Clint Baker, tbn.
I know someone who can both Do and Teach: my friend and jazz hero above.
When Clint and I were on the STOMPTIME cruise last April and May, we had free time in the afternoons, and (because of my pleasure in video-interviewing others, including Dan Morgenstern, Mike Hashim, and Kim Cusack) I asked Clint if he wanted to sit for my camera. He was graciously enthusiastic, and because of our recent conversations, he chose to talk about a school of trombonists, working in New York in the early part of the last century, who aren’t praised or noticed as much as they should be.
So here is a beautiful swinging lesson from Professor Baker, the first portion examining the work(s) of Arthur Pryor, Charlie Irvis, Charlie Green, Miff Mole, and the overarching influence of Louis Armstrong:
Here Clint finishes the tale of Charlie Green, considers the work(s) of Jimmy Harrison, Jack Teagarden, Bennie Morton, the “vocal style,” and that influential Louis fellow:
The world of J.C. Higginbotham, with side-trips to Henry “Red” Allen and Luis Russell, Bill Harris, Kid Ory, Honore Dutrey, Preston Jackson, and more:
and finally, a portrait of Sandy Williams, with comments on Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, Jack Teagarden, Chick Webb, and Tommy Dorsey:
Any good classroom presentation asks the students to do some research on their own, in their own ways. Clint has pointed to many recorded examples in his hour-plus interview / conversation. I offer a sampling below; for the rest, you are on your own . . . a lifetime of joyous study awaits.
Arthur Pryor’s 1901 masterpiece, THE BLUE BELLS OF SCOTLAND:
A recording that always is heralded for the brilliance of Louis and Bechet, rightly. But listen to Charlie Irvis all the way through, who’s astonishing:
Charlie Green on the Henderson “Dixie Stompers” CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLEY:
“Big” Green with Louis, for HOBO, YOU CAN’T RIDE THIS TRAIN:
and, because it’s so rewarding, the other take (which sounds like their first try):
Lawrence Brown showing the Pryor influence on the Ellington SHEIK (YouTube doesn’t offer the 1940 Fargo dance date version, yet) — with a later solo by someone we didn’t speak of, Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton:
Jimmy Harrison on the “Chocolate Dandies” DEE BLUES:
Cross-fertilization: Jack Teagarden on RIDIN’ BUT WALKIN’:
Bennie Morton, on Don Redman’s 1931 I GOT RHYTHM, with a glorious trio:
J.C. Higginbotham, Henry “Red” Allen, and Pops Foster — with the 1929 Luis Russell band, for JERSEY LIGHTNING:
Higgy, Red, and Cecil Scott, 1935, with ROLL ALONG, PRAIRIE MOON:
Preston Jackson, explosively, on Jimmie Noone’s 1940 NEW ORLEANS HOP SCOP BLUES:
Sandy Williams with Bunk and Bechet, UP IN SIDNEY’S FLAT:
Sandy with Bechet, Sidney De Paris, Sidney Catlett, OLD MAN BLUES:
and Sandy on Chick Webb’s DIPSY DOODLE:
A wonderful postscript: Dan Morgenstern recalling Sandy Williams at a 2017 interview, as well as the kindness of Bennie Morton, and a James P. Johnson story:
But my question is this, “Clint, what shall we talk about next? I can’t wait . . . and I know I have company.”
May your happiness increase!