Saturday, September 24, 2022

Jazz Performance Saturday! "Down By the Riverside" - Smoking Time Jazz Club

Smoking Time Jazz Club is a Traditional Jazz band based out of New Orleans, Louisiana. Their performance of  Down By the Riverside was recorded by Brad Davis right off the streets of the city in 2016. 

Down By the Riverside is an American spiritual that was first published in 1918 by the Rodeheaver Company in a musical collection called "Rodeheaver's Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland."

Although Down By the Riverside has been assumed to be a song that originally emanated from the struggle of slaves for their freedom around the Civil War, unfortunately there is no solid evidence in the written record of this.
The phrase "down by the riverside" is a fairly common one in slave songs. Also, the way the song was written is similar to other call out songs where one will lead the song and others will repeat. The song has long been included in Baptist hymnals and it has been published under various titles such as, Ain't Gonna Study War No More, Goin' to Lay down My Burden, and Ain't Gonna Grieve My Lord No More among others.
It was first recorded by the Fisk Jubilee Quartet as I Ain't Goin' to Study War No More. It has long been played by Traditional jazz bands. Both Bunk Johnson and George Lewis during the traditional jazz resurgence  both recorded the tune as well as many many others.
Here the Smoking Time Jazz Club play a spirited version of the tune in the "traditional" or Dixieland jazz vein. They have appeared at many festivals and have released some albums on CD.


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Saturday Jazz Performance! - "The Original Dixieland One Step" - New Orleans Stompers

Jazz is alive and well in Japan! My father, George A. Borgman, always said that jazz was for the world and he was right! Today's Jazz Performance of Original Dixieland One Step is by the New Orleans Stompers and was recorded at The Misty West in Yokohama, Japan on March 26 2022.

The Original Dixieland One Step was originally released as the Dixie Jass Band One Step in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band who composed the tune. It has since become a jazz standard.

The musicians playing are, Kato Sinichi on trumpet; Matumoto Koji on trombone; Goto Masahiro on clarinet; Yamazaki Masanobu on piano; Kodaira Akihiro on banjo; Ito Jyoichi on bass, Yosii Tetuji on drums; and it looks like the second trombone player is Nakajima Jiro. A couple of other players are listed along with the video, but, it doesn't look like they appear in this video.  

Here is the first recording of the tune played by the originators of it, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded on February 26, 1917 in New York, with a nice presentation and audio restoration by Atticus Jazz!


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" - New Orleans Jazz Band of Cologne

On today's Saturday Jazz Performance we will hear Germany's New Orleans Jazz Band of Cologne playing the traditional gospel tune, Just A Closer Walk With Thee. At the time of this video recording the group was called The Maryland Jazz Band of Cologne.

The current members of the band are Bruno van Acoleyen on trumpet; Bart Brouwer on trombone; Benny Daniels on bass; Reinhard Küpper on drums; Hans-Martin "Büli" Schöning plays banjo & guitar; and Georg "Schroeder" Derks on piano. And the mystifying N.N. plays both clarinet and saxophone.

Just A Closer Walk With Thee has a murky past and it is almost impossible to know for sure where this tune was first developed and played. There is little doubt that it was a religious oriented song that was sung as early as the 1800s however, and it was quickly adapted by jazz bands and has been heard played by such bands since the dawn of Dixieland.

This video performance was recorded in 2007 as part of JazzAscona 2007 an annual jazz festival held in Switzerland. The musicians playing are: Jan Wouters - tp Gerhard 'Doggy' Hund - tb Dolf Robertus - cl, ts Hans-Martin 'Büli' Schöning - bjo Georg 'Schroeder' Derks - p Markus 'Benny' Daniels - b Reinhard Küpper - dr.


Saturday, July 9, 2022

Jazz Performance Saturday! "Sunday" - The Foundation Jazz Band

The Foundation Jazz Band or The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation's Jazz Band video profiled today is from way back on August 2, 2010 when they played at at Nick's at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, California. Sadly Jim Cullum passed away in 2019.

Sunday was first recorded by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra on October 15, 1926 the same year it was written and composed by Ned Miller, Chester Conn, Jules Stein, and Bennie Krueger.

The performers in this video are Bill Carter on clarinet; Bill Gould on piano; Bill Reinhart on bass; Bill Cullum on cornet; Bob Schulz on cornet; Dan Barrett on trombone; Scott Anthony on banjo; and Hal Smith on drums.


