Tag Archives: Joe Shulman

GLENN MILLER’S “UPTOWN HALL GANG” on the RADIO: MEL POWELL, PEANUTS HUCKO, BERNIE PRVIN, DINAH SHORE, NAT PECK, LARRY HALL, CARMEN MASTREN, TRIGGER ALPERT, RAY McKINLEY (England, 1944)

The UPTOWN HALL GANG was a small group out of the overseas Glenn Miller orchestra.  They made a dozen or so studio recordings in 1945, plus four famous sides with Django Reinhardt as a star, but the material here comes from radio broadcasts, and I must thank the deep Miller collectors Tommy Burns and David Weiner for the music, which I have saved since 1984.

The collective personnel is Mel Powell, piano and arrangements; Bernie Privin, trumpet; Nat Peck, Larry Hall, trombone; Peanuts Hucko, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Addison Collins, French horn, Carmen Mastren, guitar; Trigger Alpert or Joe Shulman, string bass; Ray McKinley, drums.  Dinah Shore and Johnny Desmond sang.  The music occupies a fascinating middle-ground between Fifty-Second Street jam sessions and early harmonic experimentations of bebop, with touches of boogie-woogie and echoes of the Goodman small groups.

Here is an hour-long anthology of broadcast performances (with some announcements) taken off the radio in England from mid-1944 to he next year.  The songs are BLOW TOP / WHERE OR WHEN / HOW HIGH THE MOON / NIGHT AND DAY (Dinah Shore) / ROSETTA / LADY BE GOOD / YOU GO TO MY HEAD (Privin) / EMALINE / AS LONG AS I LIVE (Hucko) / THE SHEIK OF ARABY / SHANDY / PLEASE DON’T TALK ABOUT ME WHEN I’M GONE (Privin) / I MUST HAVE THAT MAN (Hucko-Powell-McKinley) / TRIPLE X / SHOEMAKER’S APRON (trio) / PLAIN AND FANCY BLUES / JERRY’S AACHEN BACK / AFTER YOU’VE GONE / PARACHUTE JUMP / HALLELUJAH! (Powell feature with the orchestra) / I WANT TO BE HAPPY (same) //

 

 

Delightful music and not well-known: thanks to the musicians heard here, to Tommy and Dave and the Miller collectors worldwide.

May your happiness increase!

Bunk Johnson FB

THE ADVENTURES OF BUCK and BUSTER

It sounds like a children’s cartoon: Buck is always getting into trouble but his friend Buster rescues him, then Buck’s mom makes them both little pizzas.

Not really.

It’s a series of “Doctor Jazz” radio broadcasts from late 1951, turning the corner into 1952, featuring Buck Clayton, trumpet; Buster Bailey, clarinet, and other complete professionals.

Some of this material has appeared on now difficult-to-find Storyville CDs, but those discs do not present complete shows.

The details: “Dr. Jazz” WMGM broadcasts from Lou Terrasi’s, New York City. Buck Clayton, trumpet; Buster Bailey, clarinet; Herb Flemming, trombone; Kenny Kersey, piano; Joe Shulman, string bass; Arthur Herbert, drums.

December 27, 1951: THEME / ROYAL GARDEN BLUES / MY GAL SAL / BOOGIE WOOGIE COCKTAIL (Kersey) / MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS //

Interlude from the Stuyvesant Casino, December 28, 1952: SWEET SUE Bobby Hackett, Dick Cary (alto horn), unid. trombone, Gene Sedric, Red Richards, unid. drums.

December 13, 1951, from Terrasi’s: THEME / FIDGETY FEET / I’LL ALWAYS BE IN LOVE WITH YOU / STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE / THE MOON IS LOW //

December 20, 1951: ‘DEED I DO / BALLIN’ THE JACK / JINGLE BELLS / MAHOGANY HALL STOMP / HIGH SOCIETY //

January 3, 1952: THEME / THAT’S A PLENTY / CLARINET MARMALADE / THIS CAN’T BE LOVE / BILL BAILEY / EVERYBODY LOVES MY BABY / THEME //

You will of course notice the serious reliance on “Dixieland” repertoire, but how beautifully and energetically this band plays it (Buck wrote in his autobiography that Tony Parenti was his superb and generous teacher, showing him how these mult-part compositions went, and what the performance conventions were).  But in between BILL BAILEY and ROYAL GARDEN BLUES, there are sophisticated songs (THE MOON IS LOW), Broadway classics (THIS CAN’T BE LOVE) and even a swing composition associated with the early Basie band (I’LL ALWAYS BE IN LOVE WITH YOU).  And once the obligatory ensembles on the traditional tunes are done, the solos are elegant and individualistic.

Again, a band like this says so much about the high polish that performers of that generation reached . . . especially those who didn’t always get star recognition.  Buck became a (deservedly) well-known and admired player worldwide, but the rest of the band rarely got such public recognition.  But how well they play!  What swing, what solo construction, what creative energy — and Buster and Herb had been professionals for three decades already.

Admirable, energized, inventive — and beyond cliche and cliched expectations — created by professionals who treated making music as a craft as well as art.

May your happiness increase!