Saturday, May 23, 2020
That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland (1916), and more!
Twelve tracks, all swiped from the Internet Archive and sound-edited by me. All of the pre-doctored rips are by George Blood LP, the outfit which uses the four-tonearm turntable. Its sound files are superb, but sometimes they're whisper-soft, as was the case with 1916's That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland, recorded by Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harland for Edison--which, luckily, I was able to get some volume out of. That Funny Band was released in 1917, but this take (take C) was recorded on Dec. 1, 1916. The song title is said to be the first to mention jas/jass/jazz, but it's the band's slightly discordant imitations of Dixieland which make this recording fascinating. These breaks were clearly meant for humor but they provide incontestable proof that Original Dixieland Jazz Band-style was around in 1916. Not that anyone was arguing this, but every bit of audio proof proof is precious when it comes to jazz in its earliest stages.
The record is racially offensive, of course, though it's only a 5 on a scale of 10 as far as dialect humor goes. For its period, this rates as moderately insulting....
I filled out the playlist with Earl Fuller (Rector Novelty Orchestra) and Paul Whiteman 78s which I haven't (to the best of my memory) featured here, save for Earl Fuller's Mummy Mine, which didn't sound as good as this, and Paul Whiteman's Chicago--ditto. The 1945 Whiteman recording of San (arranged by Bill Challis) was recorded for the Capitol 78 set The History of Jazz Vol. 2--The Golden Era, and it features original band member Matty Malneck doing his usual masterful violin solo, and... I thought it also had Bill Rank on trombone, but I guess not. Brilliant performance, and it was the first Whiteman record I ever heard, thanks to my dad's hi-fi set and his copy of the 78 album.
I was very happy to find the superb George Blood LP rip of Paul Whiteman's 1929 Button up Your Overcoat, one of my all-time favorite 1920s sides, which features a charming Ferde Grofe arrangement and an incomparable Vaughn De Leath vocal (she gets no i.d. on the label!).
High entertaining shellac, and I didn't have to set the needle down once....
DOWNLOAD: That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland, more!
That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland (Kahn-Marshall)--Collins and Harlin, 1916 (Edison 50423; 1916)
I Want Him Back (Lew Brown)--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch. (Columbia A2566; 1918)
Mummy Mine (Hickman-Black)--Same (Columbia A2722; 1919)
We'll Do Our Share (Egan-Creamer and Layton)--Same (Columbia A2566; 1918)
Alabamy Bound (De Sylva-Green-Henderson)--Paul Whiteman and His Orch. (Victor 19557; 1924)
Button up Your Overcoat (De Sylva-Brown-Henderson; arr: Grofe)--Same (Columbia 1736-D; 1929)
Chicago (That Toddling Town) (Fred Fisher)--Same (Victor 18946; 1922)
Dixie's Favorite Son (Lew Brown--Albert Von Tilzer)--Same (Victor 19389; 1924)
I'm Just Wild About Harry (Sissle-Blake)--Same (Victor 18938; 1922)
In a Boat (Lange-Liggy-Klapholz)--Same (Victor 18789; 1921)
Manhattan (Hart-Rodgers)--Same (Victor 19769; 1925)
San (McPhail-Michels; Arr: Bill Challis)--Same (Capitol 10026; 1945)