Here is Jean Goldkette's version of Sunday recorded in October of 1926.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

George A. Borgman Archives - Reel to Reel Collection - JAZZ I TAKEOUTS

In October of 1978 George Borgman was working for the Department of Justice in Washington, DC while living down in Maryland he would tune into a Washington, DC radio station and occasionally he'd record some of the jazz programs.

Here is what he recorded on Wednesday, October 25, 1978. He edited out some tunes and would save them on an alternate reel. This tape reel was titled "Jazz I Takeouts - Save!"

The first tune, Visitation, is taken from the Paul Chambers/John Coltrane LP "High Step" which was a compilation album released in 1975 by Blue Note. Visitation was recorded March 2, 1956 and featured, Paul Chambers on bass, Kenny Drew on piano and Philly Joe Jones on drums.

The next tune featuring Dollar Brand on piano, and Johnny Dyani on bass and bells with both contributing vocals was recorded in Germany on December 10, 1973. It is of a traditional South African tune Ntsikana. The album was released on the Inja label.

Lastly, we have Catalonian Nights by Dexter Gordon from his album "Bouncin' with Dex" and was recorded on September 14, 1975.

Dexter Gordon - tenor sax 

Tete Montoliu - piano

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen - bass

Billy Higgins - drums

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Quarantine Boogie" - Ladyva

Okay, so it's technically Boogie Woogie, but, this I think, it is appropriate for our times. Pianist Ladyva plays her own composition Quarantine Boogie from the sunny Dominican Republic.

According to her bio on YouTube, Ladyva began playing piano at age fourteen. Her inspirations were some of the masters of Boogie Woogie, though unfortunately she doesn't say who. She began performing with her brother Pascal Silva, at age sixteen.

She has appeared on many television programs both in Switzerland the Dominican Republic and elsewhere. In 2009 Ladyva released her first album; her current and third album is 8 To The Bar.

In September 2015 she performed at Jerry Lee Lewis’ 80th Birthday/Farewell U.K. Tour in London and Glasgow. She performed at the Cigar Awards in December 2016 and received the award for 'Best Boogie Woogie Pianist 2017' at the Boisdale Music Awards.

So, without further adieu...


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Music - Gregorian Chant

George A. Borgman, for whom this blog Yankee Jazz Beat was created to keep his research and love of music alive, said often that his favorite form of music was Gregorian Chant.

I thought that this music would be appropriate for Easter.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Blue And Broken Hearted" - The Eddie Condon All Stars

Today we will travel back to 1962 to hear the tune Blue And Broken Hearted by some people who were there when jazz was starting to hit its stride. This performance is of the Eddie Condon All-Stars featuring Eddie Condon (1905-1973), Wild Bill Davison (1906-1989), Cutty Cutshall (1911-1968), Peanuts Hucko (1918-2003), Johnny Varro, Joe Williams, and native Bostonian by way of Kiev Buzzy Drootin (1920-2000)!

This 1960s performance was filmed in color on 35mm film and recorded professionally on stereo sound equipment. We have the Goodyear Co. to thank for it as it was part of a promotional campaign. Louis Armstrong's and Bobby Hackett's bands were also filmed during the same campaign.

This film showcases quite a line-up. The music was composed by Lou Handman (1894-1956) and lyrics for the tune, although not heard here, were written by Grant Clarke (1891-1931) and Edgar Leslie (1885-1976). The tune was recorded as early as 1922 and became a hit for singer Marion Harris (1896-1944) with her 1923 recording of the song.

The pianist from this performance Johnny Varro who was born in 1930 is still alive!

Wild Bill Davison (c), Cutty Cutshall (tb), Peanuts Hucko (cl), Johnny Varro (p),
Eddie Condon (g), Joe Williams (b), Buzzy Drootin (d). Recorded in New York City, 1962.

Here is a 1922 recording of the same tune by Eddie Elkins and His Orchestra. Notice how different this version sounds compared to the one forty years later.

Performed by Eddie Elkins and His Orchestra, October 27, 1922.

While we're at it, why not listen to Marion Harris' version from 1923?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Jazz Performance - "C'est Magnifique" - The Jonny Hepbir Quintet

Here is a performance of C'est Magnifique by the Jonny Hepbir Quintet from 2015. The video's been watched over a million times on YouTube so it is nothing new, but, if you haven't seen it yet then take a watch and a listen.

