CHARLES, JIMMIE, MIKE, SKIPPY, PETE, COOTIE, DAVE, 1941

Some Swing fan had very good taste in his / her autograph quest, getting our heroes to sign their names on the same piece of paper:

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN SIGNATURES w DAVE TOUGH

That assemblage comes from the Benny Goodman Orchestra in early 1941 (February – March): Charlie Christian, electric guitar; Jimmie Maxwell, trumpet; Mike Bryan, guitar; Skippy Martin, alto saxophone / arranger; Pete Mondello, tenor saxophone; Cootie Williams, trumpet; Dave Tough, drums.

I first saw this browning piece of notebook paper as part of the Larry Rafferty Collection: someone no doubt has bought it by now but there’s no reason JAZZ LIVES can’t share the image with the Faithful.

And some of my favorite music of all time (I think I first bought the record of this in 1972): an excerpt from a Goodman Sextet without Benny, warming up in the studio: Charlie, Cootie, Dave, Johnny Guarneri, George Auld — working on what would be called A SMOOTH ONE:

I don’t hear the string bass of Artie Bernstein, but do I hear the voice of John Hammond early on?  “Mop!” is our man Cootie Williams. This is music — like a deep pool — that one could descend in to for a long time.  Bliss that it was recorded at all, and even better that the whole rehearsal / informal session did survive, was issued in several formats (Meritt Record Society and Masters of Jazz, vinyl and CD).

A year after he signed this paper, Charlie Christian (1916-1942) was dead.

May your happiness increase!

3 responses to “CHARLES, JIMMIE, MIKE, SKIPPY, PETE, COOTIE, DAVE, 1941

  1. Bill Lavin

    Michael:

    I am the proud custodian of this wonderful piece of jazz history. Thanks for your added comments.

    I enjoy your blog.

    Bill Lavin

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. A precious artifact and a gracious owner . . . who could ask for more? I salute you, Bill.

  3. Tom Buhmann

    Michael, Thanks for this glimpse from af fine past.
    I think you can narrow the timing down to March-April. Skippy Martin joined early March and Dave Tough left in the first days of May.

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