The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3088: Rare Cuts - Well Done Vol.5 - Edmond Hall

Personnel: Henry "Red" Allen [trumpet], Benny Morton [trombone], Edmond Hall [clarinet], Lil Armstrong [piano], Bernard Addison [guitar], Pops Foster [string bass], Zutty Singleton [drums]
Songs: Down In Jungle Town, Canal Street Blues, King Porter Stomp, Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble

Personnel: Punch Miller [trumpet/vocal], Edmond Hall [clarinet], Jimmy Archey [trombone], Ralph Sutton [piano], Ernest Hill [string bass], Arthur Trappier, Jimmy Crawford [drums]
Songs: Shine, Cock Robin, I Just Can't Help Myself, Some of these Days, Cool Kinda Papa, She's Funny That Way, Panama, Squeeze Me, There's A Small Hotel, Down by the Riverside, Shake It & Break It, Exactly Like You, Informal Blues

Personnel: W. C. Handy [trumpet/vocal], Edmond Hall [clarinet], J. C. Higgenbotham [trombone], Bingle Madison [sax], Luis Russell [piano], Pops Foster [string bass], Sidney Catlett [drums]
Songs: St. Louis Blues, Loveless Love, Beale Street Blues, Way Down South Where the Blues Began

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3088: Rare Cuts - Well Done Vol.5 - Edmond Hall

Jazz Classique - France

With this sixth volume of his Rare Cuts Series, Bill Bissonnette has taken Edmond Hall as a common musician to three different recording sessions. The three sessions on this CD could be placed in the line of the rediscovery of original jazz, from 1939, just like those of Richard M. Jones in 1940 or Mutt Carey's in November 1947. What to say about the Allen/Singleton session? It's just perfection. A model of dynamism. The rhythm section rolls smoothly along, propelled by Zutty¹s drive, whose playing is at last here well recorded. In his solos or in the ensembles, his playing on drums and cymbals is exemplary. Bernard Addison swings like mad as always; too bad that Pops Foster's bass is badly recorded. Lil Hardin very intelligently accompanies the band. With such a rhythm section the blowers send themselves in the air. Red's playing is incisive & domineering, sometimes brilliant; especially on his chorus on Shimme-Sha-Wabble. Ed Hall does not have his clarinet in his pocket (that is a French expression which means that he is very active). Benny Morton finds his way with suppleness.
At the end of 1946, Punch Miller went on tour with the Bronze Manikins. Did the tour stopped in New York ? Did Punch quit to rejoin later on? Anyway, he stayed in New York quite a while, often playing with, among others, Ralph Sutton. With the two recording sessions of December 1947, he tried a come-back. We can feel that he is determined, joyous. He sings and scats in his beautiful manner, his trumpet style is full of these typical New Orleans phrasings that he loves. The tunes are well chosen, alternating original compositions by Punch, fashion songs of the day and classics from New Orleans. Ed Hall is here at his tops, literally unchained on Shine! One has to listen very carefully to what Jimmy Archey blows, not only in his solos, always perfectly constructed, but also in his harmonizations: this is real great art! Please give an ear too to taste the perfect playing of the talented bass player Ernest Hill. Sutton and Punch interpret three tunes in duet, among which is a beautiful blues. It seems to me that Jimmy Crawford's playing brings more dynamics in the second session, in which the trombone is absent. The reissue of these rare recordings justifies in itself the purchasing of this CD.
1938 : W.C. Handy takes part in some radio programs, is interviewed in reviews. All this will bring Jelly Roll Morton and his friend Roy Carew to protest in a letter to Down Beat when some journalists presented Handy as the inventor of blues. We can understand the "Master's" indignation at hearing the corny singing and straight trumpet playing of W.C. Handy : we are very far from Keppard, Buddy Petit or Morton. This session is curious, stylistically speaking. It sounds like the musicians learned the arrangements on the spot, written in a clumpy style (is it Bingie Madison's or Handy's writing?). Almost everything turns around Handy's playing, sounding a bit like his Memphis compatriot Johnny Dunn. Higginbotham easily finds his way but Ed Hall does not seem at ease. His phrasings are so much different from his phrasings in the recordings done a few years earlier with Claude Hopkins big band. Bingie Madison takes a tenor solo on Loveless Love. Luis Russell plays superb piano, and if Pops Foster's bass is here audible, one can vainly try to discern any trace of Sidney Catlett's playing. These four tunes are of documentary and historical interest, one of which is very rare: Way Down Where the Blues Began.
- Dan Vernhettes

Just Jazz - British Magazine

Basically, this CD is for Edmond Hall lovers, of which I am one. Ed features on all the tracks on this CD, and I have to say, that in my humble opinion, I believe him to be one of the greatest New Orleans clarinettists of his generation. Here he is in the company of two great New Orleans trumpeters. Henry 'Red' Alien and Punch Miller, and he literally bounces off their lead. The tracks with W.C. Handy, recorded in 1939, are more of an interest than of great jazz. The band is excellent, with J.C. Higginbotham and Sid Catlett etc, but Handy's cornet playing is very simplistic although it is nice to hear him amongst jazzers who had played his tunes for over twenty years. Excellent CD, highly recommended.
- Peter Lay