C'est Magnifique was composed by Cole Porter for his 1953 musical Can-Can. In this performance, Jonny Hepbir and Jason Henson are on guitar with Dan Sheppard on bass, along with Dan Teper playing the accordion. Sara Oschlag sings.

Jonny Hepbir's group is still playing sometimes billed as the Jonny Hepbir Trio or Quartet. There are many videos available on the band's YouTube page to peruse.

They have put out a few albums La Pompe & Circumstance, Get Rich or Die Swingin', and Dirty Swing. All available from iTunes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

FROM THE ARCHIVES - Letter to the Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

The Yankee Jazz Beat blog is more than just another blog on jazz, it is a blog to remember the life, research and writings of George A. Borgman. Sometimes entries will not be about music at all, such as this one which is a letter to the Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture concerning an article. 

On 'Tolstoy Tradition'

"Although I enjoyed Sally S. Wright's "Writing in the Tolstoy Tradition" in the April 1989 issue of Chronicles, I must point out at least one error.

British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
The caption underneath the photograph of Nikolai Tolstoy states, "the Macmillan government participated in atrocities in Austria in 1945," implying that Harold Macmillan was the British prime minister then. There were two PM's during the year 1945, but Macmillan was not one of them. Winston Churchill was replaced as PM by Clement Attlee during the Potsdam Conference, held from July 17 to August 2, 1945.

In 1945, under Churchill, Macmillan was minister resident in the Mediterranean. He was PM from 1957 until 1963.

Also, the word "atrocities" seems a little strong. At the end of the war, the British and Americans returned displaced persons to the Soviets, as agreed at the Yalta Conference. This was bad enough but can hardly be called atrocities, which occurred when the Soviets, and also the Tito partisans, executed, tortured, and jailed the DP's.

I do not know whether Macmillan was responsible for what happened, but it appears that Churchill and Roosevelt should also be blamed for making the deal with Stalin to return the displaced persons."

—George A. Borgman
Westwood, MA

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday Jazz Performance! "Wild Cat Blues" - Chris Barber Jazz Band!

Wild Cat Blues was written by Thomas "Fats" Waller when he was in his early twenties. Clarence Williams who published the music in 1923 is also credited as a composer, however, this was a standard practice with some publishers and Williams seems to have been notorious for giving himself credit as a composer on other peoples tunes. He may have edited the work or contributed, but we are talking about Fats Waller here and I doubt Williams had to do anything apart from publish it. This was however one of Waller's earliest compositions to be published, so he probably would have gone along with any type of arrangement just to get published.

Clarence Williams' Blue Five was the first band to record the tune the same year the music was published in New York on July 30th.

In this jazz performance trombonist Chris Barber and his Jazz Band plays Wild Cat Blues on apparently October 6, 1985.
Chris Barber in 2010.
Donald Christopher Barber was born in Hertfordshire, England on April 17, 1930. It was in the 1950s that Barber began his rise to fame when he and Monty Sunshine formed a band in 1953 featuring trumpeter Ken Colyer. In April of that year they debuted in Copenhagen, Denmark and made their first recordings while there.

After Colyer's departure from the group in 1954 the name was changed to the Chris Barber Jazz Band. They had a hit with their recording of Petit Fleur in 1959 which made it to No. 3 on the UK Charts during a 24 week reign on the UK Singles Charts. The group ultimately awarded a gold disc for this recording. During this year they toured the United States.

Barber expanding his musical interests arranged tours of many famous American Blues musician to the United Kingdom and eventually added blues guitarist John Slaughter to his bands line-up in 1964.

In 2008 Chris Barber, Eric Clapton as well as others formed co-operative record company, Blues Legacy. As of 2018 Chris Barber is still musically active.

The band is still in operation. In this 1985 performance the band is comprised of leader Chris Barber on trombone with a special appearance on the bass, both Ian Wheeler and John Crocker on clarinets, Pat Halcox on trumpet; Norman Emberson, on drums; Vic Pitt on bass;  Johnny McCallum on banjo; and Roger Hill on guitar.

The Chris Barber Jazz Band

Here now is the first recording of Wild Cat Blues by Clarence Williams' band featuring Sidney Bechet...

