“MAGIC NOTES”

charleston-chasers-misbehavin

There’s always something to discover, or perhaps re-discover.  I know I had heard this recording some time before, but I had forgotten how good it sounds. So I’d like to share the delightful shocks of music perfectly executed — simply, with spirit, to quote Ruby Braff speaking of Hanna Richardson’s singing — as if it were the first time.

Thanks to Tohru Seya, the most generous of collectors, I was reminded of this wonderful recording through Facebook.  And thanks to Andy LeMaitre, I can present a vivid-sounding copy.  It’s “The Charleston Chasers,” an all-star studio group from June 28, 1929: Phil Napoleon, trumpet; Miff Mole, trombone; Jimmy Dorsey, alto saxophone / clarinet; Arthur Schutt, piano; Joe Tarto, string bass; Dave Tough, drums.  And the glorious Eva Taylor singing.

Little touches make this more than a formulaic run-through of a first-class pop tune.  For one thing, the way the recording is laid out — its balance between ensemble and solo, between ensemble and simultaneously soloing brass players, between vocal and instrumental, is delightful — and so easily unspectacular that one doesn’t notice all the details going by at first.  And at just over three minutes, the performance seems completely fulfilling.  It deserves several hearings.

I could muse in print about more related subjects: the continued popularity of this Waller-Razaf classic; the imagined politics of this “mixed band,” if politics there were; the wondrous longevity of Miss Taylor; tempos for dancers (this is a “slow fox trot”); whether this was a Schutt arrangement; the sound that recording engineers achieved in 1929 . . . but I’d rather listen one more time.

May your happiness increase!

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8 responses to ““MAGIC NOTES”

  1. Are you pulling somebody’s leg?
    How come the label on the turntable is another color than the one you show?

  2. No jokes, just music.

  3. Richard Salvucci

    How do you find this stuff?????

  4. Diligence mixed with accident. Eva Taylor was the goal, and this marvel fell out of the sky.

  5. Anything by the “Charleston Chasers” is a delight.

  6. Andy Le Maitre

    Hi Erik Olsen, as the original uploader of this record I can assure you the reason the labels may appear different shades is because I photographed the label for the thumbnail and edited it to make it stand out more.

  7. Dear Andy, I don’t care what color the label is: I’m just very grateful to you for your superb YouTube channel and the generosity behind it. Blessings, Michael

  8. Andy Le Maitre

    Thanks Michael, I really do appreciate that. Andy

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