (tbn) Don Hill, Amos
Gordon (as) Joe Garland, John Sparrow (ts) Ernest Thompson (bars) Earl
Mason (pno) Elmer Warner (gtr) Arvell Shaw (bs) Edmond mcConney (dms)
Billie Holiday (vcl)
(a) Louis Armstrong (tpt) and probably Charlie Beal (pno)
(b) Billie Holiday (vcl) and probably Charlie Beal (pno)
(c) as (a) but with Billie Holiday and Choir (vcl) added
(d) Meade Lux Lewis (pno)
All the above were pre-recordings for the movie and started on September
11, 1946 at Studio And Artists Recorders, Hollywood, California.
Following tracks were regular commercial recordings made in conjunction
with the film.
(a) Louis Armstrong (tpt,vcl) Kid Ory (tbn) Barney Bigard (clt) Charlie
Beal (pno) Bud Scott (gtr) Red Callender (bs) Minor Hall (dms), Los Angeles,
October 17, 1946
(m) same as (g) but without Billie Holiday, Los Angeles, October 17, 1946
1.Flee As A Bird To The Mountain / When The Saints Go Marching In (b)
2.West End Blues (a) 3.Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
(i) (BH vcl) 4.Brahms' Lullaby (h) 5.Tiger Rag (a) 6.Buddy Bolden Blues
(c) (LA vcl) 7.Buddy Bolden Blues (c) (LA vcl) 8.Basin Street Blues (a)
(LA vcl) 9.Raymond Street Blues (d) 10.Milneberg Joys (a) 11.Where The
Blues Were Born In New Orleans (a) (LA vcl) 12. Farewell To Storyville
(j) (BH + choir vcl) 13.Beale Street Stomp (e) 14.Dippermouth Blues (slow
version) (f) 15.Dippermouth Blues (fast version) (f) (Bud Scott vcl break)
16.Shimme-Sha-Wabble (f) 17.Ballin' The Jack (f) 18.King Porter Stomp
(f) 19.Mahogany Hall Stomp (slow version) (a) 20.Mahogany Hall Stomp (fast
version) (f) 21.The Blues Are Brewin' (g) (BH vcl) 22.Endie (g) (LA vcl)
23.Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? (a) (BH vcl) 24.Honky
Tonk Train (k) 25.Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? (l) (LA
vcl) 26.Where The Blues Were Born In New Orleans (l) (LA vcl) 27.Mahogany
Hall Stomp (l) 28.Endie (m) (LA vcl) 29.The Blues Are Brewin' (m) (LA
First of all, the discographical information found here differs somewhat
from the one on the CD, but it IS correct and more complete.
When the movie "New Orleans" was in the planning stage, the
man responsible for the pre-recording of the music knew more or less what
he was doing. They actually went to New Orleans and recorded a real marching
band, Kid Howard's Brass Band.. The music was not used in the film, you'll
understand why later on. When I said the man knew MORE OR LESS what he
was doing, I'm thinking about the presence of Louis Armstrong in the band
that appears in the movie. His choice of Louis was obviously a commercial
one. On pure musical grounds it is obvious that the style Louis had developed
on the trumpet by then, was not the kind of trumpet playing that could
be heard in New Orleans in 1917, the year Storyville closed and the time
that the events in the movie are supposed to have happened. If that would
be all that went wrong, we would have been much happier with the movie.
In fact, the movie stinks! The story was originally meant as a history
of the birth of jazz in New Orleans and Louis, Billie and the other black
musicians were signed to ensure the authenticity of the music. Charlie
Emge in his Downbeat column in the fall of 1946 confirmed that a second
unit crew had been dispatched to New Orleans to film an authentic street
parade and funeral with among others George Lewis. Afterwards everything
was changed. Instead of a story glorifying black music the emphasis throughout
the film was on whether or not a young white opera singer would throw
over her career and run off with a gambler restauranteer. Louis and Billie
were relegated to secondary roles, Louis as the leader of the band playing
in the basement restaurant of the gambling house, Billie as the personal
maid of the opera singer! Very little of the (excellent) pre-recorded
music ended up in the movie. Most of it was edited and interrupted by
the inane dialogue of the script. For the jazz lovers at the time, the
movie was a very disappointing and frustrating experience. Fortunately
someone kept the acetates with the pre-recorded music and that's what
we are talking about here.
