Tributes to Bix
|The Bix Beiderbecke Era||Bix and All That Jazz||Hooray for Bix||For Bix and Pops||It Sounds Like Bix|
|The Legend of Bix||Bix, Fats, Duke||With a Bow to Bix||A Portrait of Bix||Sound of Bix|
|Bix Beiderbecke Suite||Bix MCMLIX||A Vision of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke. Private Astronomy||Thank You, Bix|| Rhapsody for Bix
||Shades of Bix||Remembering Bix||Bunny Plays Bix||Bixieland|
|Bucky Pizzarelli||Copenhagen||Bix Lives (Italian)||Playing Beiderbecke||Bessie Bix Billie|
|Dear Bix||A 78 rpm album||Bix||Bix Lives (Festival)||Bix Memorial|
|Piano Deco||The Bix Beiderbecke Legacy||Tony Loves Bix||Billy Plays Bix||Shades of Bix (bis)|
|Salute to Bix||Per
||Dill Jones Plays Bix||Ode to Bix||Bix's Place|
|In Memory of Bix||Bix 'n All That Jazz||Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Band||Bix's Gang Lives||Princeton Bix Festival 1979|
|Thinking of Bix||Bix Fix||Blues for Bix||Bix's Bugle||Memorial to Bix Beidebecke|
|The Re-discovered Louis and Bix||The Blue Rhythm Kings||Vintage Bixieland||Bix Land||In Memory of
|Salute to Bix (Bis)||Bix' idé||If Bix Played Gershwin
||Bix... He's Back
||Lino Patruno presents "A
Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke
|2 Bix but not too Bix
||The Influence of Bix
There are a number of albums, CD's, one 78 rpm box set, and songs which represent, in one form or another, homages to Bix. Most of these have the name Bix in the title.
by Dominic Cravic and Philippe Paringaux. The song was recorded by "Les
Primitifs du Futur" in the Fremeaux et Associes 1994 CD "Trop de
trop de trains et autres histoires d'amours." To listen to a one-minute
clip of the song, go to http://www.jazzvalley.com/site/listen/extract_id=7974
A rough translation of "Les Primitifs du Futur" is "The Primitives of the Future". They got started in 1986 when Robert Crumb (cartoonist and blues aficionado) spent several months in Paris. Crumb got together with Dominique Cravic (guitar player and singer) in one of the blues dive in Montparnasse. They played blues, jazz and java (French apache waltz). The music style is a blend of the old and the new - the traditional French music played in a new manner. Before Crumb left France, the group recorded a 10-inch LP, "Cocktail d'Amour". It consisted of blues and musette (traditional French popular music where the accordion is the principal instrument). Their second record is "Trop de routes, trop de trains et autres histoires d'amours" (Too many roads, too many trains and other love stories). In addition to Bix Land, the CD contains "Sous les Toits de Paris" (Under the Roofs of Paris, 1930) from the Rene Clair film of the same name (incidentally, one of my all-time favorite films with a great soundtrack).
I am grateful to Eric Min-Tung for informing me of the existence of the song and related information.
Blue Rhythm Kings. This
recording was made in a studio in Eltham, London in 1985 and was issued
as a cassette. The band was called The Blue Rhythm Kings and that was
the title of the cassette. The recording is a tribute to Bix, Red
and the California Ramblers. The personnel was as follows:
Malcolm Walton (leader, cornet, vocals, piano)
Bill Boston (clarinet, alto, c-melody and bass saxes)
Chris Hunt (trombone)
Colin Martin (piano)
Peter Warren (banjo, guitar)
Ron Goulding (tuba)
Colin Large (drums, vocal)
The titles were:
Singin' the Blues
I wonder what's become of Joe
Make my cot where the cot cot cotton grows
There'll come a time
Halfway to Heaven
Didn't I tell you?
I left my sugar standing in the rain
You took advantage of me
Don't keep me in the dark bright eyes
I am grateful to Malcolm Walton for providing the information about this recording.
In Memory Of Bix. Sea Breeze 2079. This 1996 CD is entitled "Tom Kubis Big Band Plays Steve Allen, "FAST CARS & FASCINATING WOMEN". The song was composed by Steve Allen and arranged by Tom Kubis. According to the publishers for the sheet music, Walrus Music, this is a medium to advanced level big band chart. "As you all know, Steve Allen is a fan & writer of all musical styles. As a tribute to the great trumpeter Bix Biederbecke (sic), Steve penned this great and melodic tune. This 4th trpt feature plays a "Bix-like" melody line with a current big band background. This arr is fastly becoming a standard for trpt repertoire. Trpt to high D. med-diff."
Memorial to Bix Beiderbecke. This is V Disc No. 774. It was produced by the Music Branch, Special Services Division, War Department. It is a 12-inch, 78 rpm recording. Side A has "A Handful of Stars" by Ray Noble and his Orchestra with a trumpet chorus by Lt. Harry Johnson and "Singin' the Blues" by Buddy Hackett and his orchestra. Side B has "Dancing on the Ceiling" by Glen Gray and his Orchestra with Red Nichols on trumpet. On the label is written "Memorial "SS" Release (As suggested by Dr. John Dale Owen)".
