Thanks to Michael Pittsley (with trombone in hand, we know him as Mike) for alerting me to this and to vitajazz for posting this 1956 half-hour television program, STARS OF JAZZ, hosted by Bobby Troup (with the original Budweiser beer and Schweppes tonic water commercials intact, for the cultural historians).

The real joy is in being able to observe Matty Matlock’s Rampart Street Paraders on film for the first time.  They are Matlock, clarinet; Eddie Miller, tenor sax; the swashbuckling Abe Lincoln, trombone; Clyde Hurley, trumpet; Stanley Wrightsman, piano; George Van Eps, guitar; Phil Stephens, string bass; Nick Fatool, drums.  There’s even a cameo appearance by David Stone Martin . . . very hip indeed!

Two of those players are less well-known in this century — Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Hurley — but they are astonishing players.

Troup’s commentary on “Chicago style,” although dated, isn’t as bad as it might initially seem.  The Paraders offer a slow BLUES / STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE / DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS? (featuring Matlock over that lovely rhythm section — and a gorgeous Van Eps bridge) / LOVER (featuring Jack in pristine form — catch Matlock’s grin and listen to Fatool’s beautiful accents) / an interlude with Paul Whiteman where he and Jack comment on the recent death of Frank Trumbauer   / BASIN STREET BLUES (again for Jack — but the Paraders back him so beautifully) / After Matlock’s brief commentary there’s a rollicking HINDUSTAN which begins and concludes with an explosive showcase for Abram “Abe” Lincoln — and a heroic solo in the middle / and a return to those BLUES.

Glorious music, both shouting and subtle.

May your happiness increase.


  1. This is truly a very enjoyable post..When I saw George Van Eps name come up I was a happy listener,,He has, and is, one of my favorite guitarists. My goodness, I was 17 years old when this was filmed,,,How fortunate that it was recorded,,,At the ripe old age of 73 I have the pleasure of enjoying what I love,..Some Chicago jazz!! Thank you NM

  2. Wished my dad would have lived to see this….

  3. Michael Burgevin

    I’m swinging with Ida… that sure is some fine music! Thankyou both Michaels and Vitajazz.

  4. Thanks for reposting this Michael Funke. I was fortunate enough to be a cashier at the New York Jazz Museum in the early ’70’s and they had archive shows like this running the whole day. Great education for a kid in his twenties! This brought back fond memories.

  5. We probably met there without either of us knowing it . . . I bought records from the Museum and was there for two concerts — one the Braff-Barnes Quartet, the other a version of Soprano Summit with Wilber, Davern, Grosz, Mickey Golizio, and Cliff Leeman. Cheers, Michael Steinman

  6. Hi Michael! It was a great place. I was working for Jack Bradley. His connections to jazz musicians of the era were legendary due to his association w/ Louis Armstrong and Erroll Garner. I was awestruck on a fairly regular basis!

  7. Fabulous stuff! Thanks so much for discovering and posting that, Michael: It’s like two of my favourite albums – Hackett’s ‘Coast Concert’ and (the non-Condon side of) ‘Jam Session Coast-to-Coast’ brought to life!
    I even enjoyed the Bud ads; were they by David Stone Martin?

  8. The Bud ads, alas, were not even by Bud Freeman. DSM was credited at the end with the large background drawing, which to me says that STARS OF JAZZ knew what the good stuff was.

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