Saturday, June 27, 2015
TROMBONE HALL OF FAME No. 48 — Harry Raderman
LAUGH and the world laughs with you." Gentlemen, here he is —Harry Raderman, the originator of the trombone laugh which has caused the entire trombone world, as well as all music lovers, to laugh with him.
In the evolution of the history of trombone playing, it seems to me no more than fair that the readers of this paper should know something about the men who are responsible for popular ideas and novelties which have brought the slide trombone prominently into public notice during the past few years. Radical changes have taken place in nearly every department of endeavor in the world of today, and this is particularly true with music. The rising generation seems to delight in popular strains and bizarre effects. Dancing, for instance, has changed considerably. A few years ago there were no fox-trots, or so-called one-steps, and this change in the style of dances has automatically brought about a change in the accompanying music — so much so, that the instrumentation for the up-to-date dance orchestra would look like Greek to the boys of a few years past. The professional leader who reaps a large financial harvest today has been keen to this fact. He also has evolved in pace with the popular tastes, and has tried out different combinations and adopted those which seemed most novel and pleasing to the majority.
Thus it holds that, if a man has made himself popular throughout the land by creating some new idea for which he alone is sponsor and has succeeded in launching it successfully before a discriminating public, he is entitled to all the praise we can possibly arouse in our modest little column here at least, so let us hope that these few words of appreciation will be an incentive to others to get out and become pioneers. Originality is the slogan. Strive for it, trombone players. You have a great field now when your instrument is so popular.
Harry Raderman was born in Russia, and is a member of one of the largest musical families in that country, as all of his relatives were gifted with musical talent and spirit. Raderman is a self-made man, however, and I doubt if his success is due to any inherited musical ability. The wonderful popularity and financial returns he now enjoys came undoubtedly from his initiative faculties, coupled of course with hard work and the surmounting of technical problems incidental to the mastery of his instrument, for be it understood that no one can properly execute "stunts" on an instrument unless he has first mastered the technic of said instrument.
Mr. Raderman began his studies in Odessa, Russia, and was just ten years of age when he arrived in the United States. Upon his arrival in this country his ambition was kindled. He studied hard and played around New York with most of the leading bands and orchestras, and also in the different theatres. It was while playing in one of New York's popular vaudeville theatres, namely, the Bushwick Theatre in Brooklyn, that I first became acquainted with Mr. Raderman. At that time Andrew Byrnes was conducting the music at this theatre, and his orchestra had won first place in the hearts of the patrons — mainly through the rendition of special overtures, solos and novel features between the acts and during the intermission. Harry Raderman's brain was thereby stirred into activity; he noted the numbers which delighted the people, and his thoughts were continually focused upon a plan to invent some new device to tickle the ears of the novelty-loving public.
At about this period along came the change in dance music. Dancing had become a popular institution to such an extent that space was set aside in cafes and restaurants for this special purpose. The style of dancing became entirely different, and the present ever popular foxtrot and one-step rushed into vogue. Orchestrations to follow this new fad were arranged by the numerous publishers, and each tried to outdo the other in the employment of novel effects. Mutes for trombones and cornets were introduced.
One of the most popular and largest restaurants in New York City, known as Rector's at Broadway and 48th Street, engaged the wellknown Ted Lewis for a drawing card at an extraordinary salary, and featured him as a wizard at providing music suited to the popular taste for dancing. Mr. Lewis instituted a search for a clever trombone player, and here Raderman saw his opportunity. The engagement was tendered him and he accepted it. Harry was noted for his goodly supply of optimism and it was right with him at this time, for in a number called "Smiles" Harry not only smiled, but this melody proved the incentive to the creation of the trombone laugh which proved to be the making of Harry Raderman. Crowds were attracted to Rector's through hearing the enthusiastic compliments of the many patrons regarding the excellent dance music, and Ted Lewis soon became the talk of the town — Raderman being included, and with especial credit given him among musicians who could appreciate his originality.
After an association of a year or more with Mr. Lewis, Raderman was engaged to make exclusive records with Joseph C. Smith and his orchestra. His popularity became so great that about two years ago he prevailed upon to organize his own novelty orchestra, known as Harry Raderman's Orchestra and which is now one of the popular features on most of the phonograph records. Thus optimism with Raderman not only blossomed into a laugh, but it has also brought him a well earned financial success.
Here are a couple of Harry Raderman's recordings from the 1920s.
"Do It Again" from 1922.
"Make That Trombone Laugh"
Here the Shotgun Jazz Band plays the tune. At the Spotted Cat, in New Orleans on April 8, 2015.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Musicologist, jazz enthusiast and a friend of Stan and Ellen McDonald videotapes some of the event. Over 25 years later this "Lost" video of Stan McDonald's Blue Horizon Jazz Band from 1989 has been discovered on an 8mm home video tape in the collection of George A. Borgman.