Clarence Williams' Blue Five, Wild Cat Blues, July 30, 1923.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Jazz Performance Saturday! "On the Sunny Side of the Street" - Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band of Canada

For this jazz performance we travel by way of video to Toronto, Canada 2013! The Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band plays their rendition of  On the Sunny Side of the Street was composed by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The tune was first introduced to the public in 1930 during Lew Leslie's International Revue.

Not much is known about the Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band apart from the fact that in 1988 they played at the first Beaches International Jazz Festival in Toronto in 1988. It is not known whether the band is still performing.

In this video Myrna Van Weerdenburg vocalizes, Nick Van Weerdenburg is on clarinet, Al Cox plays trumpet, Harris Mark Lusher is on guitar, Ron Johnston is on bass, Jim Nevins plays the trombone, and it appears to be Lenny Van Bruggen on drums. Garry J. Asseltine was the videographer.

Toronto, 2013 Video by Garry J. Asseltine.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Jazz Performance Saturday! - The Preservation Hall Jazz Band - "Tailgate Ramble"

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was formed by tuba player Allan Jaffe around 1961 in New Orleans. The band is still in operation. In this performance from about June 2010 the band is comprised of Mark Braud on trumpet; Charlie Gabriel on clarinet, Ben Jaffe on tuba; Joe Lastie on drums;  Freddie Lonzo on trombone; Clint Maedgen on tenor-sax; Rickie Monie on piano and Walter Payton on string bass.

Tailgate Ramble was composed by Wingy Manone and Johnny Mercer. It was published in 1944 and has been played by the Trad Jazz crowd ever since.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Jazz Performance Saturday - "Everybody Loves My Baby" - Calacas Jazz Band

The Calacas Jazz Band of Mexico performs Everybody Loves My Baby in this music video style film from 2013.

Everybody Loves My Baby was written by Spencer Williams (1889-1969) and Jack Palmer (1899-1976) and published in 1924. The extended title is Everybody Loves My Baby (But My Baby Don't Love Nobody But Me). It became a hit after Aileen Stanley's recording was released on record on September 19th of that year.  

Later in 1924, both the Clarence Williams and Fletcher Henderson bands recorded the tune.It is now consider a jazz standard.

The Calacas Jazz Band was founded in 2006 by four members while studying at a music school in Mexico City. They formed originally for a class project on Sweet Substitute by Jelly Roll Morton, and eventually continued playing together. The name of the band in the beginning was Calaveritas de Azúcar which eventually changed to their current one.

They first played on the streets but by 2010 they had recorded their first album featuring music of the 1920s and '30s.

At present the band consists of Christian Merino Terreros who plays guitar, banjo and ukulele; singer Maria Arellano; Jazmin Luna who plays saxophone; Alejandro Hernandez who plays the washboard and anything else he can get his hands on; and Alonso López on bass.

So let's watch and listen to the Calacas Jazz Band's music video for Everybody Loves My Baby!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Frankie Teschemacher Born Today!

Frank Teschemacher a.k.a. "Tesch" and "Frankie" Teschemacher was born this day March 13th in 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri to Charles and Charlotte (McCorkell) Teschemacher. However, six years later the family moved to the Chicago area.

Frankie Teschemacher was a great, self taught, jazz clarinetist who was influenced by the styles of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, and clarenetists Johnny Dodds and Pee-Wee Russel. He took piano lessons as a child, then he took an interest in banjo and began studying the violin when he was ten.

Before entering Austin High School he took up the alto-saxophone. At school he befriended some of the future great Chicago jazz musicians including Jimmy McPartland, Jim Lanigan and Bud Freeman. They formed a band and their musical associations would last for years.

His career playing professionally began in 1925. He played all around the mid-West but mainly around the Chicago area.

In 1928 he made some recordings under his own name. He joined Jan Garber's band and toured with them in 1931. Interestingly, he also played violin during his time with Garber.  He then later beccame a member of "Wild Bill" Davison's big band.

Teschemacher tragically died after an auto accident during the early morning hours of March 1, 1932, when the car he was riding in, driven by jazz musician "Wild Bill" Davison, was sideswiped by a taxi cab which was driving without lights on. He died from a fractured skull about four hours later at Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago. Although Davison was driving with what would now be considered a high blood alcohol level, he was cleared of any charges at the time.