Thinking of Bix. A piano composition by Dick Hyman dating from 1982. Played by Dick Hyman in the 1998 CD RR-84CD "Dick Hyman in Recital". According to the liners by Floyd Levin " "Thinking of Bix" is Dick Hyman's tribute to another of his early mentors, the cornetist/composer/pianist Bix Beiderbecke. Although the piece is original, Hyman's life-long familiarity with the Beiderbecke recordings suggest (sic) to this listener a Bill Rank arrangement, a bit of Adrian Rollini's bass saxophone, and several cornet phrases out of the Bix canon - in particular, the coda of his classic, "I'm Comin' Virginia.""
Bix Fix. A composition by jazz guitarist Joe Puma. Played as a duet by Joe Puma (guitar) and Warren Vache (cornet). One of the cuts in the 1994 Muse CD 5524 "Warren Vache, Horn of Plenty". According to the liners, "A tribute to Bix Beiderbecke, "Bix Fix" is tender and melodic." According to Warren, "I supposed he (Joe Puma) named it after Bix because the melody is vaguely like one of Bix's choruses. Joe has a penchant for rhyme and alliteration, hence Bix Fix."
I am grateful to Warren Vache for a gift of the CD and for his generosity in answering my questions.
Blues for Bix. One of the examples of improvisation in the album "Etudes" by guitarist Jimmy Wyble. Other etudes in this LP (Jazz Chronicle Records JCS 781) are dedicated to Red Norvo, Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. The sheet music for all the etudes are available in the booklet "The Art Of Two-Line Improvisation" by Jimmy Wyble, edited and transcribed by Rich Carter, Flat Five Publishing, Studio City, California, 1979. According to the author, "This work is a collection of studies that were born out of a respect and mastery of counterpoint, composition and improvisation."
Bix's Bugle. A tune written by Ray Linn and performed by Ray Linn and his Chicago Stompers in the album "Ray Linn's Chicago Jazz", Discovery Records, 1978. Among the Stompers we find Eddie Miller (tenor sax; he played with Bob Crosby in the 1930's) and Dave Frishberg (piano; composer of another song about Bix - Dear Bix).
I am grateful to Joe Giordano for his gift of
the album cover and of the recording.
Bix' idé (From Swedish, Bix's Idea). A tune composed by Gösta Törner and recorded on August 12, 1941 by a Swedish jazz orchestra under the leadership of bass player Thore Jederby for the Swedish Scala label. The discographical information follows.
Thore Jederbys orkester:
Törner tp, John Björling cl as, Carl-Henrik Norin ts, Thore
p, Sven Stiberg, Folke Eriksberg g, Thore Jederby b, Gösta
dr. Aug 12, 1941
820 BIX' IDÉ (Gösta Törner) Scala 935
Several of these musicians
part of the Swedish jazz scene already in the 1920s. As
for Gösta Törner, he recorded "Sweet Sue" with the orchestra of Sune Lundwal in 1935 and
thereby based his solo firmly on Bix' solo of the same tune by the Whiteman orchestra.
I am grateful to Fredrik Tersmeden for
this information in a message dated June 25, 2002. The text given
above is an almost verbatim transcription of the message. Fredrik
at the end that "Although the tune contains some allusions to "Singin'
The Blues" I must say that it does not sound too Bixian in my opinion.
At the same session the band also recorded a tune called "Busters
probably a tribute to Buster Bailey.
In Memory of Bix. A tune honoring Bix's life and achievements in the 2001 CD "Good Time Jazz", the first recording of the Bix Beiderbecke Youth Jazz Band. Two other Bix-realted tunes in the CD are Bix's immortal composition "Davenport Blues" andHoagy Carmicahel's "Georgia on My Mind." The CD is available from the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society.
A Vision of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke. Private Astronomy. This an Edge Music CD # B000907-02 by Geoff Muldaur's Futuristic Ensemble, produced by Dick Connette and released in September 2003 by Deutsche Grammophon. As the liners indicate, the title of the CD is inspired by a sentence in Ralph Berton's book "Remembering Bix." "Bix was as usual gazing off into his private astronomy."
All the tracks but one were composed and/or recorded by Bix. Bix's four piano compositions -In A Mist, Flashes, Candlelights, In The Dark- and Davenport Blues, Bix's only composition for a jazz band, are included in the CD. In addition to these, we have "Take Your Tomorrow," "Singin' the Blues," "Futuristic Rhythm," "Waiting at the End of the Road. The single track neither recorded nor composed by Bix is "Clouds." I believe that this is an apocryphal Bix tune -see some discussion of this tune by clicking here.
Geoff Muldaur is a Bix fan from way back. As a youngster [he is now 60 years old], he listened to his brother's jazz collection and tells us that "Of all the musicians I listened to back then, none moved me more profoundly than Bix Beiderbecke." At the end of the liners, Muldaur writes, "This album is meant to convey the spirit of Bix and his time."
