Bix and Lonnie?

Bix and Lonnie?

Paul Bocciolone Strandberg
Paul Bocciolone Strandberg

October 20th, 2017, 1:42 pm #1

Are you familliar with Timme Rosencranz? http://www.jazzbaron.com/about-timme.html Timme had a good insight in the jazz world of the 1930's. In an article in a Swedish magazine about Lonnie Johnson he writes (if you can understand swedish see:https://www.digitpaul.se/veteranene-lonnie-johnson/) about when Johnson played with Fate Marable: "It was here that Bix Beiderbecke heard him and the two of them spent many nights together, Bix playing piano and Lonnie singing his blues while the boat slided forward on the moonlit river."
Sounds like a tale but it's worth noting.
You may have discussed Bix and guitar players before in the forum.
He seems to have been impressed with another guitar player from New Orleans, Snoozer Quinn, even prefered him to Eddie Lang. Snoozer was (probably) never recorded in his prime but on the tunes recorded just before he died by Johnny Wiggs he exposes a more down to earth swing style than the refined, classically ornamental one of Eddie.
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Coscannon
Coscannon

October 20th, 2017, 5:52 pm #2

And yes, it sounds like a tale.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 20th, 2017, 9:20 pm #3

Are you familliar with Timme Rosencranz? http://www.jazzbaron.com/about-timme.html Timme had a good insight in the jazz world of the 1930's. In an article in a Swedish magazine about Lonnie Johnson he writes (if you can understand swedish see:https://www.digitpaul.se/veteranene-lonnie-johnson/) about when Johnson played with Fate Marable: "It was here that Bix Beiderbecke heard him and the two of them spent many nights together, Bix playing piano and Lonnie singing his blues while the boat slided forward on the moonlit river."
Sounds like a tale but it's worth noting.
You may have discussed Bix and guitar players before in the forum.
He seems to have been impressed with another guitar player from New Orleans, Snoozer Quinn, even prefered him to Eddie Lang. Snoozer was (probably) never recorded in his prime but on the tunes recorded just before he died by Johnny Wiggs he exposes a more down to earth swing style than the refined, classically ornamental one of Eddie.
Alonzo "Lonnie' Johnson and Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke were in St Louis at the same time.
- Bix between Aug 1925 and May 1926.
- Lonnie recorded for OKeh between Nov 1925 and May 1926. He lived in St. Louis between 1920 and 1926.

Lonnie recorded one number with Charles Creath's band in Nov 1925. The trombonist in the band was Thomas Ball "Sonny" Lee. A racially mixed session. Sonny Lee,a friend of Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell was a member of Trumbauer's Arcadia Orchestra. Creath had been active in the Streckfus riverboats with Fate Marable.

From "Hear Me Talkin' To Ya."

Pee Wee Russell talking about his experience at the Arcadia Ballroom with Bix and Tram.
Sonny Lee, who later played with Jimmy Dorsey, was playing trombone with his band at the Arcadia, and Sonny used to live at my home. I came home one afternoon and there was Bix with Sonny in the living room playing Bix records. It gave me a kick-a big thrill to have Bix at my home. Among musicians, even at that time, Bix had a reputation.


According to Sudhalter and Evans, Bix and Pee Wee frequented John Estes' Chauffer's Club in the black side of St. Louis and jammed there after hours. One of the regulars in the Club was Creath. It is conceivable that Lonnie Johnson also frequented Estes' Club and that Bix and Lonnie jammed (perhaps with other musicians) in the Club.

Albert

An ad that has Bix and Sonny.


A photo that includes Bix and Sonny.
https://www.dropbox.com/home/Public?pre ... PeeWee.jpg
Last edited by ahaim on October 20th, 2017, 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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phil schaap
phil schaap

October 21st, 2017, 3:10 pm #4

I believe the Bix and Lonnie Johnson posting relates to a story - told a few ways - from the great Pops Foster. In the version I heard - the main theme for Foster was that Bix was a pianist, not a trumpeter - went as follows.
The excursion boat had ported in St. Louis and the musicians were briefly at liberty. Foster and other Black musicians from the boat's band went into St. Louis and were going around late in the morning, when they heard some very great Jazz coming from a building. Pops and a few of the others ran towards the place intending to join the fun. Looking through a window, Pops was somewhat surprised that the jamming Jazzers were white. Being in a segregated Civil War border state, they did not assume that they could just go in. But musician(s) inside spotted them and wave to them to come in and join. Bix was at the piano and Pops Foster stated he played great. Somebody interjected: could this be the Arcadia and the Trumbauer musicians? Pops, while not denying it, could not recall. His main point: Bix was a pianist and Foster had seen that as plain as day before Beiderbecke became known.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 21st, 2017, 4:59 pm #5

Pops Foster, The Autobiography of a New Orleans Jazzman as told to Tom Stoddard (University of California Press, 1971), p. 124:

I met Bix when he was playing the Arcadia Ballroom with Trumbauer, Rod Cless, Pee Wee Russell, and those guys about 1923. Bix and Pee Wee lived over in Granite City, Illinois. On Mondays all the musicians had the day off and we used to to all go over there to see who could burn up the most barbecue. They didnt have a regular barbecue, we just dug a hole in the ground, put rocks in, then some wood and got a fire going. Wed cook the barbecue, eat it, and drink a lot of corn whiskey. We never played or jammed together in those days, that all started in New York. We just got together for kicks. The colored and white musicians were just one. Wed stay out all night, drink out of the same bottle, and go out with the same girls. We used to all pile in Bixs car and go over to Kattie Reds in East St. Louis and drink a lot of bad whiskey. It was green whiskey, man, they sure had bad stuff, but none of us ever got sick on it. I heard Bix play trumpet and piano and he was good. Trumbauer was a nice guy and a wonderful saxophone player. Him and Trumbauer never came around to sit in with us even in New York. One of the few white guys who used to sit in with us in New York was Jack Teagarden.

How reliable are Pops Foster recollections? Seehttp://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1151020835

Albert

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Guess:-)
Guess:-)

October 25th, 2017, 5:24 pm #6

Are you familliar with Timme Rosencranz? http://www.jazzbaron.com/about-timme.html Timme had a good insight in the jazz world of the 1930's. In an article in a Swedish magazine about Lonnie Johnson he writes (if you can understand swedish see:https://www.digitpaul.se/veteranene-lonnie-johnson/) about when Johnson played with Fate Marable: "It was here that Bix Beiderbecke heard him and the two of them spent many nights together, Bix playing piano and Lonnie singing his blues while the boat slided forward on the moonlit river."
Sounds like a tale but it's worth noting.
You may have discussed Bix and guitar players before in the forum.
He seems to have been impressed with another guitar player from New Orleans, Snoozer Quinn, even prefered him to Eddie Lang. Snoozer was (probably) never recorded in his prime but on the tunes recorded just before he died by Johnny Wiggs he exposes a more down to earth swing style than the refined, classically ornamental one of Eddie.
I once had the privilege of a half hour's chat with Lonnie Johnson, privately at a friend's house,just Lonnie and myself. Of course, I asked him about Eddie Lang. I'll always remember his exact words. 'A gentleman, a fine gentleman.' He then told me how Lang used very thick strings on his guitar. I asked him why that was. He said because they gave him the volume so he could cut through that 'big band' that he played with.' I don't think Whiteman would have liked that 'big band' sobriquet applied to his 'orchestra'!
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