He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
Here is Wailing Blues recorded  in Chicago, on January 24, 1930. The record was released as being played by the Cellar Boys. The group consisted of Wingy Mannone, Frank Teschemacher, Bud Freeman, Frank Melrose, Charles Melrose,  and George Wettling

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Henry Ragas

Henry W. Ragas was one of the innovators of jazz. He was one of the original members of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band playing piano with the group including on the very first jazz record which was released in February 1917.

Henry was born in November 1891 to Hypolite and Emily Ragas in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the turn of the Century, his father was working as a motorman.

He learned his trade playing solo piano from about 1910 to 1913, playing piano professionally by his late teens. On March 1, 1916 he traveled with with Johnny Stein's Band to Chicago with Nick LaRocca, Alcide Nunez, Eddie Edwards, and of course Johnny Stein. It was while performing in Chicago to such acclaim that LaRocca, Edwards, Ragas and Nunez wanted Stein to break his contract so they could get a more lucrative gig elsewhere. Stein refused and the argument that ensued ended with Edwards punching Stein in the nose and the four jumping ship.

Henry's health began a slow decline as he began drinking heavily due to family issues. He couldn't make it to performance dates which led LaRocca to send him home to New Orleans for a break. His intention was to let Henry sort things out at home. The break was short lived and he returned to New York.

Just two days before the band was depart for their tour of England, Henry Ragas died of the Spanish flu on February 18, 1919 at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He was just 27 years old.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fred Hamm - Leader, cornet player and singer

Frederick F. Hamm was born on September 7, 1889 in Newpoint, Missouri. By the time he was twelve he was residing with his widowed mother. He took an interest in music. He eventually began playing the cornet.

Fred was teaching music in St. Joseph, Missouri in January 1920 and lodging with the Welsh family on North Ninth Street. In September of  this year, possibly after relocating to Chicago, he married a woman named Irene.

Three years later in Chicago, in 1923, he had his own dance band managed by Edgar Benson, who had his own orchestra. The Fred Hamm Orchestra performed at the Marigold Garden from 1923 until 1925. Besides leading Hamm played cornet and sang.

1925 was a pivotal year for him, he took over the Benson Orchestra and cut many record sides for Victor in Camden, New Jersey. These included his own memorable co-composition with his reed player, David Bennett, Bye Bye Blues.

The band for these 1925 sessions included Chauncey Gray on piano, Joe Harris on trombone, and Bennett on clarinet or alto-sax. 

Things didn't go well with these recordings. The first day of recording was April 21st and the band recorded Stop Off Let’s Go, Ah-Ha!, She’s Got ‘Im,and Bye Bye Blues, all of which were rejected.

Six days later on April 27th Hamm and the band tried again, recording all the same pieces as previously and adding Just A Little Drink. Again, all the tunes were rejected by Victor.

Then on April 30th they tried all five tunes again. This time they were keepers but they did do second takes for She's Got 'Em and Bye Bye Blues the next day on the 1st of May. The other tunes recorded during this session included Flag that Train (to Alabam’) and Montmartre which was rejected.

Back in Chicago on December 17th, the band with some changes to the musicians, cut more sides for Victor, some of these being, Want A Little Lovin’? and Sugar Foot Stomp. The second tune recorded, Hangin' Around was rejected. Violinist Bert Lown was added and pianist Jack Gardner replaced Chancey Gray.

In 1928 when Hamm and the band was in New York they went into the Columbia recording studios and recorded Shout Hallelujah! Cause I'm Home, but, it was rejected. 

The next known recording session took place on February 26, 1929, when Hamm recorded True Blue and He, She and Me in Chicago this time for Brunswick under the name Fred Hamm and His Collegians. Two other band members during this date were Dusty Rhodes and Frank Sylvano. Interestingly when these sides were released under the Vocalion label the band was credited as the Original Wolverines.

More sides were recorded in Chicago on March 25, 1929. The tunes were, again, True Blue, My Castle In Spain Is A Shack In the Lane and finally Some Sweet Day. Again, it appears these titles were released by Vocalion under the Original Wolverines.

On December 13, 1929, Hamm made more recordings, the two of the tunes recorded were Remarkable Girl and We Love Us.

He and his new wife Alice were living on Stony Island Avenue in Chicago in 1930.

