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|In Tune -- by Bill Fuller
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Bands, Leaders and Musicians Names in Song Titles June 2008
If one were to go through an extensive data base of titles for jazz tunes, among
other things it would be discovered that upon occasion tunes were intentionally
named to spotlight a particular band, leader, or musician. There are actually quite
a few; e.g., “Benny’s Bugle;” “Lester Leaps In;” “Djangology;” “Mr. Jelly Lord;”
“Blues for Faz;” “Jack Hits the Road;” “Little Jazz;” “Jeep’s Blues;” “Do What Ory
Here are a few more:
BUDDY BOLDEN’S BLUES – heralds the legendary turn-of-the-century New
Orleans cornetist and leader and is credited to Jelly Roll Morton, but is based on a
melody used as a theme song for the Buddy Bolden Band entitled “Funky Butt.”
The melody was around for quite awhile when Morton first recorded it in 1939 as
a piano/vocal solo. Snatches of the melody can be heard as early as 1904 in Theron
C. Bennet’s composition, “St. Louis Tickle.”
ORIGINAL DIXIELAND (Jass Band) ONE-STEP – written and recorded by the
band of the same name to toot their own horn in 1917, along with “Livery Stable
Blues” on the flip side. It was the first jazz recording and was made for the Victor
label in New York. The Columbia Record Company actually recorded the Original
Dixieland Jass Band playing “Indiana” and “Darktown Strutters Ball” in 1917
before Victor, but they were afraid to issue it.
PAPA DIP – (one of Louis Armstrong’s many knicknames) was written in 1926 by
Louis’ wife Lil Hardin. The tune was originally recorded in July of 1926, by
clarinetist Johnny Dodd’s group known as the New Orleans Wanderers. Lil died in
1971 while playing “St. Louis Blues” at a Louis Armstrong tribute concert less
than two months after Louis himself died.
ORIGINAL JELLY ROLL BLUES – after pianist/leader/composer Jelly Roll
Morton who composed it possibly as early as 1905, but it was never published till
1915. This Morton “signature” piece established the composer’s name. In its
original form it was called “Chicago Blues.”
ORY’S CREOLE TROMBONE – spotlights early New Orleans “tailgate”
trombonist Edward “Kid” Ory. The tune was recorded in 1927 by Louis
Armstrong and his Hot 7 with Ory on trombone but languished in the Columbia
vaults until 1940 when producer George Avakian found it and blew the dust off.
The composer is Ory, who, in 1922 left Louisiana for Los Angeles with a number
of other New Orleans players. He went into a ten year period of “retirement”
from 1933 to 1943. When he came out he played a part in the jazz revival of the 40’
s and 50’s.
MARCH OF THE BOBCATS – by Bob Crosby, Ray Bauduc and Bob Haggart
honoring Crosby’s band-within-a-band with a spinoff of “Maryland My Maryland”
which was, in turn, a spinoff of “O Tanenbaum.” The Bobcats were a hot dixieland
band taken out of his larger swing orchestra.
RIMSHOT to the Cleveland Traditional Jazz Society who gave me the idea for this
“In Tune” from a past program they did on the same subject.
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