Early HOT Jazz (1922-33)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jerry, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    I need some advice from our jazz experts, please!

    I'd love to find more early jazz recordings of the style I like most: fast-paced, mostly instrumental, small to medium-sized groups. Bordering on out-of-control, on the precipice; preferably recorded bewteen 1926 and 1933.

    My favorite bands/orchestras include Luis Russell, Heny "Red" Allen, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Jabbo Smith and Jelly Roll Morton.

    Suggestions? Thanks!
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    My favorite music of all time. Make it 1925-35 and you'll have all the best electrically recorded stuff before the Swing Era swept the style away.

    Find a good website that talks about the stuff and learn who is who. For example: Ellington = Jungle Band, Mills Merry Makers, etc. etc.

    Fletcher Henderson
    Louis Armstrong
    Bennie Moten
    Jelly Roll Morton
    McKinney's Cotton Pickers
    Duke Ellington
    Joe "King" Oliver
    Bix, Tram, Eddie

    The list is endless.
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Good thread. I am lacking in early jazz. Outside of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, I have very little.
  4. mixtress

    mixtress Member

    richmond, virginia
    How about some Bix Beiderbecke...
    arley likes this.
  5. Roger Thornhill

    Roger Thornhill Forum Resident

    Ilford, Essex, UK
    There's some decent Proper Box sets which are very cheap.

    I've got the Bix one which is a very good introduction with all of the classics (and a few duds!). The one for Louis has the Hot 5s and Hot 7s which are essential.
  6. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    Thanks Steve! I only used that time frame because of the SQ of early acoustic microphone recordings, and post 1933, the music seems to be more commercial or geared towards bigger orchestras.

    I'll take your advice on research. RedHotJazz.com is a fun and informative site. And I have the "Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD" book that is dated but very useful.

    Bennie Moten is a name I keep coming across in my search. What is good that is in print if you don't mind me asking?

  7. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    Thanks! The only Bix I have is a Timeless CBC 1-013 (Davies mastered) CD of recordings 1924/25. Anything else I should get? Maybe the Proper box that Roger recommends?
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Kansas City was a real cradle of jazz back then. Starting with Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra on Victor, the area became famous for breakout bands.

    Bennie Moten's orchestra morphed into the Count Basie Band eventually but his early Victor stuff is killer. These are all famous jazz records.

    Moten died in '35 and Basie took over. Ben Webster, Basie, Jimmy Rushing, Hot Lips Page, Walter Page on string bass were all in the band. Young superstars.

    Start with his famous SOUTH, a long-lasting Victor jazz record that stayed in the catalog for 35 years in the original form. A primer for Kansas City Jazz.

    Chazzbo13 likes this.
  9. 926am

    926am Forum Resident

    rochester, ny
    all well mastered.....



  10. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England

    I love early Basie, so that should work. Thanks! I'll see what's in print.

    I seem to recall the "Mound City Blowers" or something like that mentioned in the same breath as Moten. Maybe Kansas City style also?
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Well, not the same thing at all. That's Red McKenzie on comb & tissue paper with Eddie Condon on guitar or tenor guitar and usually Gene Krupa on drums. Popular with college kids but nothing like the great black bands of the era. More of a novelty sound.

    I'm sure all of this type of stuff is now on YouTube. Just type in a band and give a listen. Back in my day (70s-80's) the only way to hear most of this stuff was to know someone who collected old records. In LA we had the JAZZ MAN RECORD STORE in Santa Monica. Without Mr. Brown, my education would have been quite lacking. They held meetings in the back room every Saturday and these old (and now famous) collectors would bring their prized possessions in and spin them. How I heard almost everything I came to love.

    Now, it's all on YouTube. That's a blessing..
    John Porcellino and SOONERFAN like this.
  12. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England


    I wish there were more McKinneys, Luis Russell and Jabbo Smith recordings. That's the stuff that blows me away. Some Clarence Williams stuff (Mod Squad Linc's grandfather) recordings are also very wild.
  13. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    How I got turned on to this music was pure luck. A few years ago I was lsitening to the car radio on the way to the movies. The dj played "The New Call of the Freaks" by the Luis Russell Orchestra. I felt like the martians had landed. That crazy vibraphone and Henry Allen's wild trumpet blasts hooked me. The dj never said what or who it was and it took me weeks to figure it out without a title or band name. I haven't been the same since.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Almost every band of that era (jazz bands, that is) recorded that song. CALL OF THE FREAKS, NEW CALL OF THE FREAKS, etc. "Kick out the cans, here comes the garbage man..." Or a million variations on that theme. I like the version by King Oliver (or is it the same band but called on the label the Savannah Syncopaters?)

    Try some of the Washboard Bands on Victor for the most frantic stuff you've ever heard. Like "Washboards Get Together", etc. Washboard takes the place of drums but the rest is the same great hot stuff.

