If Chris Albertson’s name doesn’t mean much to you, perhaps you haven’t been exposed to much in jazz. He’s written the definitive biography of Bessie Smith (and rewrote it when new information emerged); he’s produced many recording sessions with people from Roy Eldridge, Bud Freeman, Dave Frishberg, Jo Jones, Elmer Snowden, Clark Terry, Earl Hines, Lonnie Johnson . . . . he roomed with the Baron Timme Rosenkrantz; he seems to have encountered everyone possible.
Chris is also a forthright writer and careful archivist. The photos on his site show something of his range — from Charles Mingus to Lucille Hegamin, from Don Pullen and Johnny Griffin to Pops Foster and Lovie Austin!
So I was thrilled to find out that he has begun a jazz blog. And it’s not the usual thing — “The records I like” — but first-hand experience. The stories that impressed me greatly were Lil Hardin Armstrong’s recollections of what Joe Oliver told her about his childhood (!) and the sad, odd tale of the life and death of Linda Kuehl — who did much of the pioneering research on Billie Holiday. I’ll keep this post brief because I want to see what Chris has posted since I checked last. Welcome to the blogosphere, Chris, and thank you!