Chu Berry on *baritone* sax?

Joined: March 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

July 29th, 2018, 12:45 am #1

Some time ago, I remarked here viewtopic.php?f=27140&t=9782&p=50664 that Chu Berry was probably the most underrated tenor sax influence of the 1930's (in part because Berry himself is often misleadingly called a Coleman Hawkins disciple, though by the mid-1930s he had clearly developed a style of his own).

What I didn't realize, though, is that on at least one recording Chu may have soloed on baritone sax!  Listen to "Knock, Knock, Who's There?" by Fletcher Henderson, recorded August 4, 1936.  Good trumpet (and corny jokes!) from Roy Eldridge, but what is really interesting is the 16-bar baritone sax solo.  Is it Chu?  As Jan Evensmo remarks in his Chu Berry "solography" "the rhythmic feeling and the phrasing are so typical of Chu" http://www.jazzarcheology.com/artists/chu_berry.pdf and it's hard to believe that anyone else in the Henderson sax section could produce a solo like that...

I have always been intrigued, incidentally, by good baritone sax solos by players who were not primarily known as baritone sax soloists--like Jimmy Dorsey in Goldkette's  "I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now" or the Venuti recording of "I've Found a New Baby." Or Don Murray on Venuti's "Penn Beach Blues"  and "The Wild Dog" and "Pretty Trix"

But with JD and Murray, you expect them to double on various reeed instruments.  It's a surprise to hear Chu Berry play anything but tenor...
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 29th, 2018, 12:15 pm #2

ALLAH'S HOLIDAY - Ted Lewis and His Band feat. Don Murray on baritone and clarinet according to Enrico Borsetti.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da_6P7LNdjA

See also DON MURRAY, BARITENOR SAXOPHONE
https://yestercenturypop.com/2014/08/23 ... saxophone/
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Joined: July 29th, 2018, 1:02 pm

July 29th, 2018, 1:11 pm #3

Hi, everyone. I wrote the blog post that Albert referenced above and would ask that you please disregard that entry and see here instead:
https://yestercenturypop.com/2014/08/25 ... x-revised/
Despite most discographies not listing Murray doubling tenor saxophone with Goldkette's band, I have to humbly state that Murray is playing tenor saxophone on "Blue River" with Goldkette. For more information, there is a whole Bixography forum thread discussing this track.
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Joined: August 8th, 2018, 4:20 am

August 8th, 2018, 4:26 am #4

Berry has been credited as the baritone soloist on that record at least since the LP set "The Complete Fletcher Henderson 1927-1936" was issued on RCA/Bluebird in 1976, but more importantly, Roy Eldridge confirmed that it was Berry on a radio interview with Phil Schaap on WKCR.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

August 9th, 2018, 4:26 pm #5

Dorsey's baritone playing deserves more credit. He wasn't just filling in for Rollini. He had a real 'voice' on baritone.
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