I hope readers have not wearied of my chronicles of jazz-shopping . . . but another chapter took me and the Beloved to Troy, New York, for a multi-dealer antique store on River Street. I spent a long time poring through albums of dull late-Forties 78s (who knew that there was such enthusiasm for the Harmonicats?) with little enthusiasm until I came to the last album, most of its pages empty, which clearly dated from another time. First:
More interesting than Tony Martin, but nothing to make the pulse race. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought it was an early (acoustic) Brunswick. However, I dimly remembered that the elusive Jack Purvis had made his first recordings with Arnold Johnson, circa 1928 (see the wonderfully-documented Jazz Oracle issue), so I turned the record over:
Since I always associate CHINA BOY with hot music, I bought the record (without depriving us of groceries for even a moment). Later on, I saw online that it was circa 1923, so I have no hopes of Purvis. Has anyone heard this, and is it an iota more than a dance-band curio? But that was only the jazz hors d’oeuvre as it were. In the rear of the store I saw a metal stand with horizontal slots meant for Ludwig drum accessories. The stand was empty, fairly characterless and, at $225, not essential. Below the empty shelves were music instruction books — piano, show tunes, accordion, and the last one, face down:
That looked promising, but I held myself back — too many “Dixieland” records and music books have a very tenuous relationship to the real thing. I turned it over:
and opened it up . . . . to see a long written introduction and analysis of the style, as well as this glorious picture:
My thanks go out to the no doubt defunct W.F.L. drum company, to the noble shade of Ray Bauduc, and to the anonymous person who in 1937 gave up a hard-earned dollar to buy this book in hopes of sounding just like Mister Bauduc on those wonderful Bobcats Deccas. Oh, how I hope he or she realized that objective! This post, of course, is for Kevin Dorn, Mike Burgevin, Hal Smith, Arnie Kinsella, Jeff Hamilton, and the other players who keep the faith, who know what it is to beat out the time on the wooden rim of the snare drum. I’ll be holding viewings in September . . . say the word.