"Glimmerings on Goldkette." An Essay by John Davis and Gray Clarke.

"Glimmerings on Goldkette." An Essay by John Davis and Gray Clarke.

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

April 29th, 2018, 2:18 pm #1

Published in Jazz Music Vol.4, No.4, 1950 
A Critique by Albert Haim
An interesting but seriously flawed essay about Jean Goldkette's music by the legendary (late) John R. T. Davis, expert in the restoration of classic jazz records. Granted that the article was written in 1950, but I am shocked at the bias and inaccuracies in the article, and flabbergasted that such an intelligent and respected man could write with absolute certainty "We are still without a real clue to the identity of the intelligence behind the [Goldkette] band." "Certainly it [the musical intelligence behind the band] was not Goldkette’s own.”
http://bixography.com/GoldketteDavisFinal.html
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Joined: March 16th, 2018, 10:44 am

April 30th, 2018, 10:02 am #2

Although you don't credit it, this was the article I send privately to you (after you had banned me from the forum) because I thought it would be of interest to members of the forum. Your criticism of John R T is quite unjustified. He was writing in 1950. His statement may have been wrong, but it was the early research and writing of  such as John R T and others that have enabled you to have your present knowledge and be 'flabbergasted and shocked.'  I think you should remember and acknowledge that.     .
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Joined: March 29th, 2018, 12:06 pm

April 30th, 2018, 11:39 am #3

And don't forget that Ristic was just 23 years of age in 1950.
Furthermore, what 'flabbergasted and shocked' you are just 'soft' facts, which are mostly subjective matter.
It would have been far worse if he had gotten the 'hard' facts wrong, like for instance Sudhalter did with so many in his "Lost Chords".
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 30th, 2018, 1:47 pm #4

Being 23 is no excuse for writing an article that contains errors of fact and of judgment. The almost exclusive emphasis on the 1928 recording of “Forgetting You” when Goldkette had a five-year history of recording is indefensible.
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Joined: March 29th, 2018, 12:06 pm

April 30th, 2018, 2:24 pm #5

ahaim wrote: Being 23 is no excuse for writing an article that contains errors of fact and of judgment. The almost exclusive emphasis on the 1928 recording of “Forgetting You” when Goldkette had a five-year history of recording is indefensible.
If there was anyone who knew 1920s Jazz & Dance band recordings inside out, it was JRT Davies.
Seneca's "errare humanum est, sed in errare perseverare diabolicum" fits your attitude...
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 30th, 2018, 2:39 pm #6

Pathetic!! You ran out of rational arguments and resorted to ad hominem attacks.
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Joined: March 29th, 2018, 12:06 pm

April 30th, 2018, 4:28 pm #7

ahaim wrote:
April 30th, 2018, 2:39 pm
Pathetic!! You ran out of rational arguments and resorted to ad hominem attacks.
Alex Revell, as well as myself, have tried with rational arguments to explain the circumstances under which JRT wrote his article, but I fear you're blinded to those.
Tell me, Haim, if it were not for the reissues of JRT and others, how much of Golkette's recorded oevre would you know (as a non-78rpm collector) ?
And also, what articles did YOU write in 1950 ?

A little more humbleness would fit you perfectly well, believe me!

I'm out of this discussion, my time is too valuable & consumed with real research of primary sources, than to argue with someone who fails to credit his sources (see Revell's post), and is incapable to admit his own mistakes...

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

April 30th, 2018, 8:53 pm #8

Isn’t it shocking that Bix, the most important Goldkette musician (in fact the most important white jazz musician of the 1920s), is mentioned only four times in the whole article, and never in a laudatory manner?
- “even now that it is quite clear that Bix was not on it [Forgetting You]”
- “theorists who still cannot enjoy ‘Forgetting You’ unless they can cling to a hope that, after all, the trumpet was Bix.”
- “Bix, Tram, Brown, Lang, Venuti,  the rest of them, they just sounded dull, pompous and ordinary …”
- “Natoli, Secrest, Rank [N.B. not Rank], Carmichael were working for Goldkette after the departure of Bix and company to Whiteman…” 

Note the special emphasis on ‘Forgetting You’.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

April 30th, 2018, 10:34 pm #9

Well, I'm reading the old essay itself. The tone IS embarrassing. It seems that no white musician can be credited with being a competent jazz player; and Paul Whiteman must never be forgiven for the first syllable of his last name...and the 'King of Jazz' labeling.

Sure the big orchestral pieces (Grofé) haven't dated as well as the leaner (Challis) ones. But they are not the outrages that so many old critics insist. And whatever you think of string sections in jazz, or dance, orchestras, Whiteman's violins weren't 'squeaky.'

Certainly, fans of 'hot jazz' of the mid twenties spent decades ranting against any band with more than seven players, or any group that played 'pop tunes.' As if the 'hot' repertoire itself was made up of anything else. 

Roger Pryor Dodge even decried Bubber Miley's joining Ellington as if that were a downward step.

Do we really need to seek for some Secret Eminence Grise behind the quality of the Goldkette band, insofar as recorded evidence shows it? An elite team of jazz-savvy players, plus Bill Challis, seems to leave little room for mystery.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 1st, 2018, 10:24 pm #10

An important correction:
Ate van Delden points out that John Davis (author of Glimmerings on Goldkette) and John R. T. Davies (restorer  of classic jazz recordings) are two different persons. Thanks to Ate and apologies to  my readers.
I point out that my entire Critique is valid regardless of the identity of the author of "Glimmerings on Goldkette."
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