His career may have continued unabated if he hadn’t died in Chicago at the age of 41 on July 15, 1931.

The band was quickly taken over by drummer Carl Moore and the name changed to Carl "Deacon" Moore and His Orchestra.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Drummer Harry Jimick

I could not find too much information on drummer Harry Jimick. But what I could find seems to indicate that he was a Jewish drummer who played with various bands in Britain and who in later life became a composer and lyricist.

He played with Andy's Southern Serenaders which was organized in September of 1935. The group recorded for Parlophone in London. The band consisted of banjo player George Baron, pianist Jack Dent, along with Jock Purvis on bass. Some of the tunes recorded for the Parlophone Company were, Ain't She Sweet, Happy Feet, I Got Rhythm, Some of These Days and Whispering.

Harry also recorded with  Harry Leader and His Band and can be heard on Columbia and Eclipse 78s.

Harry appears to have immigrated to Israel where he was still involved in music. In 1963 a tune was published, Camel Bells in which Harry wrote the words and Pinhassi Ariel wrote the music for it. Around this same time he wrote the words and music for Sweet-Hearts In Love, Give Me Your Kiss and Could It Be? He also furnished the lyrics for If I Knew while Johnny Wynert composed the music. The last composition I found attributed to Harry Jimick is Deep In My Heart which was published in 1968.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Saying, "So long," to Jerry Lewis.

Jerry Lewis died at the age of 91 today. He first became famous with Dean Martin when they teamed up in the mid-1940s. He went solo when Martin split from the comedy teaming in the mid-50s.

Perhaps his greatest legacy was his nonstop support and efforts to make people aware of muscular dystrophy and his unflagging efforts to raise money for research in how to fight the disease.

My father, George A. Borgman, always got a kick out of his ability to be a comic and then be able to sing straight and do a good job on top of it.

Here Lewis sings It All Depends On You, which he recorded in 1957. 

It All Depends On You was written for the 1926 muiscal Big Boy by Ray Henderson (music), with lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Les Bown.

In December 2015 Lewis was interviewed on the EWTN show The World Over.

Lewis died at his Las Vegas, Nevada home at about 9:15 in the morning.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Jazz Performance Saturday! - "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" - Geo Dixieland Jazz Band

The tune Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue is not only a catchy tune, it is also a very popular tune with modern Traditional jazz bands! In today's Jazz Performance, the Geo Dixieland Jazz Band plays the tune in a park. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Alejandro Armando Córdova Carrasco on January 1, 2016. The identified is the Geo Dixieland Jazz Band which appears to be based out of Mexico City, Mexico.

As I stated the tune Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Girl?) is a rather popular number and has been covered before here on Yankee Jazz Beat. The original music was published in 1925 and was recorded that same year by The California Ramblers. Ray Henderson composed the music and Sam Lewis and Joe Young wrote the words to it. Interestingly, a 1952 film seems to have brought it back into the spotlight with the title "Has Anybody Seen My Gal."

I couldn't discover too much information on the band or identify the members in this video, but it is nice to know that Dixieland is alive and well in Mexico!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Eddie Edwards

Eddie Edwards was born Edwin Branford Edwards in New Orleans on May 22, 1891.

At about the age of ten he began learning the violin. Five years later Edwards began playing the trombone.
He would eventually play both instruments as a professional musician. In 1910 he worked in a local theater as a violinist. As a trombonist he played with "Papa" Jack Laine's Reliance band in 1912 and by 1914 started working with Ernest Giardina's band.

For a regular job he and Nick LaRocca, worked as electricians. He also played minor league baseball around the New Orleans area.

When Johnny Stein's Jazz Band went to Chicago in 1916 Edwards was chosen by Alcide Nunez to be the band's trombone player. Several of this bands personnel would form the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. With this group Edwards would play on the "first" jazz recordings in 1917.

Edwards was a good rhythmic trombonist and also played in a style that became known as the tailgate trombone. He used his horn to mimic animals and to create wild wails anything that would excite and entice the audience.

Unfortunately, he was drafted into the Army during World War I and was replaced by Emile Christian. Edwards served in the army from July 1918 to March 1919. After his discharge from the army, he is said to have kicked around a bit, forming his own band and playing with Jimmy Durante's band before going back to play with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band where he stayed with them until the band broke up in 1925.

