This photograph has turned up again in the JAZZ LIVES archives. It’s clearly a hot band, but little is known about the musicians.
One reader speculated that this was an otherwise undocumented Wooden Joe Nicholas street band — possibly playing FIG LEAF RAG before answering a request for MILK COW BLUES.
It has been proven through use of an electron microscope that the figure, far left, may be playing a green plastic alto, a precursor of Charlie Parker in 1951.
That the smaller trumpeter in the middle (with red shoes) may be Jack Purvis has not been ruled out, although he more strongly resembles Emmett Hardy.
It might be a Woody Herman small group.
May your happiness increase.
Posted in It's A Mystery, Pay Attention!
Tagged alebrijes, Charlie Parker, Emmett Hardy, Jack Purvis, Jazz Lives, Michael Steinman, Oaxaca, plastic saxophone, research, Wooden Joe Nicholas, Woody Herman
Whenever we travel away from our native New York, we always seek out the local musicians. In Oaxaca, where we just experienced the Days of the Dead, marimba bands were easy to find, hot jazz less so. But we persevered! And we were rewarded.
Here you have a rare picture of the Oaxaca Wanderers in action. It would be both unkind and inaccurate to say that their jam session is in the least wooden. From the left, there’s Lester “Presidente” Joven on tenor and overalls. He really sinks his teeth into his solos. To his right, we have Horacio “Caliente” Vaca and his sister Elsie on trumpets. Elsie used to be a stripper but has given it up for a strong lead in the fashion of Conrad Gozzo.