    Like I've mentioned in so many other threads, there is nothing like hearing the original 78 RPM records from that era. They have a magic, that is for sure. A cheaper way to get the right music on 78 is to look for the BRITISH issued on HMV or Parlophone from the 1930's and 40's. They loved the stuff over there and they got the original metal stampers from the American labels so their records are pressed with the first generation direct cut parts just like the $500.00 Okeh and Columbia, Victor, etc. stuff here. Those British issues sometimes sound even better than the US stuff (especially Victor) because the shellac is better (sometimes.) At any rate, a tip, from me to you. I've seen them as low as three bucks for a mint Parlophone BIX repress (from the original parts). Compare that with the $200.00 price tag of the Okeh original!

    So many great bands, so little time.
  15. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England

    Yeah, what struck me, being a big Muddy Waters fan, was that 1920's song having similiar lyrics to Muddy's "Garbage Man Blues".

    Hmm. Washboard bands. I love the Memphis Jug Band, so why not? Onward!

    I'd love to go back in time and see those bands live when they could stretch past 3 minutes in recording time. McKinney's and Russell's bands supposedly were different bands when playing live, according to witnesses. Gunther Schuller has two books that relate stories about their stage wildness.
  16. wildroot indigo

    wildroot indigo Forum Resident

    As well as the artists already mentioned...

    Lovie Austin and Her Serenaders -- great Chicago small band instrumentals, 1924-26.

    Perry Bradford -- important jazz and blues impresario, his works are well-represented on two CDs (Frog and Timeless labels).

    Junie Cobb -- more great small group sides, some amazingly well-recorded: Collector's Classics CD recommended.

    Johnny Dodds -- many excellent sides with different groups, the Frog CDs are perhaps best.

    Johnny Dunn -- pioneer New York trumpeter, the Frog CD is more or less definitive.

    Richard M. Jones -- I like the Classics CDs, but they may be tough to find. The Frog has good transfers, but overly noise-reduced, I think.

    Tiny Parham -- his Victor (1928-1930) recordings are complete on a Timeless double CD; I enjoy his few earlier sides (1926-27) even more (included on Classics).

    Piron's New Orleans Orchestra -- New Orleans "society" jazz (1923-25), not as rhythmically inclined, but strange and beautiful music, complete on Challenge/Retrieval CD.

    Thomas "Fats" Waller -- the JSP Volume One box (1922-1928), while somewhat "airless"/noise-reduced, is complete and has some previously unissued sides. If you like Jabbo Smith, the Louisiana Sugar Babes--with Waller on organ and James P. Johnson on piano--are essential.

    Mary Lou Williams -- piano prodigy of the Andy Kirk band, Classics CD '1927-1940' collects her solo recordings, fantastic.

    Luis Russell is an overlooked great... his band also backed King Oliver on Victor (1928-29), then Louis Armstrong (1929 and years afterward), many recordings.

    Clarence Williams is another all-time great who should get more recognition, his 1923-1926 instrumentals especially, I feel... 10 essential early instrumentals (1923-24) are on Timeless CD 'Young Sidney Bechet'.

    PonceDeLeroy likes this.
  17. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    Great list, thanks!

    I was looking for Johnny Dodds, and was thinking of his mid-20's Frog CD. Anything in particular I should seek?

    I searched for that Tiny Parnham CD set, but its OOP and wildly out of price range on Amazon marketplace. I heard him originally on the R. Crumb sampler that came with his book. Spooky music!

    I LOVE Jabbo, so I'll seek out the LA Sugar Babes.

    I have no early Bechet, so I'll search him out too.

    THANKS! :righton:
  18. ROLO46

    ROLO46 Forum Resident

    Dont forget the great Brit Bands of this era.
    Superbly recorded at Abbey Rd
    Lew Stone
    Al Bowlly.
    The Beave likes this.
  19. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    Wow. I didn't realize that Abbey Road was in operation that long ago. Learn something every day. Thanks!
  20. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    Just dropped nearly $200 on Amazon thanks to this thread. You guys are killing me but I'm loving it.

    Would love to have the 78's but the ol' Scoutmaster won't accommodate them so digital is my only option here.
  21. wildroot indigo

    wildroot indigo Forum Resident

    The Frog discs are high quality... Dodds also had some great sessions with Parham: as a duo, and in a group called Jasper Taylor and His State Street Boys... and made many washboard band sides with his brother, Baby Dodds.

    A recent CD 'Definitive Dodds' may have the best track selection for a single disc, outside of Johnny's legendary works with Armstrong, Morton, and Oliver (although this and Frog's 'New Orleans Stomp' both include Armstrong).

  22. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff Thread Starter

    New England
    Sorry about that. Did you leave anything for me? :)
  23. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    I think there is one or two things left.
  24. A few mentioned here that I will need to check out.
  25. TopForty

    TopForty Active Member

    arley likes this.

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