Gramophone records seem to jump out at me in the United Kingdom — I have seen more than half-a-dozen Louis lps in charity shop bins (including SATCHMO AT PASADENA and LOUIS UNDER THE STARS, sold here as SENSATIONAL SATCHMO) . . . but here are two UK jazz discs I bought in an Oxfam book and record shop — instantly upon seeing their covers.

What could possibly go wrong?

The only musician known to me is Ray Whittam, but I have great hopes.  The second record (bassist Ron Russell’s JAZZ AT THE PALACE) had many more familiar names and they’d all signed in:

That’s Digby Fairweather, Pete Strange, and Keith Ingham — the last is someone whom I’ll see in person at Jazz at Chautauqua.  I hope I’ll get a chance to show him this artifact from his somewhat earlier career.

Now we come to the more antiquarian part of this chronicle.  Readers who tire of record labels are encouraged to skip to the end, where an audio reward awaits.

I saw this cardboard album of records in a Corsham shop named GRANNY’S ATTIC.  We were in late, in a great hurry, so I bought the whole parcel (the shop-lady wouldn’t sell me individual records) and then, at my leisure, could inspect the contents.  Here are the most interesting discs:

Arnheim’s band always had a rich sound — with or without its prize vocalist, Mr. Crosby.

I don’t know which of these two potentially despairing pop songs should be played first.

Erotic-romantic triumph . . . much better than moony longing!

Alas . . . back to lamenting and longing.  But Nipper looks hopeful.

Sam Lanin,like Fred Rich, usually had interesting New York players hiding in those grooves:

And for the audio reward for those who might wonder what that last 78 side actually sounds like — here, courtesy of YouTube:

That’s Tommy Dorsey, bursting out of the ensemble in the last minute.  TD’s solo and attack owe a great deal to one Bix Beiderbecke: consider his solo transposed upwards for cornet and see if you agree. 

I am always delighted by the way that recording executives hid the hot solos, the jazz improvisation, for the last choruses of a hot dance record — perhaps thinking that the more dance-oriented buyers would already have made up their minds to buy the record and be immune to fright by that time.  Who’s in the vocal trio?   The YouTube disc is an OKeh, so perhaps a different take?  Do any of my readers know the complete personnel?  Is the drummer Stan King? 

Too many questions, I know.  But more records, I am sure, to come!


  1. Indeed, Tommy’s solo comes from the pages of Bix’s improvisations.

    Brian Rust gives the follwing in the last edition of “Jazz and Ragtime Records.”

    Phil Napoleon, Harold Peppie, t
    Tommy Dorsey, tb
    ?Frank Teschmacher and Jimmy Dorsey, reeds
    _ Warner, p
    Smith Ballew, g or bj
    Jimmy Mullen bb
    unidentified, d
    The Three Star Singers, v


  2. Ah, the elusive Harold Peppie! Thanks so much, Albert — I wonder about the drummer, still. Cheers, Michael

  3. Hans Eekhoff

    Neither from the YouTube video, nor from the above it is 100% clear which record is actually dicussed here – I have therefore looked it up; we’re talking about “Ten Little Miles From Town” as by Sam Lanin and his Famous Players, recorded on 3 August 1928 and issued in the US on OKeh 41097. It is the regular issue with vocal trio and not a different take. I had a good listen at home to my own copy and personally I find that Tommy’s solo sounds inspired by Miff Mole rather than by Bix. Rust gives Fank Teschemacher as being present on this but I can’t hear him (unlike on “Too Busy” from the previous session) although Jimmy Dorsey is clearly present.
    The personnel can actually be quite different from the one quoted above which Rust gave for the 25 June sesion – 5 weeks earlier. These were studio bands and the personnel often changed per session.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s