Although the interpretations are not done, with some exceptions, in the style of the 1920s, I find that Muldaur is quite accurate when he tells us that he is trying to convey the "spirit of Bix." In particular, the "chamber arrangements" of Bix's piano compositions bring out their bittersweet sensibility and haunting feeling, two of Bix's musical characteristics. The instruments used in three of the four compositions are violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, alto sax and bass clarinet. In the fourth composition -In A Mist- the bass clarinet is replaced by baritone sax and tuba. The combination of instruments and the way the music is arranged makes Bix's compositions sound even more impressionistic than when played on a piano. The other tunes are played in a style that reminds me a bit of the smooth jazz sound of the 60s, in particular the vocals.
I was surprised to see that Randy Sandke, Bix scholar and friend of the Bixography, plays trumpet in four of the tracks -There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears, Futuristic Rhythm (solo transcribed by Peter Ecklund), Singin' the Blues, and Bless You Sister. As usual, he brings his high technical proficiency and deep understanding of Bix's music to make these tracks significant. Other talented musicians are described as follows in the iclassics website. "Performing for this album are some of New York's finest instrumentalists, including Mark Gould, principal trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and saxophonist Ted Nash, a veteran of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Jazz Orchestra, and a frequent collaborator with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Mel Lewis. In addition to the chamber ensemble, other top players contributing to the big band treatments of the songs on this album include pianist Butch Thompson and drummer Arnie Kinsella of A Prairie Home Companion’s "Shoe Band," and ex-Ellington trombonist Art Baron. Besides creating the arrangements, Muldaur sings solo on several tracks, and joins with Loudon Wainwright and Greg Prestopino for some Rhythm Boys-style tunes. Martha Wainwright sings “Singin' The Blues” and “There Ain't No Sweet Man (That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears).”
Clearly, the album represents a labor of love: it has been twenty years from the time the idea was first conceived by Geoff Muldaur. But it has been time well spent.
For additional information about Geoff Muldaur go
to his website.
For samples of the tracks, additional information about the album, and
where to purchase it, click here.
For a review of the CD by NPR's David Greenberger go to http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1440418
and click on the link to
All Things Considered Audio.
I am grateful to Dick Connette and Steve Weiss for correspondence and for their generosity. .
Thank You, Bix
This is the title of a new CD, Royal Oak Records nr. 5001, produced by Bixophile, record collector and producer, and Bixography forum contributor Hans Eekhoff. The subtitle of the CD reads, "A tribute to the legendary Bix Beiderbecke by Dutch bands and musicians. "
The introductory paragraph in the liners reads,
"The album was simply
show the appreciation and gratitude of a group of musicians from The
to Bix Beiderbecke, that most creative and inspiring of jazz musicians
in America in the 1920s.
We compiled a program of tunes that are closely connected with Bix, including his own compositions; four originally written for piano and two instrumental compositions.
Most of these were recorded specially this year when we celebrate Bix's 100th birthday but some were made earlier and desperately needed (re)issuing.!"
The following are the tracks in the CD.
1. Davenport Blues.
Avenue Irregulars. Hans Eekhoff, tumpet; Hans Kip, trombone; Ronald
Heitjmajer, clarinet; Peter Klop, piano; Louis Debij, drums. Recorded
2. Proud of A Baby like You. De Joep Peeters Bixband. Marc van de Brule, trumpet; Ad Houtepen, cornet; Jack Lombarts, trombone; Dick Sleeman, trombone; Robert Veen, alto sax; Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, clarinet; Joep Peeters, piano; Tom Stuip, banjo; Niels Tausk, bas; Louis Debij, drums; David Lukacs, tenor sax; Guido Nielsen, violin; Chris Peeters, San Peeters and Wies Peeters, vocal. Recorded 2003.
3. For No Reason At All In C. Ron, Guido, Ad and Ton. Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, C melody sax; Ton van Bergejik, guitar; Guido Nielsen, piano; Ate Houtepen, cornet. Recorded 2003.
4. Flashes. Floortje Smehuijzen, piano solo. Recorded 2003.
5. There's A Cradle In Caroline. The Bix Beiderbecke Fabulous Orchestra. Ate Houtepen, cornet, vocal; Victor Bronsgeest, trombone; Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, alto sax, clarinet; Ton van Bergejik, guitar, banjo; Floortje Smehuizen, alto sax; Robert Veen bass sax; Guido Nielsen, piano; Louis Debij, drums. Recorded 2003.
6. In A Mist. The Beau Hunks Saxophone Soctette. Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, clarinet, saxes, arranger; Frank Timpe, clarinet, saxes; Robet Veen, clarinet, saxes, arranger; Sebastian Ohm, clarinet, saxes; Allard Buwalda, clarinet, saxes; Leo van Oostrom, clarinet, saxes; Hans Bosch, clarinet, saxes; David Kweksilber, clarinet, saxes; Michiel van Dijk, clarinet, saxes. Recorded 1998.
