DICKENSON PLAYS ELLINGTON: VIC DICKENSON, EARL HINES, HARLEY WHITE, EDDIE GRAHAM (Grande Parade du Jazz, July 20, 1975)

Yes, Vic Dickenson. You know, the “Dixieland” trombonist known for his “wry humor.”

A small sweet surprise: Vic Dickenson, trombone; Earl Hines, piano; Harley White, string bass; Eddie Graham, drums — playing an Ellington ballad, perhaps THE Ellington ballad. So many writers made so much of Vic’s “dirty” style, his growls, that they forgot his deep heart, his deep feelings for pretty songs . . . his love of melody, of pure sounds. And although no one was wise enough to ask Vic to make a recording of Ellington and Strayhorn, he called IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD as his feature night after night when I saw him.

The first thing an attentive listener might notice is Vic’s slowing-down the tempo: he’s not about to be rushed into baroque Hines flourishes. A stately yet passionate exposition of the melody, growing more fervent in his second chorus. Then a coda-cadenza, rhapsodic and bluesy all at once. A masterpiece from the Grande Parade du Jazz at Nice, France, performed on July 20, 1975.

Hank O’Neal told me that one of his dream projects was to record Vic with strings. Such a pity that didn’t happen. Listen to I GOT IT BAD again and realize that, as a ballad player, Vic is at the level of Ben and Pres, Hodges and his dear friend Bobby Hackett. Thank goodness we have these four minutes of Vic, quietly reminding us of what he did and could do: wordlessly touch our hearts without making a fuss of doing so.

May your happiness increase!

3 responses to “DICKENSON PLAYS ELLINGTON: VIC DICKENSON, EARL HINES, HARLEY WHITE, EDDIE GRAHAM (Grande Parade du Jazz, July 20, 1975)

  1. Axel Melhardt

    Meine Tilly & ich erlebten 5-mal die herrlichen Tage in Nizza – herrlich….. allerdings VIC DICKENSON war alles Mögliche aber kein Dixieland Trombonist !!!!! Er konnte alles – er war ein wichtiger Bigband-Musiker, spielte mit herrlichen Swingern, begleitete (wenn nötig) altmodische Bluesmusiker und es gelang ihm auf der Nizza-Bühne den herrlichen

    Cab Calloway zu Höchsten Momenten zu begleiten. Axel Melhardt (Jazzland – Wien)

    Von: JAZZ LIVES Gesendet: Freitag, 3. Dezember 2021 17:19 An: axel.melhardt@chello.at Betreff: [New post] DICKENSON PLAYS ELLINGTON: VIC DICKENSON, EARL HINES, HARLEY WHITE, EDDIE GRAHAM (Grande Parade du Jazz, July 20, 1975)

    jazzlives posted: ” Yes, Vic Dickenson. You know, the “Dixieland” trombonist known for his “wry humor.” A small sweet surprise: Vic Dickenson, trombone; Earl Hines, piano; Harley White, string bass; Eddie Graham, drums — playing an Ellington ballad, perhaps THE Ell”

  2. Paige VanVorst

    My old friend Preston Jackson told me,”I met Vic in 1931 when Armstrong played a battle of the bands with Speed Webb. He was drinking like a fish and playing great trombone. That was 45 years ago and he’s still drinking like a fish and playing great trombone. I don’t know how he does it.”

  3. Hines’ facial expressions of appreciation are priceless.

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