A review of Avakian's three-volume Columbia LP set.

A review of Avakian's three-volume Columbia LP set.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 6th, 2018, 11:53 pm #1

The link courtesy of Vince Giordano. Thanks Vince.

https://tinyurl.com/y9nhckg6

Decent review with two exceptions:

- AFAIK Arthur Schutt never recorded with Bix.
- The author perpetuates the myth:
"As in almost every performance in which Beiderbecke participated, everyone but Bix was a bit player."
Rollini, Trumbauer, Lang, etc bit players?

Albert
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Mark Gabrish Conlan
Mark Gabrish Conlan

January 7th, 2018, 1:05 am #2

Maybe Joe Martin wrote in his review that "as in almost every performance in which Beiderbecke participated, everyone but Bix was a bit player." But just before that he named 18 of the great musicians with whom Bix participated in the records included n the LP's he was reviewing (plus one, Arthur Schutt, who as you point out didn't), including Bill Rank, Tram, Matty Malneck, Lennie (misspelled "Lenny") Hayton, Bing Crosby, Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, Pee Wee Russell (who I don't think is on any of the 36 tracks on Avakian's LP's, though a record with him turned up on Avakian's later Bix reissue, "The Bix Beiderbecke Legend" on RCA Victor) and Chauncey Morehouse. He's simply saying that as good as his associates were, Bix stood out over all of them for the passion, imagination and sophistication of his playing -- and that's something just about everyone on the Forum, I suspect, would agree with. And I certainly agree with Martin that Avakian's intelligent, well-written liner notes were almost as important a contribution to understanding Bix as the records themselves.
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John Coffin
John Coffin

January 7th, 2018, 3:16 am #3

I just listened through the Wolverines again. Jimmy McPartland, even as 17 wasn't really a 'bit player.' But without Bix, the Wolverines were just another white post ODJB band.

Trumbauer, Rollini, Venuti, Lang, for that matter Schutt and Russell, all stand on their own as players in Bixless recordings. But just about everyone seemed to derive an extra lift when they played with him.
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David Tenner
David Tenner

January 7th, 2018, 4:26 am #4

Maybe Joe Martin wrote in his review that "as in almost every performance in which Beiderbecke participated, everyone but Bix was a bit player." But just before that he named 18 of the great musicians with whom Bix participated in the records included n the LP's he was reviewing (plus one, Arthur Schutt, who as you point out didn't), including Bill Rank, Tram, Matty Malneck, Lennie (misspelled "Lenny") Hayton, Bing Crosby, Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, Pee Wee Russell (who I don't think is on any of the 36 tracks on Avakian's LP's, though a record with him turned up on Avakian's later Bix reissue, "The Bix Beiderbecke Legend" on RCA Victor) and Chauncey Morehouse. He's simply saying that as good as his associates were, Bix stood out over all of them for the passion, imagination and sophistication of his playing -- and that's something just about everyone on the Forum, I suspect, would agree with. And I certainly agree with Martin that Avakian's intelligent, well-written liner notes were almost as important a contribution to understanding Bix as the records themselves.
Specifically On Vol. 2 (Bix and Tram) which included A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Cryin' All Day. https://www.discogs.com/Bix-Beiderbecke ... se/3082520
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Mark Gabrish Conlan
Mark Gabrish Conlan

January 11th, 2018, 1:49 pm #5

O.K., Pee Wee was there on "Crying All Day" and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." I probably didn't remember him because he was only in the ensemble and didn't solo.
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carl
carl

January 12th, 2018, 12:20 am #7

I love these kind of mysteries. Those fellows that make a case for two clarinets in a chase seem quite plausible to me. You can hear the change in timbre and volume from the two bar sections. Maybe it was just one guy just playing a bit louder and moving his horn nearer the mike when he played higher up, but it sounds like it could be two players to me.

But that's not the most memorable moment of Cryin' and Good Man. It is surely because of the two Bix solos where he is at his most enthralled and under the sway of the great Joe Smith.
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John Coffin
John Coffin

January 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm #8

From his time with Henderson, and of course his records with Bessie Smith, Joe Smith must have been on Bix's horizon. And Smith is another trumpet/cornet player of the 20s who isn't overwhelmed by Armstrong. But I doubt either could be said to have 'swayed' the other.

Bix seems to have fallen to earth from somewhere else. Unless Emmett Hardy really was the prodigy some have suggested. Even Armstrong can be connected to Oliver, Keppard etc.

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