7. There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland Today. The Bix Beiderbecke Fabulous Orchestra. Same as track 5. Recorded 2003.
8. At The Jazz Band Ball. The Grand Avenue Irregulars. Frank Wouters, cornet; Hans Kip, trombone; Cees van der Zaal, clarinet; Hans Eekhoff, piano; Tom Rakers, bass sax; Ron Meijboom, drums. Recorded 1977.
9. Lila. Andor's Jazzband. Ad Houtepen, cornet, vocal; Peter Ivan, cornet; Victor Bronsgeest, trombone, vocal; Paul Habraken, sousaphone; Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, clarinet, alto sax; Peter den Boer, drums; Hans Bosch, clarinet, tenor sax. Recorded 1997.
10. Candlelights. The Beau Hunks Saxophone Soctette. Same as track 6. Recorded 1998.
11. My Pet. Andor's Jazzband. Same as track 9. Recorded 1997.
12. Rhythm King. The Bixieland Boys. Ad Houtepen, cornet; Dick Sleeman, trombone; Ronald Jansen Heitjmajer, clarinet; Guido Nielsen, piano; Tom Stuip, banjo; Robert Veen, bass sax. Recorded 2003.
13. In The Dark. The Beau Hunks Saxophone Soctette. Same as track 6. Recorded 2002.
14. I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure. The Bix Beiderbecke Fabulous Orchestra. Same as track 5. Recorded 2003.
15. Dear Bix. Chris Peeters (vocal) and Joep Peeters (piano).
The last track is a song written by David Frishberg in honor of Bix.
It is quite remarkable that a small country like The Netherlands has such an active and talented group of musicians, devoted Bixophiles producing what is obviously a labor of love. The whole spirit of Bix's music permeates the performances. Good for them!
I am grateful to Hans for a gift of the CD.
The second musician to be mentioned is, of course, Tom Pletcher. He writes in the liners, "Fifty years ago, I happened upon Bix on one of my father’s worn out 78 Okeh records. The sound of his horn changed my life on that day." Tom has played Bix's music for the last 50 years, most recently at the Bix 100 cruise. He is a highly talented cornetist, but that is not all. He understands and has a profound feeling for Bix's music.The remaining musicians on this CD are also gifted and brilliant, Vince Giordano (bass saxophone), Dan Levinson (clarinet, C-melody sax), David Sager (trombone), Bob Leary (guitar, banjo) and Ed Metz, Jr. (drums).
|1. Hi, Bix!|
|2. In a mist|
|3. Basin Street blues|
|4. 'Deed I do|
|5. Sein loose blooze|
|6. Stars fell on Alabama|
|7. Davenport blues|
|8. Sweet Lorraine|
|10. The things we did last summer|
|11. Wrap your troubles in dreams|
|12. Do you know what it means|
|14. We'll be together again|
The legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931) had a determining influence on many other jazz musicians during the 1920s; some of these were lucky enough to have heard Bix first-hand, while others became familiar with his unique style through recordings. Records featuring Bix’s solos were first issued in the USA in 1924, and by the late 1920s his lyrical style of playing was also becoming influential in Europe through records issued there. Therefore, “The Influence of Bix Beiderbecke” contains two CDs, one concentrating on the recordings of American jazz musicians and the other on records made by European musicians under the spell of Bix.
The CD-set contains many rare tracks that are being re-issued for the first time since their original release on 78 rpm record. Indeed, a number of sides are transferred from unissued test pressings and are being released for the first time ever, including two recently discovered unissued test pressings by Fred Elizalde and his Music. All show the important influence of Bix during his short lifetime. The recordings have been faithfully restored using the latest digital techniques while at the same time paying respect to sound of the original recordings. The CD-set is completed by two in-depth booklets (one of 28 pages and one of 36 pages) explaining the importance of Bix's work and the crucial effect his playing had on other jazz musicians; both booklets are replete with many rare photographs, some reproduced in print for the first time.
