I’ve been a member of the IAJRC for many years — that’s the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors — and it continues to make many good things possible. In its quarterly journal, I have read fascinating stories, found out about CDs that would become life-enriching experiences, learned a great deal, and met wonderful people. (Two Bills, as a matter of fact: Coverdale and Gallagher.) So I think it’s a marvelous association, in the nicest senses of that overused word. And their focus isn’t purely on ancient shellac, but on keeping jazz thriving.
Every year, the IAJRC creates a “convention”: but this isn’t simply an excuse to hear other people talk at length. No, there one can meet friends with similar musical interests; hear rare music on disc; see film presentations; listen to live exciting jazz. And this year it’s being held in Kansas City, Missouri — where visitors can enjoy the Marr Sound Archives, the American Jazz Museum, half-price on the breakfast buffet, a free drink in the lobby lounge every day (such blandishments are not small things). Here’s the link to the detailed two-page flyer for the convention. Go ahead, take a look. I dare you. And when you come back, your ears full of swinging four-four, you can then (if the neighbors don’t mind), attempt to sound like Big Joe Turner, “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll, I’ve been to Kansas City . . . ”
May your happiness increase.
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Ideal Places, Pay Attention!, The Real Thing
Tagged American Jazz Museum, Big Joe Turner, Bill Coverdale, Bill Gallagher, convention, IAJRC, INternational Association of Jazz Record Collectors, Kansas City, Kansas City Jazz, Marr Sound Archives, Michael Steinman, rare films, rare records
The distinguished jazz film scholar Mark Cantor offers another cinematic mystery:
“In Back Beats and Rim Shots, Warren Vache and Johnny Blowers discuss a band put together by Red Norvo, under the sponsorship of Coca Cola, for an overseas tour during World War II. The tour never happened, but before the band broke up a film — called THE VICTORY PARADE OF SPOTLIGHT BANDS — was made of (in Johnny’s words) “the show.” At least one performance from this film is known to me, and I have pulled a small set of pictures of the band from this film. Coverage is not great, and the guys are somewhat disguised by the costume hats they are wearing. I do see Eddie Condon on rhythm guitar, and Flip Phillips is one of the saxophonists. From what Johnny said, both in an interview and in his book, Dale Pearce and Dick Taylor should be in the brass section, but you don’t get close enough to really see most of these players clearly. There are five reeds in the band, and I am almost certain that Flip Phillips is to the far right. Hymie Schertzer and Aaron Sachs are supposedly in the section, but I am not sure where. The rhythm section is quite possibly Ralph Burns, Eddie Condon (for certain), probably Clyde Lombardi and Johnny Blowers (again, a certainty).
Please let me know what your readers think.”
The hats, oh, those hats. Eddie Condon looks as if he is beginning a long prison term.
I would love to hear the soundtrack.
I’d also like to know whatever possessed the film director to dress everyone up — although it is indeed possible that they wore period clothing as part of their “show.”
A postscript. Eddie Condon loathed big bands and was not shy about saying so. Phyllis Smith Condon, his wife, was a copywriter for the D’Arcy agency — and she was in charge of the Coca-Cola account. During the war, she, Eddie, and Ernie Anderson tried to market jazz to the servicemen and women under the beverage’s sponsorship — one project that never quite materialized resulted in a late-1942 recoding session for Condonites and famous friends. But Eddie still looks miserable under his hat.
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Irreplaceable, It's A Mystery, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Aaron Sachs, Clyde Lombardi, Coca-Cola, D'Arcy Advertising, Dale Pierce, Dick Taylor, Eddie Condon, Ernie Anderson, Hymie Schertzer, jazz blog, Jazz Lives, Johnny Blowers, Michael Steinman, mysteries, Phyllis Condon, Phyllis Smith Condon, Ralph Burns, rare films, Red Norvo, Spotlight Bands
Three clips from a vanished era — when movies were introduced by black-and-white newsreels (and cartoons, short subjects, even travelogues) that had time to show jazz musicians, those vivid people, in action. Here are three very short excerpts brought to us by that intrepid jazz time-traveler Enrico Borsetti. The subjects of the first clips will be more than familiar (you’ll see Arvell Shaw in the big band clip) but the surprise, for me, was of the brilliant New Orleans clarinetist Albert Nicholas in the final clip.
Those of you who don’t speak Italian fluently and rapidly will find the narration difficult at first — but my readers are good at improvising!
In the first post (April 1959) the welcome is provided by the Roman New Orleans Jazz Band, and don’t ignore those beautifully dressed, smiling “stewardesses”:
Then, we move to Holland (May 21, 1958) in front of a very happy audience. FINE comes all too soon:
Finally, the International Jazz Festival at San Remo (February 1, 1956) with twelve glorious bars of Albert Nicholas — one luminous blues chorus:
Also featured are Italian jazz notables Nunzio Rotondo, Carlo Pes, Romano Mussolini, Gilberto Cuppini and the Milan College Jazz Society.
P.S. I have a particular sentimental attachment to footage of this kind because my late father worked for a time at Movietone News. Irrelevantly, perhaps — one of his colleagues was Walter Bishop Sr., father of the modern jazz pianist.
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Irreplaceable, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Albert Nicholas, Arvell Shaw, Benny Goodman, Carlo Pes, cartoons, Enrico Borsetti, Gilberto Cuppini, jazz blog, Jazz Lives, Michael Steinman, Milan College Jazz Society, Movietone News, newsreel, Nunzio Ronondo, rare films, Roman New Orleans Jazz Band, Romano Mussolini, short subject, stewardesses, Walter Bishop, Walter Bishop Sr., YouTube