Stardust Revealed

Stardust Revealed

carl
carl

August 27th, 2010, 7:43 pm #1

At the risk of hogging all the posts, I just had to put up this link since it's Albert's favourite tune, only this time by my favourite musician. It's the first of the Savory collection to feature a clip by tenorman Herschel Evans, although they've been talking a lot about him as maybe him finally getting his due with all the material by him that's been saved. Sounds like there may be as much of him as has already been recorded in all his output. Someone even suggested playing some of his music before congress as a reason why the copyright laws have to cleaned up to allow him and the others to be heard and accepted as a national treasure. Lionel Hampton once told him, "Wait 'til the world hears you, it'll be saxophone, saxophone, saxophone!" It was once, though he wasn't given the proper credit. Now Lionel's prediction might come true. Herschel's snippet is number four. So much of what he was is in those few seconds, the sounds, the tone, the feeling, those Texas train moans, the shear magnificence. Can't wait to hear the rest.

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/25/audi ... reats.html

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

August 28th, 2010, 2:10 pm #2

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carl
carl

August 28th, 2010, 9:59 pm #3

Thanks for asking, Albert. The brief solo on Basie's "Sent For You Yesterday" was the first thing I really really listened to with that over and over yanking the needle back for him, and the first time I came away thinking I discovered him, could really hear him, really hear in general, really, if you think of musicians teaching you how to hear. After mentioning two illustrious Welshmen in earlier posts, I've seen jokes that Evans himself was a Welshman and this solo has a distinct celtic hillside yearning about it to go with its manliness and beauty. There's one on YouTube but the sound is so bad, it's best avoided.

You always hear the comparisons with Lester and Bix, especially that tale of Lester carrying around "Singin". I'm not so sure Lester, feisty guy that he was, just didn't want it known how much his alto playing sister had influenced him, and in the long run I'd say there's the greater similarity between Herschel and Bix. I don't know which one I'd credit more with the concept of Jazz Moodiness, but it's the main definition of what people define as jazz today, the Jazz Mood. There's Bix on "Singin", pensive and moody, Herschel on "Blue and Sentimental" or "One O'Clock Jump", dark and moody. That's what tenor saxophones did after Herschel, stood off to the side coolly delivering their dark soulful testifying. Since "One O'Clock Jump" is Basie's most important record, and Herschel set the mood of what it was, I'd say pick "One O'Clock Jump" but one of the ones with Harry James for its masterful beautiful playing. There was one on Jazz Anthology, and I think the one where if you slow it down you can hear all those strange animal cries and figures he used that exist nowhere else in music, as far as I know.

For the third I'd go with another Bix connection, one of Herschel's solos with Mildred Bailey, I guess "Heaven Help This Heart of Mine". It was on Jazz Anthology too but the trouble with this digital age is Herschel's strange overblowing into harmonics gets cleaned off and you miss his expressions of violent passions that are on this solo. That overblowing, done by releasing the octave key and riding up the reed, was probably what strained his heart. That's a real Texas solo, you hear so many guitarists using those figures. John Hammond reluctantly grumbled, "Mildred didn't much care for Lester's playing, but she loved Herschel." And so do I.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 28th, 2010, 11:48 pm #4


Here are, what I believe, the selections you recommended. I don't know if the quality is good enough for you.

Sent for You Yesterday  http://www.jazz-on-line.com/a/rama/DEC63286-A.ram Count Basie Nov 16, 1938

One O'Clock Jump  http://www.jazz-on-line.com/a/rama/COLB22252.ram Harry James Jan 5, 1938

Heaven Help This Heart of Mine http://www.jazz-on-line.com/a/ramc/VOC21334.ram Mildred Bailey June 27, 1937

Blue and Sentimental  http://www.jazz-on-line.com/a/rama/DEC63919.ram  Count Basie June 6, 1938

Certainly, Herschel was a master of his instrument and I can understand  how you are a great admirer. Indeed, there is a mood associated with Herschel's playing. But I cannot hear the connection to Bix. I agree that Bix in "Singin' the Blues" is thoughtful, but moody? I looked up definitions of moody.
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carl
carl

August 29th, 2010, 1:08 am #5

Thank you. I was wishing afterwards that I had of added to my "O'Clock Jump" comments of how Bix' music is described as happy and zestful but at the same blended in with an air of melancholy. Here is Herschel blending together spirited jubilation, but with a distinct air of melancholy or sadness throughout. There's a connection and an artistry that few shared.

I'll have to think more on "Singin". It's overall impression to me is that it's a mood piece, subdued and thoughtful, and as such is quite likely the father of the Jazz ballad. I wouldn't use the definition of moody in its 19th century literary sense. In a jazz context I think of it meaning subdued or funky, oh I see brooding, sombre, that's good. I'd say that. If you don't get impressions of them from "Singin", compare it to that other father of the jazz ballad, Hawkins on "One Hour". Compared to "Singin", "One Hour" just seems like a bunch of notes played slowly.

Maybe some other impressions of what "Singin" is and represents will come in.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 29th, 2010, 12:26 pm #6


.... "Bix' music is described as happy and zestful but at the same blended in with an air of melancholy." The key phrase is "at the same time." I don't thing that Bix's music is moody, alternating between happy and somber, joyous and dark. I have often described Bix's music as "bittersweet." Bix's music dos not alternate in moods. I think the elements are thoroughly amalgamated, intimately combined in such a coherent manner that the music evokes in the listener (at least in this listener) <em>simultaneous</em> feelings of hapiness and sadness.

Albert
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

August 29th, 2010, 1:06 pm #7

Albert, you said it well: "Bix's music does not alternate in moods. I think the elements are thoroughly amalgamated, intimately combined in such a coherent manner that the music evokes in the listener (at least in this listener) simultaneous feelings of happiness and sadness."

Joy and longing are intertwined in Bix's music. It satisfies and yet leaves the hearer with a yearning for something, just beyond our senses, something lovely that, even as we listen, we know will elude our grasp.
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Ken Bristow
Ken Bristow

August 29th, 2010, 10:45 pm #8

'Singin' the Blues', 'Krazy Kat' and 'I'm Coming Virginia' are all done in a serious mood, the equivalent of small group chamber music. They still hold our attention and wonderment today. Then there's the joyous, Dixieland Gang sides with Murray and Rollini that Bill Rank decades later described as "Good Time Jazz music having much charm". All these were done when Bix was at his peak as the creator of a unique style never heard previously and never replicated since. After joining Whitman, and with his increasing use of bootleg booze, the effects of that and other reasons can be heard in the gradual decline in his health on his recordings. What were once thirty two or sixteen bar choruses being reduced to eight and four bars over those next eighteen months up to the time of his collapse in the Columbia studio. The increasing use of a derby mute muffles the "Bix Tone" to what we have been used to, yet even near the end in 1930 the old magic hadn't left him quite yet. From the sad, melancholy of 'I'll be a friend with pleasure' to the last one of all, his fiery playing on the last eight bars on 'Bessie couldn't help it', it's all there to be heard on the records made during those few six years of his time in the phonograph studios.
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

August 30th, 2010, 2:24 am #9

"Bessie Couldn't Help It," Take 2, with those wonderful musicians in top form--Teagarden, Freeman, Venuti, Carmichael, J. Dorsey, Russell, Morehouse, Lang, and Bix's intro and outro, pushing that beat to the end--what a record! The gods smiled that day.
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asstip7wj6sp
asstip7wj6sp

July 28th, 2016, 5:41 pm #10

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