|THE INFLUENCE OF BIX BEIDERBECKE|
1. You'll Never Get To Heaven With Those Eye
George Olsen and his Music
2. Where’s My Sweetie Hiding?
Perley Breed’s Shepard Colonial Orchestra
3. Doo Wacka Doo
Marion McKay and his Orchestra
4. Cataract Rag Blues
Hitch’s Happy Harmonists
5. Riverboat Shuffle
Jimmy Joy’s St Anthony Hotel Orchestra
6. Tiger Rag
7. The Co-Ed
8. Davenport Blues
Miff Mole and his Molers
9. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
The Original Wolverines
McKenzie and Condon’s Chicagoans
11. Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
Jan Garber and his Orchestra
12. Why Do I Love You?
Lou Raderman and his Pelham Heath Inn Orchestra
13. Crazy Rhythm
Miff Mole and his Molers
14. Hula Girl
Andrew Aiona’s Novelty Four
15. Out Where The Blues Begin
The Hotsy Totsy Gang
16. Wedding Bells
The Jazz Pilots
17. The Eyes Of Texas
Carolina Club Orchestra
18. Broadway Rose
Dick McDonough and his Orchestra
19. Alabammy Snow
Mason Dixon Orchestra
20. When A Woman Loves A Man
Roger Wolfe Kahn and his Orchestra
21. Papa’s Gone
Fred Gardner’s Texas University Troubadours
22. No Trumps
Fred Gardner’s Texas University Troubadours
23. Little Did I Know
Casa Loma Orchestra
24. Jazz Me Blues
Original Memphis Five
25. The Blue Room
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra
|VOLUME TWO: EUROPE
1. Tiger Rag
The Original Capitol Orchestra
2. Riverboat Shuffle
The Kit-Cat Band
3. Somebody Said
Fred Elizalde and his Music
5. Dance, Little Lady
Fred Elizalde and his Music
6. There's A Cradle in Caroline
7. Some Hauntin’ Tune
Harry Hudson’s Melody Men
8. I’m Glad
Fred Elizalde and his Music
9. Nobody’s Fault But Your Own
Jack Payne and his BBC Dance Orchestra
Jay Whidden and his Band
11. Oh! What A Night For Love
Jack Hylton and his Orchestra
12. Forget Me Not
Jack Hylton and his Orchestra
13. A Dicky-Bird Told Me So
Jay Whidden and his Band
Gregor and his Gregorians
15. In The Moonlight
Night Club Kings
16. South Sea Rose
New Mayfair Dance Orchestra
17. Every Day Away From You
New Mayfair Dance Orchestra
18. The Song Of The Dawn
Jack Hart and his Band
19. I’m Singing My Way Round The World
Jack Hart and his Band
29. A Miss Is As Good As A Mile
Spike Hughes and his Decca Dents
21. Minns Du?
Helge Lindberg’s Orchestra
22. A Ship Without A Sail
Spike Hughes and his Dance Orchestra
Spike Hughes and his Dance Orchestra
24. Follow A Star – Selection
New Mayfair Dance Orchestra
25. With My Guitar And You
Night Club Kings
|The Influence of Bix Beiderbecke: Jass Masters (Volume One: USA/ Volume Two: Europe)|
|Written by Barry McCanna|
|Wednesday, 03 September 2008|
The aim of this compilation is evident from the title, to chart how Bix’s playing cast its spell over those musicians who heard his music, both in person and on record, and how that was then reflected in their own work. This aspect was touched upon in Volume 5 of the Bix Restored set, and care has been taken to avoid duplicating anything on that earlier reissue. [Click here for a Jazz Police review of Bix Restored.]
Just to give you a flavour of the contents, the American disc kicks off with a June 1924 George Olsen recording into which, regardless of the fact that it was an entirely different number, Red Nichols interpolated note-for-note Bix’s February 1924 solo from “Jazz Me Blues.” Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, he did the same thing with Bix’s solo from “Tiger Rag” during the California Ramblers May 1925 recording of the same number. And here we run up against one of those puzzles that have plagued Bix scholars for years, namely that the Wolverines’ recording wasn’t issued until over 10 years later. Max Easterman’s 28-page booklet provides an authoritative guide to this and every other track, dispelling the myths that have grown up around them, not least the thorny question of attribution. That is to say, many of the contributions on record, by such disciples as Andy Secrest, Sterling Bose, and Manny Klein, were virtually indistinguishable from the genuine article.
Turning to the European compilation, there were two reasons why distance did not diminish Bix’s influence. The first was that many of his recordings were issued in England on the Parlophone label, an advertisement for which is reproduced, and reviewed enthusiastically in the Melody Maker by its editor, Edgar Jackson. Secondly, many of the American contingent working in England, not least those playing with Fred Elizalde’s band at the Savoy Hotel, were Bixophiles, and infected others with their enthusiasm. One of the most riveting facts contained in the 36-page booklet by Nick Dellow and Mark Berresford is that on his scouting trip to the States in early 1929, Rollini was hoping to lure Bix back to England with him! Sylvester Ahola, who had played alongside Bix in Adrian Rollini’s short-lived Club New Yorker band, to their mutual benefit, contributed many magnificent solos to British dance band recordings, as did Norman Payne (who probably came closest to capturing Bix’s ethereal quality) and Jack Jackson, but there are many other examples here to savour.