Judged on its own merits, and disregarding the stylistical differences
between the music actually heard and what was really played in the 1917
New Orleans, the music on this CD is captivating at all times and deserves
a place in everyone's jazz collection. With two exceptions, Louis would
never again in his career be surrounded by so many New Orleans born musicians
or play such a completely down home repertoire. The exceptions were the
recordings he made with the white New Orleans band, The Dukes of Dixieland,
now on CD on Blue Moon, and a concert he did with Kid Ory's band in Disneyland
in 1962. His reunion with old side-kicks from the earlier and later Hot
Five (Ory and Singleton) was most interesting. It gives us a glimpse of
how the All Stars could have sounded if Louis had chosen nothing but New
Orleans born musicians for that group. But he didn't!
The length of the tunes heard here varies from less than a minute (Buddy
Bolden's Blues, Brahms' Lullaby) to almost 5 minutes (Basin Street Blues,
Where The Blues Were Born In New Orleans). These are the COMPLETE pre-recordings
and not the snippets of them as heard in the movie. "Raymond Street
Blues" offers the rare opportunity of Louis growling away on muted
trumpet. Mutt Carey can be heard soloing on "Simme-Sha-Wabble"
and playing the lead on the second chorus of "Ballin' The Jack"
and on the second strain of "King Porter Stomp".
And what about the brass band recorded in New Orleans? At the time this
music appeared on LP for the first time, no discs of those recordings
could be found. Today we know more about them. We even know who played
in the brass band: Kid Howard, Louis Dumaine, Henry Allen Sr (tpt) Jim
Robinson, Bill Matthews (tbn) George Lewis (clt) Howard Davis (sax) John
Porter (baritone horn) Ricard Alexis (mellophone) Sidney Brown (sous)
Cie Frazier (sn-dm) Lawrence Marrero (bs-dm). Two tunes were recorded
in several takes: "Going To The Graveyard" ( "Flee As a
Bird To The Mountain") and "Marching From The Graveyard"
("St.Louis Blues"). Recording dates were August 31, 1946 and
September 1, 1946, respectively. But where are the discs? The last thing
I heard about them was - if I remember well - Tom Stagg telling me in
New Orleans he had a tape of the music. Because there was so little of
it, he was looking for suitable material to add. So, MAYBE, there is still
hope we will hear this historically important music in the future. For
the time being, we should be grateful for what we get here, which is much
more than we expected after seeing the movie!
As Big Bill says in his liner notes: "So here is some great music
from a not-so-great film. Close your eyes and visualise your own virtual
movie". I second this wise advise.
- Marcel Joly
Richard Bourcier - JazzReview.com -
Most jazz buffs will list New Orleans as one of their favorite films.
It was a rare chance to hear authentic vintage jazz in a "relatively
undiluted" format. Hollywood seems to feel that it's their God-given
right and duty to "seek and destroy" all remnants of America's
only true art form. Do they honestly believe that the film viewing public
is too ignorant to recognize good music? If it's good jazz or good classical
music, the pundits in Hollywood will "water it down" so the
public can "understand" it.
Certainly, nobody will contest the editor's right and duty to separate
the good from the bad. All the tracks on this CD are "out-takes"
and that's fine. Even professionals like Satchmo made their share of fluffs
and threw away "less than perfect" arrangements.
Thankfully, due to albums such as this, the hard-nosed collectors can
immerse themselves in a duck soup of edited material. We can now be the
"armchair quarterbacks" and decide what would have been the
The part that really bothers this writer is the fact that, for no apparent
good reason, a musical treasure was snuffed by Hollywood's "heartless."
The legendary George Lewis was originally in the film performing with
Kid Howard's Brass Band. The section was cut before the final release
of the film in 1947. To the best of my knowledge the song was "Maryland,
The Jazz Crusade CD offers 29 tracks by Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday
and Meade Lux Lewis. The collector will feel like a kid on Halloween when
opening this bag of musical candy. Billie Holiday owned the tune "Do
You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans." It appears no less than
three times in one form or another.
Louis Armstrong is always a major attraction but there is more here than
just great Satchmo. There is some fabulous work by Kid Ory, Barney Bigard
and pianist Charlie Beal. Thankfully, Charlie Beal was working in L.A.'s
Jococco Room during the period that the soundtrack was being recorded
in 1946. His contribution to the music in the film cannot be minimized.
You'll have to listen closely to hear Beal's artistry but it's worth the
time. That's what albums like this are all-about. Listen and discover!
Certainly, there are some musically poor moments here but that's to be
expected. This is a neat collection of blunders and wonders.
- Richard Bourcier
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