Editor, Webmaster: Phil Cartwright Editor@earlyjas.org
|In Tune -- by Bill Fuller
Additions, comments, corrections,
contributions to Bill Fuller %Earlyjas, or
Back in this year’s April issue of the Earlyjas Rag we talked about the
tremendous influence of Benny Moten and His Kansas City Orchestra
upon the next musical evolution - “swing.” Then in October, we talked
about how the Texas barrelhouse piano style known as “boogie-woogie”
really caught on in Kansas City.
Chicago may be well-known for perpetuating and promulgating the
small-band configuration of New Orleans jazz, but it was Kansas City,
Missouri, that augmented the traditional New Orleans instrumentation
and seasoned it with an outside influence that spawned a fresh sound in
big band jazz and, subsequently, swing.
Because of it’s location on a main artery of the Mississippi River, Kansas
City, Missouri was a good place for the mixing of many musical
influences of the 20’s and 30’s. Indeed, under the wide-open local
government of Mayor Thomas Pendergast, it was probably the perfect
place for the boogie-woogie from the West to court and marry the New
Orleans jazz that arrived on steamboats from the South thus producing
the lively offspring called Kansas City jazz.
Beside the profoundly influential Benny Moten Band, there was bassist
Walter Page’s Blue Devils (the nucleus of which was absorbed by Moten);
the George E. Lee Band ( a formidable competitor of Moten’s); Andy Kirk
and His Twelve Clouds of Joy (with pianist/arranager Mary Lou
Williams); and, of course, the Count Basie Band.
IF I COULD BE WITH YOU ONE HOUR TONIGHT-(1926) by stride
pianist James P. Johnson. In 1930, drummer Ray Bauduc reported that the
Ben Pollack recording of this tune sold more copies in Cleveland, Ohio
than anywhere else in the country. The tune was popularized by Ruth
Etting and, later, Maurice Chevalier. It was used in the film “The Man I
Love” starring Ida Lupino. The George E. Lee band recorded it in Kansas
City in 1929, along with ST. JAMES INFIRMARY, by Joe Primrose
(pseudonym for Irving Mills). This melody was known as early as 1890
as “Gambler’s Blues.”
DALLAS BLUES-written in 1912 by Hart A. Wand and Lloyd Garrett.
With the exception of “I’ve Got De Blues” (1901), it was one of the first
published pieces to use the word “blues” in its title. Recorded in Chicago
on October 9, 1930, by Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy.
SQUABBLIN’ – Walter Sylvester Page, better known as “Hoss,”
employed a piano player in his band (Walter Page and His Blue Devils)
named William Basie, who, in 1929, wrote and recorded this tune with the
Page band. If you Google “Squabblin’” [in quotation marks] you’ll get a
YouTube site that shows the band and plays the recording.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN- (1937) by Arthur Johnston, who also wrote
“Mandy Make Up Your Mind,” and Johnny Burke, who also wrote
“Constantly.” It was introduced and popularized by Bing Crosby who
also sang it in the movie of the same name. It was recorded by the Count
Basie Band, after leaving Kansas City, in New York in 1937.
|Earlville Association for Ragtime Lovers Yearning
for Jazz Advancement and Socialization