JazzGazette - Internet Jazz Publication

This is of course a CD full of classic jazz of a very high order. The binding factor is the presence of Edmond Hall on all but three tracks. This great clarinet player was born in Reserve, Louisiana on May 15 1901. He lived about 200 feet from the home of Pete Valentine, the father of Kid Thomas. As a youngster he played together with Thomas. In 1919 he moved to New Orleans where he played a.o. with the band of Buddy Petit (remember the famous photo that also has a young Chester Zardis). According to his own saying he was influenced by Lorenzo Tio, Alphonse Picou and Buddy Petit. He was one of the musicians who rated Petit’s playing higher than Louis Armstrong’s. Later on he left New Orleans to become one of the greatest clarinet players of the swing era. Manfred Selchow from Germany has written a great biography of Edmond Hall which, as far as I know, is out of print now. It is called “Profoundly Blue”. Look for it in the second hand offerings. It is great!
The first four tracks were originally recorded for Decca and were part of a six 78 rpm album under the title “New Orleans”. The other 4 78 rpms were by Louis Armstrong (2), Johnny Dodds (1) and Jimmie Noone (1). In addition to Hall the four tracks on this CD feature three other New Orleans expatriates: Henry “Red” Allen, Pops Foster and Zutty Singleton. They are a fine illustration of the changes the music of these expatriates underwent after they left New Orleans. The sound is different to the few recordings made in the city before and also different to what was going to be recorded there afterwards. For one thing the tempos are much faster and only “Canal Street Blues” has a somewhat more relaxed feeling typical for the down home style. What we have here is hot jazz of great quality where occasionally the origin of the New Orleanians shines through. Listening to these tracks it is easy to understand why “Red” Allen was considered by many serious competition for Satchmo. His playing is hot and exciting all the time and proves he was a great original. The same can be said about Edmond Hall. The rhythm section fired by Zutty’s powerful drumming swings like the clappers. Trombonist Benny Morton, who had been with the Count Basie band, fits the rest of the group perfectly. There is a fine acoustic guitar solo by Bernard Addison on “Canal Street Blues”
The 13 tracks by the Punch Miller band show why Punch too was considered to be a competitor for Louis. His fiery trumpet dominates the ensembles. Like most New Orleans musicians Punch liked to sing. He has vocals on the first six tracks and he was a fine singer. Listen to the beautiful low register obbligatos Hall plays behind those vocals. The rhythm section with both drummers is excellent and typical for the small band jazz of the period. The three tracks with only trumpet and piano show what a fine rhythmic player Ralph Sutton was. It is remarkable how much of his virtuoso playing, heard on these tracks, Punch left behind when he returned to his hometown in 1956 and, after a period of illness, started a new and successful career in music again. Back in New Orleans he returned to the simpler and more relaxed style of the musicians who had not left the city.
The last session on this CD is somewhat of a curiosity because it allows us to hear W.C. Handy, the “father of the blues”, on trumpet surrounded by a bunch of great jazzmen. These tracks were new to me and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by his playing after what I had read about it. Agreed that he was not a real hot player, but he sounds much better than I expected. His singing on “Careless Love” and “Way Down South Where The Blues Began” is more folksy than jazzy, but very agreeable to my ears. The band, except for Edmond Hall, is clearly a contingent of the Luis Russell band, led by Louis Armstrong in those days. Higginbotham solos on “St. Louis Blues” and “Beale Street Blues”. Bingie Madison, who was also on the famous 1938 recording of “The Saints” by Louis Armstrong, plays some fine tenor sax on the other two numbers. It seems clear to me that Handy had a great liking for the habanera rhythm because we hear it not only on “St. Louis Blues”, where we expected it, but also on “Beale Street Blues”. Usually curiosities like this session are just that, nice to have but musically uninteresting. I truly enjoyed this one!
One more note on Edmond Hall. In his great book Manfred Selchow states that Hall didn’t really fit in with the New Orleans revival. I intend to agree, but on the other hand I have my doubts. Of course Manfred is more addicted to mainstream jazz than to New Orleans jazz which may have influenced his point of view. What makes me curious is that Bill Bissonnette in his liner notes tells us that in the sixties Edmond Hall used to come down from New York to Connecticut about twice a month to play with Bill’s Easy Riders Jazz Band, a true New Orleans revival band. I would be more than interested to hear this combination and I wonder if any recordings were made. I think it is possible that this great clarinet player, just like Captain John Handy, was as well at home in a pure New Orleans band as in a classic jazz or swing band. I wonder what Bill will have to say about this. Bill?
Another fine reissue CD on Jazz Crusade in the series “Rare Cuts – Well Done”. It offers not only one hour of exciting music but a real piece of jazz history as well.
- Marcel Joly

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