Update On Links

March 18, 2013 - I'm now using various file sites with varying success. With over 200 albums listed here, obviously I cannot upload everything at once. So if you're dying to hear something, please post a comment on that particular post and I will move it up in the priority queue. Enjoy!

Any posts taken down as a result of the sniveling coward will be re-upped. Check the link below for where to find them in the event that this site is unable to repost them. Don't forget to bookmark http://whereismrvolstead.blogspot.com/ in the event that the internet terrorists shut this page down.

22 April 2013

Sud Bustin' Blues

Here's another good one from smack dab in the middle of Prohibition. I find the span of the Fletcher Henderson series  fascinating because it shows both Henderson's growth and changes in popular music at the time. That, and it is just darned good music. "Originally appearing on the Pathe Actuelle, Brunswick, Ajax, Vocalion, Emerson, Columbia, and Banner phonograph labels, Fletcher Henderson's recordings from early 1924 make for peculiarly pleasant listening. It is possible to face up to these heavily arranged dance band records from the early '20s and actually enjoy the rickety arrangements. All you need to do is shed any preconceptions of what jazz is or ever was supposed to sound like. Anatol Schenker's liner notes point out that this music was intended to accompany theatrical performances. Even without that kind of historical perspective, this stuff sounds good with no context whatsoever, provided the listener surrenders to the weirdly wonderful world of thoroughly outmoded popular music. At the very least, these are funny old records. From the standpoint of early jazz, Coleman Hawkins and Don Redman are in here slogging away on their clarinets and saxophones, treading where few had ever set foot before them. Teddy Nixon periodically asserts himself with the slide trombone, and Kaiser Marshall proves to have been a spicy, resourceful percussionist. "Ghost of the Blues" appears to have been co-composed by Sidney Bechet, and sounds a lot like a product of that fine musician's mind. Redman's "Teapot Dome Blues" contains a rare example of Howard Scott soloing on the cornet. "Mobile Blues" allows room for a muffled solo by an unidentified kazoo player. Redman contributes a fine and sassy scat vocal on "My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time," which also exists elsewhere as a Rosa Henderson vocal backed only by Fletcher Henderson (no blood relation) at the piano. "Somebody Stole My Gal" bumps along marvelously and has a bass sax solo by Coleman Hawkins with Don Redman playing a weepy clarinet, even removing the mouthpiece from the instrument to achieve maximum cornball effects. "After the Storm" actually has segments of Rossini's William Tell Overture grafted into the chart, with someone blowing a siren whistle and Redman taking a solo on oboe. Nixon opens "Feeling the Way I Do" with growling trombone and Charlie Dixon demonstrates how a banjo could be used to propel nine other instruments by executing a series of well-timed blows across the strings. Together with piano and drums, the banjo was an agitator in these early ensembles. "Red Hot Mama" is an exciting illustration of how, during the first half of 1924, Henderson's band began to settle down and play something like real jazz." (Allmusic.com) Enjoy! +


01. Chicago Blues
02. Why Put The Blame On You
03. Sud Bustin' Blues
04. War Horse Mama
05. Wish I Had You (And I'm Gonna Get You Blues)
06. Just Blues
07. I'm Crazy Over You
08. I Wish I Could Make You Cry
09. Say Say Sadie
10. Chicago Blues
11. Feelin' The Way I Do
12. Chattanooga (Down In Tennessee)
13. Ghost Of The Blues
14. Tea Pot Dome Blues
15. Mobile Blues
16. My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time
17. Somebody Stole My Gal
18. After The Storm
19. Driftwood
20. Feeling The Way I Do
21. Red Hot Mama

21 April 2013

That Rhythm Man

Back on track again with something that should be in the collection of anyone who appreciates the era represented here. "Chick Webb represented the triumph of the human spirit in jazz and life. Hunchbacked, small in stature, almost a dwarf with a large face and broad shoulders, Webb fought off congenital tuberculosis of the spine in order to become one of the most competitive drummers and bandleaders of the big band era. Perched high upon a platform, he used custom-made pedals, goose-neck cymbal holders, a 28-inch bass drum and a wide variety of other percussion instruments to create thundering solos of a complexity and energy that paved the way for Buddy Rich (who studied Webb intensely) and Louie Bellson. Alas, Webb did not get a fair shake on records; Decca's primitive recording techniques could not adequately capture his spectacular technique and wide dynamic range. He could not read music, but that didn't stop him either, for he memorized each arrangement flawlessly. Although his band did not become as influential and revered in the long run as some of its contemporaries, it nevertheless was feared in its time for its battles of the bands in Harlem's Savoy Ballroom; a famous encounter with the high-flying Benny Goodman outfit at its peak (with Gene Krupa in the drummer's chair) left the latter band drained and defeated.

The perfect way to acquire drummer Chick Webb's recordings is to get his two Classics CDs which contain all of his performances as a leader, other than Ella Fitzgerald's features (which are in a separate Ella series) and a few numbers from Webb's final dates. On the first of the CDs, Webb leads a pickup band in 1929 (for "Dog Bottom" and "Jungle Mama"), an early orchestra in 1931 (highlighted by the first version ever of Benny Carter's "Blues in My Heart"), two numbers from 1933, and all of his classic swing sides of 1934. With arranger/altoist Edgar Sampson providing such compositions as "When Dreams Come True," "Don't Be That Way," "Blue Lou," and "Stompin' at the Savoy" (all of which would become better-known for their slightly later Benny Goodman recordings), trumpeter Taft Jordan taking some vocals purposely influenced by Louis Armstrong, Jordan, trombonist Sandy Williams, and tenor saxophonist Elmer Williams coming up with consistently hot solos, and the drummer/leader driving the orchestra, this was one of the top jazz big bands of the era." (Allmusic.com) Enjoy! +


01. Dog Bottom
02. Jungle Mama
03. Heebie Jeebies
04. Blues In My Heart
05. Soft And Sweet
06. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
07. Darktown Strutters' Ball
08. When Dreams Come True
09. Let's Get Together
10. I Can't Dance I Got Ant In My Pants
11. Imagination
12. Why Should I Beg For Love
13. Stompin' At The Savoy
14. Blue Minor
15. True
16. Lonesome Moments
17. If It Ain't Love
18. That Rhythm Man
19. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
20. Lona
21. Blue Minor
22. It's All Over Because We're Through
23. Don't Be That Way
24. What A Shuffle
25. Blue You