This is a magnificent set which has been a considerable time in the making, and the care that’s been taken shows in every aspect. The two booklets contain many new photographs, and the second includes a complete discography. Many of the original recordings are extremely rare, few have been reissued on CD, and those that have are not easy to come by. The set contains four unissued test pressings, including the hitherto unknown “I’m Glad” by Fred Elizalde. Great care has been taken to track down clean copies, and the remastering is a hallmark of clarity.
this truly has been a labor of love because all profits from the sale
of this set of CDs will go toward helping to meet the ongoing medical
expenses of musician and author Richard Sudhalter. It is priced
($30 US) including p&p, and can be ordered from Jass Masters, 71
Chalk Hill, Watford, Herts WD19 4DA, UK, or by phone to +44-1923-237910
or fax to +44-1923-211510, or email to
This e-mail address is being protected from
see http://bixography.com/BixInfluenceFinal.html for
US ordering information. Payment can be made by PayPal, using the same
One: USA - You’ll Never Get To Heaven With Those Eyes (George Olsen);
Where’s My Sweetie Hiding? (Perley Breed); Doo Wacka Doo (Marion
McKay); Cataract Rag Blues (Curtis Hitch); Riverboat Shuffle (Jimmy
Joy); Tiger Rag (California Ramblers); The Co-Ed (Arcadian Serenaders);
Davenport Blues (Miff Mole); A Good Man Is Hard To Find (Original
Wolverines); Liza (McKenzie & Condon); Since My Best Gal Turned Me
Down (Jan Garber); Why Do I Love You? (Lou Raderman); Crazy Rhythm
(Miff Mole); Hula Girl (Andy Aiona); Out Where The Blues Begin (Hotsy
Totsy Gang); Wedding Bells (Jazz Pilots);The Eyes of Texas (Carolina
Club); *Broadway Rose (Dick McDonough); Alabammy Snow (Mason Dixon
Orch); When A Woman Loves A Man (Roger Wolfe Kahn); Papa’s Gone (Fred
Gardner); No Trumps (Fred Gardner); Little Did I Know (Casa Loma); Jazz
Me Blues (Original Memphis 5); The Blue Room (Dorsey Bros) -
Two: Europe – Tiger Rag (Original Capitol Orch.); Riverboat Shuffle
(Kit-Cat Band); Somebody Said (Crichton Lyricals); Sugar (FE); There’s
A Cradle In Caroline (Rhythmic Eight); *Dance, Little Lady (FE); Some
Hauntin’ Tune (Harry Hudson);*I’m Glad (FE); *Nobody’s Fault But Your
Own (Jack Payne); Louisiana (JW); Oh! What A Night To Love (JHy);
Forget Me Not (JHy); A Dicky-Bird Told Me So (JW); Gregorology
(Gregor): In The Moonlight (NCK); South Sea Rose (NMDO); Every Day Away
From You (NMDO); The Song Of The Dawn (JH); I’m Singing My Way Round
The World (JH); A Miss Is As Good As A Mile (SH); Minns Du? (Helge
Lindberg); A Ship Without A Sail (SH); Kalua (SH); Follow A Star –sel
(NMDO); With My Guitar And You (Harry Shalson); Whispering
Key: FE – Fred Elizalde; JH – Jack Hart; SH –
Spike Hughes; JHy – Jack Hylton; NMDO – New Mayfair Dance Orchestra:
NCK – Night Club Kings; JW – Jay Whidden
*unissued test pressing
Review by Rob Rothberg from
the magazine VINTAGE JAZZ MART (www.vjm.biz)
2 CD SET: THE INFLUENCE OF BIX BEIDERBECKE. Jass Masters JMS1001. Available from Jass Masters, 71 Chalk Hill, Watford WD19 4DA, England. www.bixbeiderbecke.com. £15, E20 or $30 including p+p.
In the September 1932 issue of ‘Rhythm’ magazine, Hoagy Carmichael wrote that Bix Beiderbecke’s cornet solos were “food for plenty of thought” and “something the younger generation can study for ideas even in composition.” In the wake of Bix’s death in 1931, Hoagy lamented that the “almost total lack of recognition of one such as Bix is beyond my understanding.”
Bix’s influence on
other musicians began early on and spread widely - even to Europe,
despite the fact that Bix himself never set foot there. In the two-CD
set “The Influence of Bix Beiderbecke,” Nick Dellow and his associates
set out to demonstrate Bix’s influence during his lifetime through 51
rare recordings principally from 1924 through 1931, a period that
roughly encompasses Bix’s brief recording career.
Volume 1 concentrates on American recordings, starting with George Olsen’s 1924 recording of You’ll Never Get to Heaven With Those Eyes, on which Red Nichols interpolates Bix’s solo from the Wolverines’ recording of Jazz Me Blues, recorded four months earlier. This early replication of a recorded Bix solo on another musician’s recording was not an isolated event; the California Ramblers’ record of Tiger Rag is another example, re-enacting Bix’s solo from the Wolverines’ record.
interesting is the
way in which Bix’s contemporaries absorbed aspects of Bix’s style and
created something of their own. Sterling Bose emulates the bell-like
tone and driving lead of the Wolverines-era Bix (including a break
taken from the master’s record of Davenport Blues) on the Arcadian
Serenaders’ The Co-Ed, recorded after the Serenaders had begun playing
opposite Trumbauer’s band with Bix at the Arcadia Ballroom in St.
