The title phrase doesn’t refer to an illegal addiction, or the unquenchable desire for just one more cracker or chip. It’s a King Oliver tune from his Victor period (1929-30) but here it sums up the fierce loyalties we feel about the Yerba Buena Stompers, captured on video one more time at the 2012 San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival, or (now) the San Diego Jazz Fest. They are Leon Oakley and Duke Heitger, trumpet; Tom Bartlett, trombone; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Conal Fowkes, piano; John Gill, banjo; Clint Baker, tuba; Kevin Dorn, drums.
I MUST HAVE IT:
John Gill explains the cultural history behind BIG CHIEF BATTLE AXE:
The reference in the title TOO TIGHT isn’t to a constricting piece of clothing, but to a Johnny Dodds record from the old days in Chicago — when the phrase was a term of deep approval:
My lantsman, Jelly Roll Morton’s classic, WOLVERINE BLUES. (To find out why Jelly and I are distant kin, read this):
Marty Bloom’s MELANCHOLY:
RHYTHM CLUB STOMP, another Oliver recording, poses a linguistic mystery. The subtitle (or original title in the Victor archives) was CURWISHIP GLIDE. What, or whom, or where . . . was [a] CURWISHIP? Inquiring minds want to know:
JUST A GIGOLO is Duke and the band’s tribute to Mister Strong. We know handsome Duke is no gigolo, though:
May your happiness increase.