Personnel: Kid Ory, Preston Jackson, DePriest Wheeler [trombone] Teddy Buckner, Shirley Clay, R.Q Dickerson, Sidney DeParis,Harry Cooper, Louis Metcalf [trumpet] Joe Darensbourg, Pud Brown, Artie Starks,Andrew Brown,David Jones, Eli Logan, Walter Thomas [reeds] Buster Wilson, Lloyd Glenn, George Reynold, Earres Prince [piano] Ed Garland, Jimmy Smith [bass] Leslie Corley, Frank Pasley, Charlie Stamps [banjo] Andy Preer [violin] Elzadie Robinson [vocal]
Songs: Ball the Jack, The Bucket’s Got A Hole In It, Wang Wang Blues, I’m with You Where You Are, Down In Jungle Town, Shine, Tuxedo Junction, After You’ve Gone, I’ve Found A New Baby, Trombone Man, Harmony Blues, Houston Bound, It’s Tight Jim 1 & 2, Yearning for Mandalay, Everybody Stomp, Riverboat Shuffle, Down & Out Blues, Original Two-Time Man, Snag ‘Em Blues
JCCD-3119: Rare Cuts—Well Done # 11: Slip Horn—Ory/Jackson/Wheeler
Boxell’s Jazz Website—New Zealand
Where does Big Bill Bissonnette keep finding these gems? I mean; the Depriest Wheeler Missourians’ tracks are labelled ‘lost’ and are not on any of the compilations of the band’s music that have been issued.
The first 9 tracks are by Kid Ory’s band, and are ex-radio tracks from the early 50s. The sound is sharp and the music good, but they all suffer in varying degrees from surface scuffing, and this is one of those things that sound filters cannot strip out without destroying the sound quality completely – I know; I’ve tried. The two tracks most affected by the scuffing are ‘Bucket’s Got a Hole In It’ and ’Tuxedo Junction’. This is a shame as they are both excellent interpretations and give good examples not just of Ory’s tailgate trombone but also the talents of Teddy Bruckner on trumpet and Joe Darensbourg on clarinet. 3 tracks feature another clarinettist, Pud Brown, but he is nowhere near as good as Darensbourg and, to my mind, on the too fast ‘Shine’ he does at times come unstuck. So; does the sound quality and an iffy clarinettist on 3 tracks ruin Ory’s contribution to this CD? No. These are rare radio tracks and Kid Ory has to have been New Orleans’ most influential trombonist, certainly in Europe, and to hear him live and in full flow with Teddy Buckner and Joe Darensbourg in the front line is a treat you wont want to miss. Besides; haven’t you got some old LPs from way back that aren’t the best, soundwise, but you still play because you love the jazz? Some tracks may be a bit muzzy in parts, but not disastrously so.
Now, Preston Jackson: pass. He is a new one for me and no doubt the historians out there, especially the Americans, will be shaking their heads, but sorry, beyond my ken. The tracks are from July 1926. The early date means that the sound is a mite flat, but there are few extraneous sounds. The only real problem comes when there are vocals as it is not always easy to hear the lyrics. Big Bill’s comments on trombonist Preston Jackson are interesting, for he says that he is so smooth he originally thought the man was playing a valve trombone rather than a slide one. I was quite taken by the 5 tracks the band play in this CD and particularly noted the sympathetic way Elzadie Robinson played the violin. Usually when we think jazz violin we think 'Club de Paris', but this is not the case here where the instrument is almost clarinet in its style and thus fits in well with a traditional jazz sound. My favourite track was ‘Harmony Blues’. I have this by the short lived Australian band, Jazz on Tap and the arrangement is very similar. There are two versions of ‘It’s Tight Jim’; I prefer #1, but it was fun listening time & again to make up my mind and the final decision was purely subjective, though possibly influenced by the interesting tenor sax break.
Now, step back in time even further to 1925 and the Missourians with Depriest Wheeler on trombone. Big Bill says that they are his favourite band of all time. I can’t say the same, but I have always admired them. My biggest regret, and possibly Bill’s too, is that after Cab Calloway took them over and ensconced them in the Cotton Club, they stopped issuing instrumental recordings. I may not have many CD’s by the band but I have always been a fan of the Temperance Seven and the Missourians are, I am sure, where that great jazzman and vintage jazz record collector, John RT Davies found the sound they wanted to imitate. Personally I think this CD is worth its money for these 4 tracks alone. From the strutting ‘Everybody Stomps’ to the high stepping ‘Snag ‘em Blues’ the Missourians play hot jazz at its finest and ’Down & Out Blues’ really blew me away. I was listening to this on the bus the other morning with my eyes closed. When I opened them again I half expected to see gangsters riding the running boards of cars, Thompson machine guns in hand! Brilliant CD Bill; got any more like this?
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