Louis. Jimmy McPartland gives us a rough-sounding, scrappy version of
Bix on the Original Wolverines’ A Good Man is Hard to Find,
McKenzie/Condon Chicagoans’ Liza, and the Hotsy Totsy Gang’s Out Where
the Blues Begin (on which he stays too close to the melody for my
taste). Andy Secrest’s ability to sound like his bandmate is well
known, and he sounds so good on the Mason-Dixon Orchestra’s Alabammy
Snow that Max Easterman wonders if Bix is present, as a soloist or
otherwise. (I think Secrest is underrated, but I don’t hear the pride
of Davenport soloing or in the ensemble.) The softer-toned Bob Mayhew
blows up a Bixian storm on The Eyes of Texas by the Carolina Club
Orchestra and on Broadway Rose by Dick McDonough (or is it Mickey
Bloom?), the last from an unissued test pressing with great sound. Red
Nichols evokes Bix beautifully and without copying on Crazy Rhythm with
Miff Mole’s Molers. Dub Schoffner, who evidently was far away from the
microphone for the Casa Loma Orchestra’s Little Did I Know, displays
some Bixian phrasing in a Gene Gifford arrangement clearly influenced
by Bill Challis.
Manny Klein, the Zelig of jazz trumpet, is heard on Lou Raderman’s Why Do I Love You (Bixian tone, but too many notes for Bix) and on Bill Challis’s arrangement of The Blue Room, written for the Goldkette band but not recorded until this 1933 version by the Dorsey Brothers, on which Klein evokes both Bix (in the opening phrases) and Bunny Berigan in a derby-muted solo. The technically-accomplished Klein is almost certainly the creative, confident player behind the derby on Roger Wolfe Kahn’s When a Woman Loves a Man as well.
In addition, Volume 1 gives us territory bands, including Perley Breed’s Shepard Colonial Orchestra (Where’s My Sweetie Hiding), Jimmy Joy’s St. Anthony Hotel Orchestra (Riverboat Shuffle), Hitch’s Happy Harmonists (Cataract Rag Blues), and Marion McKay’s Orchestra (Doo Wacka Doo). Fred Gardner’s Texas University Troubadours display admirable drive on Papa’s Gone and No Trumps, and their trumpeter Tom Howell shows a Bixian lilt and a large, lovely sound (albeit with some technical insecurity). Andrew Aiona’s Novelty Four, whose identity is a discographical mystery, gives us Hula Girl, which will have you imagining Trumbauer’s band transplanted to the beach at Waikiki.
Along the way, we hear Bix’s influence on Jimmy Dorsey, on alto (the California Ramblers’ Davenport Blues) and clarinet (the Original Memphis Five’s Jazz Me Blues). Even players not known for sounding Bixian get into the act, such as Tommy Gott on the Jazz Pilots’ Wedding Bells, on which an unidentified scat singer channels the spirit of Harry Barris.
You’ll want to listen with Max Easterman’s splendid notes at your side. They offer a wealth of interesting detail not just about the recordings, but also the personalities and places involved. No matter how much you’ve read about the era, you will learn things that will enhance your appreciation of this music.
There are many rare photographs as well.
In Volume 2, we cross the pond to Europe, where Bix’s music exerted its influence directly, through recordings issued principally on Parlophone, Columbia and HMV, and indirectly, through emissaries such as Bix’s colleagues Adrian Rollini, Chelsea Quealey and Sylvester Ahola, who were ensconced in British bands. (Rollini even tried to recruit Bix in 1929 for Fred Elizalde’s band at the Savoy Hotel. Had he succeeded, one wonders if Bix would have lived longer.)
To my ears, Bix’s British disciples were his best. Norman Payne captured Bix’s chime-struck-with-a-padded-mallet tone and emotional reticence, particularly at slow and medium tempos. Young Norman solos in an uncharacteristically assertive fashion in Jay Whidden’s A Dicky Bird Told Me So, then settles into a more lyrical mood for the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra’s Every Day Away from You, Jack Hart’s The Song of the Dawn and I’m Singing My Way Round the World, Spike Hughes’ Kalua, the New Mayfair Orchestra’s Follow A Star Selection, Harry Shalson’s With My Guitar and You (here with especially gorgeous tone), and the Night Club Kings’ Whispering. So effective is his evocation of Bix’s tone that he imbues the NMDO’s South Sea Rose with Bixian spirit merely by leading the ensemble (and also by ending the record with a break indebted to Bix’s introduction to Baltimore).
Jack Jackson tends to be underappreciated among jazz collectors, possibly because of his stint as the leader of a mostly sweet dance band in the mid-1930s. Here, however, we get Jackson the sideman, whose best work displays beautiful, pure tone, a Bix-like decisivene ss, and great technical mastery. On the Crichton Lyricals’ 1927 record of Somebody Said, the teenage Jackson begins his solo by quoting Bix’s second break in Trumbauer’s recording of Riverboat Shuffle, then proceeds with a modernistic, multi-noted solo that bows mostly to Red Nichols. (This acoustic recording has always struck me as a British counterpart to Bix’s acoustically recorded Broadway Bell-Hops date.) By the time of Jack Hylton’s Forget Me Not (note Poggy Pogson’s Bixian oboe solo!) and especially Oh! What A Night to Love, Jackson had rather less Nichols and more Bix, and was saying more with fewer notes. Night, on which the brass section crackles and Jackson alludes to Bix’s solo in Ostrich Walk, is a fine all-round performance that ought to be better known. We also hear Jackson on Spike Hughes’ record of A Ship Without A Sail, where Jackson and alto saxophonist Philip Buchel create an atmosphere that can make you wonder if you’re hearing a newly-discovered Trumbauer side.
