Today I present two seriously undervalued musicians: Jonah Jones, trumpet; Bud Freeman, tenor saxophone, playing a brief set with Jonah’s working band — Jerome Darr, guitar; Ivan Rolle, string bass; Bob Fields, piano; Clyde Lucas, drums, at the Grande Parade du Jazz, July 8, 1978.
AT SUNDOWN / the first part of ROYAL GARDEN BLUES:
ROYAL GARDEN BLUES (concluded) / ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE (closing theme):
Wonderful musicians, but oh so neglected.
Jonah was typecast as a muted-trumpet-for-easy-listening, even as his audiences loved him. He was successful and steady, which goes against the stereotype of the jazz musician as suffering outsider-rebel. Popularity seems a millstone around the neck: “If it sells, it can’t be good.”
And Bud . . . was typecast as a “D——-d” stalwart, someone stuck in the past, where in reality he was a superbly creative and idiosyncratic player, truly with his own style.
If you think I exaggerate, look for them in the books that pretend to delineate the Jazz History Canon.
Here they are, completely mature players with decades of experience behind them (Bud was 72, Jonah 69) showing that swing is not just a young person’s art. They had recorded together only once, a 1954 session under George Wettling’s leadership, featuring other underrated pleasures: George Barnes, Milt Hinton, Dave Bowman, so to me this little session is especially precious.
As an extra gift, here’s a 1982 interview that our friend Loren Schoenberg did with Bud — a remarkable historical gift then and now:
May your happiness increase!