Although I never was drawn to cigarette smoking, I remember personalized matchbooks with fondness — whether they encouraged you to sign up for correspondence courses or to revisit a restaurant or night club. They were portable advertising before Facebook, business cards that had more than one use. Here are two jazz-related ones, courtesy of eBay, that house of surprises.
One celebrates a New Orleans gig and a much-missed cornet player, a man of great lyricism, who made his debut recording in the company of Armand Hug, Raymond Burke, Danny Barker, which should tell you something about the esteem in which he was held — the late GEORGE FINOLA:
Here’s George, late in his short career, in a very Hackett mood for CABIN IN THE SKY:
Then, we venture, somewhat whimsically, into politics:
and an encouraging bit of wordplay on the reverse. Was Doc Evans in competition with Dizzy Gillespie or well in advance of the front-runners?
This is why Paul “Doc” Evans deserves your vote — a brief clip of Doc, Art Hodes, and Bob Cousins burning through WOLVERINE BLUES in 1969 (from the public television series JAZZ ALLEY):
Most people don’t think of Rex Stewart as a cornetist, but it’s clear — in the film footage that we have of him — that it was his preferred brass instrument. What a pleasure to find this piece of sheet music on sale:
and the back is indeed priceless. I want all those orchestrations!
And here’s Rex (although not visible), performing BOY MEETS HORN, the fanciful enactment of what a young player’s first halting steps might sound like. From the 1943 Carnegie Hall concert, announced by Ellington:
and in France, 1947:
The cornet is a demanding instrument — but it takes even more ingenuity (and pressing valves only half-way down) to make those glorious eccentric sounds as Rex does.
May your happiness increase!