Naturally, Sylvester Ahola is here as well. We know he was a great admirer of Bix, but he is, I think, mostly his own man, a great technician who showed a Bixian tone sometimes but Bixian ideas only rarely. Above all, Hooley is not, to use Paul Whiteman’s description of Bix, “a note miser.” He can remind you of someone running up and down a flight of stairs, as on the Rhythmic Eight’s There’s a Cradle in Caroline. When he restrains himself and slows down a bit, the results can be Bixian (e.g., Harry Hudson’s Some Hauntin’ Tune) or not. On the Night Club Kings’ In the Moonlight and particularly Spike Hughes’ A Miss is As Good as a Mile, his playing is very exciting and moving, but the aggressive, rangy style and strident tone aren’t Bixian.
But wait - there’s more. Max Goldberg does himself proud on Jay Whidden’s little-known record of Louisiana in a derby-muted solo modeled after Bix’s solo on the Whiteman record, although Bing Crosby need not worry about competition from Whidden’s stiff vocalist, Fred Douglas. (It would have been nice to have Max’s Bixian outing in Spike Hughes’ record of The Boop-Boop A Doopa Doo Trot as well.) Chelsea Quealey is heard with Fred Elizalde on Sugar (a Bill Challis arrangement also featuring Bobby Davis and Adrian Rollini, recorded a month before the better-known Whiteman version featuring Bix), an unissued take of Dance, Little Lady, and the Challis-influenced arrangement of I’m Glad, a lovely, hitherto-unknown performance from a recently-discovered test pressing that is issued here for the first time. We also get to hear England’s mysterious Frank Wilson (who left the music business to take up religion in the early 1930s and was not heard from again) on an unissued take of Nobody’s Fault But Your Own with Jack Payne; France’s Philippe Brun on Gregorology by Gregor et ses Gregoriens; Sweden’s Ragge Lath on Helge Lindberg’s record of Minns Du?; and Tiger Rag by the Original Capitol Orchestra, an American band in London with whom Bix had played aboard the steamboat S.S. Capitol. These are not records you see every day, at least in New York! Throughout, we are guided by Nick Dellow and Mark Berresford’s scholarly notes on the European tracks, with yet more rare photographs.
Care has been taken not to duplicate the tracks on Sunbeam’s Bix Restored, Volume 5. Nick Dellow’s careful digital restoration gives each recording vivid new life while respecting its 0riginal sound. As a result, even the tracks that a dedicated Bixophile might have heard before deserve another listen. (Full disclosure: I provided the source material for two of the European tracks here. Fuller disclosure: having listened to the records in question side by side with Nick’s transfers, I’m mpressed by what he has accomplished with them.) Apart from all of that, Bixophiles will be glad to have these recordings, packaged with perceptive commentary, in one convenient, affordable place, saving the significant cost of buying them one or two at a time on scattered CDs (not to mention the even more significant cost of buying the original records, if you can find them).
Profits from this set initially were contributed to a fund established to help meet the medical expenses of Richard M. Sudhalter, the Bix-inspired trumpeter and celebrated author of, among many other things, the books ‘Bix, Man and Legend’ (in 1974, with co-author Philip R. Evans) and ‘Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael’ (2003). (One of the CD set’s booklets includes a heartfelt tribute to Sudhalter from Bixography proprietor Albert Haim.) After Sudhalter’s death in September 2008, the profits were redirected to the Jazz Foundation of America, an organization that aids thousands of jazz musicians in crisis annually, and that helped Sudhalter during his illness. Thus is this musically worthy endeavor made even more worthy.
in all, this set is a feast for Bixophiles. I’ll bet Hoagy would have
Bixology. (uploaded May 26 2010)
1. Stampede (M: Henderson, 1926, Arr. Ladwig) 1:39
BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS
|A Brief Biography||Articles in Magazines||The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society|
|Bix's Musical Genius||Video Tapes||Items of Special Interest|
|Biographies||Audio Tapes||Information of Related Interest|
|Chapters in Books||Museums||A Stamp for Bix in 2003|
|Scholarly Dissertations||Miscellaneous||Links to Related Sites|
|Obituaries||Readers' Queries and Remarks||Celebration of Bix's Musical Legacy|
The Original 78's
Analysis of Some Recordings: Is It Bix or Not ?
Complete Compilations of Bix's Recordings
Tributes to Bix
Miscellaneous Recordings Related to Bix
In A Mist