ABOUT SIXTY YEARS AGO, HOT MELODIC JAZZ, SOMEWHERE

Even the most astute jazz historians sometimes assume that jazz was played primarily in a half-dozen cities, their names familiar. But in the Fifties and Sixties, there were many opportunities for famous musicians to tour, to touch down at clubs we haven’t heard of, for a week or so.  The photograph below came from Walt Gifford’s scrapbook, was passed on to Joe Boughton, and made its way to me after his death.

I believe that this was taken some six decades ago, somewhere in what New Yorkers and Californians would call “the Midwest,” which could have been Cincinnati, Milwaukee, St. Louis, or Columbus, Ohio.  The quartet, from the left, is bassist John Field (well-known in Boston), Walt at the drums, Wild Bill Davison, cornet; Marie Marcus, piano (a pioneering jazz player, not all but forgotten, unfortunately).

WILD BILL QUARTET

You can imagine how good they sounded.  “Hi Waltie!” to be sure.

May your happiness increase!

2 responses to “ABOUT SIXTY YEARS AGO, HOT MELODIC JAZZ, SOMEWHERE

  1. Paul Lindemeyer

    5 or 6 cities? Those would be the good old days to us today…Imagine if the party circuit were open to musicians from even 5 or 6 US cities.

  2. Don "Zoot"Conner

    Marie Marcus on piano? I think she played at the Hotel Lenox lounge in Boston;I that’s the lady i’m thinking of she was very good, somewhat remindful of Marion Mcpartland.

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