Edwards formed his own band in New York after the break-up and successfully led it for most of the remainder of the 1920s. After the 1929 stock market crash he held out for a few more years before calling it quits and retired from music.

For awhile Edwards ran a newspaper stand. Being an athlete he also worked as a coach. But when Nick LaRocca called about reforming the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1936 he jumped at the chance. From then on he was playing into the 1940s sometimes with members of the Original band including J. Russel Robinson, Larry Shields and Tony Sbarbaro.

He continued playing, although not regularly right up until his death on April 9, 1963 in New York.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Jazz Performance - "That's A'Plenty" - The Dixie Demons Jazz Band

There isn't much worse than a demon, but, there isn't too much better than the Dixie Demons playing Trad Jazz! Today let's listen to the Dixie Demons Jazz Band of Toronto, Canada playing That's A'Plenty at the Rex Jazz and Blues Bar, on January 8, 2011!

That's A'Plenty a favorite of Dixieland bands far and wide was composed by Lew Pollack (1895-1946) as a piano rag. It appears that Prince's Band led by Charles Prince (1869-1937) was the first to record the tune in 1917 after which the New Orleans Rhythm Kings recorded it in 1923. Many years later lyrics were written for the tune by Ray Gilbert (1912-1976).

The Dixie Demons have been playing Traditional jazz since 1984 when trombonist Dan Douglas founded. Since that time they have been playing everything from corporate events, clubs and jazz festivals. They are currently selling two CDs on their website Fossil Fuel and Live at the Rex.

The Dixie Demons Jazz Band at the Rex, Toronto, 1-8-2011.

Jack Teagarden playing the tune in 1951.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Jazz Performance - The Fat Babies in Concert

This Saturday Jazz Performance will be a concert that the Fat Babies gave on November 8, 2013 as part of the 24th annual Chicago Humanities Festival.

Courtesy Fat Babies website "Press Photos"

The Fat Babies was founded by Beau Sample in 2010. The band currently consists of Beau Sample on string bass, Andy Schumm on cornet, John Otto on reeds, Jonathan Doyle on reeds, Dave Bock on trombone, John Donatowicz on banjo and guitar, Paul Asaro on piano, and Alex Hall on the drums.

Not only is 2017 the Centennial of jazz recordings, but it is also the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima which is being celebrated by the Catholic Church. The Fat Babies start off their performance with "Jelly Roll" Morton's Animule Dance also known as Animule Ball. Since, today's date, May 13th is the anniversary of the first appearance of the apparition in Fatima, Portugal and since Morton was a practicing Catholic, who at one point in his life was known to attend Mass daily, I'll pick out Morton's two pieces that were played by the band to comment on.

Born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe on October 20, 1890 he will forever be known by his professional name of "Jelly Roll" Morton. Morton was a larger than life pianist and composer who was playing piano in the early 1900s. He wrote and recorded many jazz standards. His compositions are still being played. He died on July 10, 1941. He was truly one of the jazz greats and his legend lives on.

Pianist Paul Assaro does a fantastic job recreating the spirit of Morton's narration on the Animule Dance piece. Morton recorded the tune during his legendary Library of Congress recordings during the Summer of 1938 and again in 1939. But he first composed it in about 1906. Speaking about the tune he said, the “Animule Dance” is a number that was ages old. I wrote the number and ten thousand claimed it. I don’t believe it’s ever been published. I don’t guess it ever will be published. Or maybe it will. Since so many claimed it, I thought I wouldn’t try to claim it. But there’s nobody ever been able to do it so far but myself.”

The third tune played is another "Jelly Roll" Morton tune which he composed in 1908 called Frog-I-More Rag and later called Froggie Moore. Beau Sample gives the two stories often cited for the tunes strange name. The preferred story seems to be that it was named after a Vaudevillian contortionist who went by that name, whom Morton accompanied on the piano!  Who knows, it just could be true. Morton didn't actually copyright the tune until 1918, ten years after he was supposed to have composed it. He did record it in 1923 as Frog-I-More Rag.

The players for this 2013 concert are a little different from the current band. Jake Sanders was the banjo player, reed player Jonathan Doyle had not yet joined the group when this concert was filmed and Amanda Wolff sings. 

The Fat Babies most recent album release is "Solid Gassuh" which came out in 2016.

Here is "Jelly Roll" Morton's 1939 version of Animule Dance.