George had taken the footage while attending an outdoors, July 4th "Jazz Picnic," back in 1989. Although much of the tape is made up of snippets of Stan McDonald and his band playing, there are a couple of complete numbers.
Seen are longtime band member Walt Miller is on trumpet, German Hans Brack is on bass and Stan McDonald, the leader switches between the soprano saxophone and the clarinet. Also in the band are John Kafalas on trombone & double-bell euphonium, John Rayworth on banjo, Stu Grover on drums and Phil Hower on the piano.
The first featured selection is My Creole Belle a tune that was re-written by guitarist Mississippi John Hurt (1892-1966) who took parts of Creole Belles written in 1900 by J. Bodwalt Lampe and made his own song out of it.
The second tune, You Do Something To Me, was written by composer Cole Porter being part of his music for the 1929 musical comedy show Fifty Million Frenchmen.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Musician, composer and jazz historian, Gunther Schuller died this morning at 7:55, he was 89.
Schuller, who was a musician and composer was known for his many books he authored which included Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development, The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945, and The Compleat Conductor.
He was born in New York on November 22, 1925. His father played the violin for the New York Philharmonic. Schuller learned to play the flute and the French horn while growing up playing professional gigs while only fifteen. His studies included the St. Thomas Choir School and the Manhattan School of Music. From 1943 to 1945 he was a principal horn player with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Next he played for New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra staying there until 1959.
In 1949 and 1950 he recorded with Miles Davis. He founded the Modern Jazz Society with John Lewis in 1955 which would later became known as the Jazz and Classical Music Society. He also invented the term "third stream" to describe the mixing of classical music and jazz. Schuller would use this technique in many of his own musical compositions including, Transformation (1957), Concertino and Abstraction both 1959, and Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk (1960).
In 2011 he published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in Pursuit of Music and Beauty.
More recently, Schuller premiered a new arrangement of Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha in 2012 which was performed at London's South Bank as part of "The Rest is Noise" season in 2013.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Some jazz tunes were originally tunes played for worship. "When the Saints Go Marching In" is one of these traditional tunes that jazz bands, especially Traditional or Dixieland jazz bands, that seems to have its roots in religious worship.
Here the Arizona Dixieland Jazz Band literally plays the tune during a church concert held at the Phoenix First Congregational United Church of Christ, on February 19, 2012. I'm not certain what the name of the first tune that is included on the video, so I'm focusing on the second tune, "When the Saints Go Marching In" where the churches choir joins the band.
I haven't been able to find any information on the band or its members. Notice how the two musicians in the front row easily switch between instruments. The first guy plays trumpet and trombone and the second, trumpet and saxophone!
I discuss "When the Saints Go Marching In" more fully on another entry HERE.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
From 1975 to 1977 George A. Borgman lived in the Bavarian town of Unterleinach outside of Würzburg. He was a member of the US Army living off-base. His love of music naturally attracted him to the local musical fare.
In 1976, George, who had a reel-to-reel tape recorder, offered to tape one of the band's events. Recently, I discoved the dupe cassette tapes of this event and have transferred them so that they can be heard online.
The audio quality is the typical live-performance sound, recorded with home stereo quality recording equipment of the day, but it does give a glimpse into the sound of a German band from 39 years ago. The quality suffers more because it was transfered to Radio Shack cassette tapes some years later.
The tapes seem to be only slightly edited leaving in most of the talk and toasts and "dankes."
Siegfried Herglotz at the keyboards, singing.
George hired Siegfried to give his son piano lessons. In 1977, he was made director of the Youth Brass Band of the Volunteer Fire Department of the area.
An interesting side note is that the city of Puerto de la Cruz on the Canary Islands, invited Die Lustigen Egerländer for their week long Bavarian festival in 1973. They continued to play their over the years culminating in a 40th Anniversary performance in 2013!
Here is cassette tape number one from the 1976 live recording.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
This weeks jazz performance comes from a live show captured on October 16, 2011 at Dandenong RSL, Victoria, Australia by The New Melbourne Jazz Band.
Perhaps what I will loose what little credibility I have to write about jazz when I say that I do not recall ever hearing the following tune, Mama Don't Allow, or for that matter the New Melbourne Jazz Band! The ditty and the band are both enjoyable.
I may be pardoned for not knowing too much about Mama Don't Allow, since it's origins seem to be shrouded in mystery. It is said to be a "Traditional," tune, meaning no one remembers who wrote it and has been played as a folk song from Hillbilly bands to Dixieland bands.
The New Melbourne Jazz Band is led by bass player Ross Anderson who started the band back in 1981. Soon they were playing a weekly session at the Bridge Hotel in Richmond. After playing a festival in 1984 in California they suddenly became world known and have been globe trotting since.
So, here then is their rendition of Mama Don't Allow or Mama Don't Allow No Jazz Band In Here. The band in this video is comprised of Ross Anderson, bass; Peter Uppman, trumpet/vocals; Ron Trigg, clarinet; Willy Purcell, banjo, and Dean Cooper on drums.