Is Anyone Else Listening to Phil Schaap?

Is Anyone Else Listening to Phil Schaap?

Brad Kay
Brad Kay

March 11th, 2018, 2:41 am #1

He's having the forty-ninth annual all-day Bix Birthday celebration on WCKR. I, for one, am listening on-line, happy as a clam. Then, about an hour ago, a shock: "I'M IN THE SEVENTH HEAVEN," by Paul Whiteman! Am I the LAST person in the world to recognize Bix on that record? He plays a whole muted chorus, in counterpoint with Strickfadden, with the saxes taking up the bridge! RIGHT? Geez! I'd never noticed it before. AND all these years, I've had a mint copy of Columbia 1877-D and never played it!

Well, how great is that? - to hear a NEW solo by Bix!

Happy 115th Birthday!

Brad Kay
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Coscannon
Coscannon

March 11th, 2018, 4:56 am #2

Bix's presence on I'M IN THE SEVENTH HEAVEN has been noted. Don't know if you read Jean Pierre Leon's biography. You might not have cared for what he wrote:

Bill Challis's arrangement reused an idea that had worked well on SUGAR in February 1928 with Charles Strickfaden playing the "straight" melody on baritone saxophone, accompanied by a countermelody improvised by Bix. The lack of confidence on the part of the cornetist is obvious in the first part of his sixteen bars, and the repeated emission of high notes that opens the last eight measures seems forced. His performance on SUGAR a year earlier was of an entirely different caliber.

Evans & Evans mention Bix's solo but don't comment on it.
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

March 11th, 2018, 5:42 am #3

Thanks, Cos!

I KNOW Bix was on his uppers when "Seventh Heaven" was recorded. He had slipped for sure. Still, it's obviously, self-evidently him. I'll take a weary, punch-drunk alcoholic Bix over any of his contemporaries.

Point is, I was ignorant of ANY jazz content on this record! Somehow it was off my radar. So I had the "Never-Vu" experience of hearing Bix perform "tabula rasa." What a RUSH!

Marshall McCluhan was right: "The Medium is the Message." The experience of selecting a record, of going through the ritual of playing it, where you know everything that is going to happen in advance, is utterly different from hearing that same record on radio, when the selecting is out of your control. Especially if it's a record you've never heard before! When "7th Heaven" came on Phil's show, I was talking with my buddy Dan Weinstein, when we both STOPPED COLD, suddenly realizing what we were hearing. It seemed Bix was LIVE. Not knowing what he'd do next, we hung on to his every note! It's the effect Bix had on everyone who heard him in person.

It was a rare experience indeed. Only the third time in my life I was so ecstatically blindsided.

-Brad K

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wellwisher
wellwisher

March 11th, 2018, 11:54 am #4

Hi Brad, What about the piano solo. Ever thought about that. Isn't a piano solo fairly rare in a Whiteman recording of the time.
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

March 11th, 2018, 8:38 pm #5

ACTUALLY, it's two pianos, and as usual, they acquit themselves excellently in their half-chorus. Bargy and Hayton? I guess. There was no shortage of piano players in 1929, and Whiteman had his pick of the very finest. The piano usually gets lost in a huge ensemble like this, and as you point out, only briefly now and then comes up for air. But when it does, it's always sparkling and impeccable. For instance, I like the piano introduction on "It Was The Dawn of Love."

n.b. There's a scene in the movie "The Cotton Club," where Richard Gere is at a swanky party in downtown New York. It's 1928, and he makes a huge hit with his piano playing. The only problem is that he's playing the blues, kind of a boogie boogie, and not very good blues at that. In real life, he would have been laughed out of the room! In 1928, with monsters like James P. Johnson, George Gershwin, and yes, Roy Bargy around, the piano bar in New York was set HIGH.

-Brad Kay
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 11th, 2018, 8:45 pm #6

He's having the forty-ninth annual all-day Bix Birthday celebration on WCKR. I, for one, am listening on-line, happy as a clam. Then, about an hour ago, a shock: "I'M IN THE SEVENTH HEAVEN," by Paul Whiteman! Am I the LAST person in the world to recognize Bix on that record? He plays a whole muted chorus, in counterpoint with Strickfadden, with the saxes taking up the bridge! RIGHT? Geez! I'd never noticed it before. AND all these years, I've had a mint copy of Columbia 1877-D and never played it!

Well, how great is that? - to hear a NEW solo by Bix!

Happy 115th Birthday!

Brad Kay
.... the great Bill Challis. The piano duet is by Hayton and Bargy. Also a bit by Rank.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK8El45E1Ag

“I’m in Seventh Heaven” is from Jolson’s movie “Say It With Words.”

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... 00_AL_.jpg

Other great songs in the soundtrack

Say It with Songs (1929)
Soundtracks
Soundtrack Credits
I'm in Seventh Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Performed by Al Jolson
Little Pal
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Performed by Al Jolson
Used to You
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Performed by Al Jolson
Why Can't You
(uncredited)
Written by Al Jolson, Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Performed by Al Jolson
Back in Your Own Backyard
(uncredited)
Written by Al Jolson, Billy Rose and Ray Henderson
Performed by Al Jolson
I'm 'Ka-razy' for You
(uncredited)
Written by Al Jolson, Billy Rose and Dave Dreyer
Performed by Al Jolson
Mem'ries of One Sweet Kiss
(uncredited)
Written by Al Jolson and Dave Dreyer
Performed by Al Jolson

Albert
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

March 11th, 2018, 10:04 pm #7

I see that Al Jolson took his usual "vigorish" for allowing songwriters Rose, Dreyer, DeSylva, Brown and Henderson to compose songs for his picture.

-Brad Kay
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John Coffin
John Coffin

March 11th, 2018, 10:08 pm #8

He's having the forty-ninth annual all-day Bix Birthday celebration on WCKR. I, for one, am listening on-line, happy as a clam. Then, about an hour ago, a shock: "I'M IN THE SEVENTH HEAVEN," by Paul Whiteman! Am I the LAST person in the world to recognize Bix on that record? He plays a whole muted chorus, in counterpoint with Strickfadden, with the saxes taking up the bridge! RIGHT? Geez! I'd never noticed it before. AND all these years, I've had a mint copy of Columbia 1877-D and never played it!

Well, how great is that? - to hear a NEW solo by Bix!

Happy 115th Birthday!

Brad Kay
In the first 10 seconds, Bix's break, in a bucket mute or derby grabs the ear.
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Russell Davies
Russell Davies

March 11th, 2018, 10:32 pm #9

And right after the main Bix solo, the arranged ensemble figures once more refer to the phrasing of Debussy's "La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin" which was discussed here not many days ago.
To me, the high notes from the re-entering Bix's last 8 have an "I can still do it!" quality which is both endearing and sad. But he gets away with it, and good for him, I say.
I assume that the songwriters (and Jolson) would have preferred "having a Hell of a time" (instead of "heck") as their parting phrase, to contrast properly with the Seventh Heaven. And the Hays Code (of 1930) hadn't even kicked in yet!
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

March 12th, 2018, 3:25 am #10

I think "Heck of a time" was used purposely, because anyone could see "Hell" coming. The whole logic of the song lyric seems to lead up to "Hell." By defying that logic, the substitution of "Heck" actually is a lot funnier then "Hell." I'll bet the songwriters had a lively debate until they settled on "Heck." I also think the use of "Heck" granted tacit permission for the performer to use "Hell" when he wanted to! Therefore, we can have our "Heck" and "Hell" it, too.

- Brad Kay

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