Jazz News Volume4 No45 0002
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JAZZ NEWS — Saturday. December 24, 1960
THE WORLD’S ONLY WEEKLY
JAZZ NEWS MAGAZINE
Editor ............ JOHN MARTIN
Associate Editor ... IAN McLEAN
Editorial Director BRIAN NICHOLLS
Advertising ....... JOHN C. GEE
Circulation ............ALAN VALE
37 Soho Square,
Telephone: GERrard 6601/2
Annual Subscription £2.7.6
Postage on Single copy 2d.
rJ1HE Jazz Musicians Association met
for the second time last week. No
decision was taken on the form of
action to be used against club promot-
ers whose clubs and club facilities do
not come up to the JMA’s require-
ments. There is still an aura of mys-
tery surrounding the Associations
activities, and the officials have been
slow in releasing any reports to the
Jazz News welcomes this Association.
It is time that jazz musicians were treat-
ed as professionals and had the neces-
sary equipment and facilities at their
disposal to give club goers better value
for their admission fee.
One point is, however, overlooked.
The Club promoters need a certain
amount of protection as well. The mu-
sicians are not entirely blameless. Many
bands are unpunctual, exceed the con-
tracted interval times, dress slov-
enly and are occasionally drunk on
stage. Club Promoters might well con-
sider an Association to insist on bet-
ter behaviour from some of the bands.
The J.M.A. is expected to discuss
financial dealings between clubs and
bands, which is perhaps one reason
why its decisions are being kept in con-
The Association could, however,
draw up certain conditions for existing
club owners and future promoters to
enable remedies to be put into effect.
What is an energy waster is mumbling
behind locked doors and airing griev-
ances without making them public. The
Club promoters want to help but, as
one said last week, they would like to
hear the J.M.A. recommendations.
by Mike Butcher
jyjANY thanks to all of you who sent me your selections for the “Top Ten
Jazz Tunes” as requested last month.
They covered an amazing diversity of titles — more than 400 different one*
altogether. Which could provide a pretty healthy repertoire for any band that
decided to feature the lot!
But space considerations oblige me to restrict my published Winners’ List to
the conventional Top Thirty. Here they are in your composite order of preference:-
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Take The ‘‘A” Train
4. High Society
5. Lullaby Of Birdland
6. Night In Tunisia
7. How High The Moon
8. Mood Indigo
9. ’Round Midnight
10. Basin Street Blues
11. Maryland, My Maryland
12. Dippermouth Blues
14. April In Paris
15. Dr. Jazz
17. I'm Beginning To See The
18. Ain’t Misbehavin'
19. Ice Cream
20. Stompin’ At The Savoy
21. Sweet Georgia Brown
22. My Funny Valentine
23. Creole Love Call
24. Straight, No Chaser
25. Careless Love
26. Savoy Blues
27. Don’t Get Around Much
Any More (Never No
28. Muskrat Ramble
29. Good Bait
30. (Wild Man Blues
(Beale Street Blues
Duke Ellington, not unexpectedly perhaps, emerged as top composer with four
items in the winners’ list: "Mood Indigo," “I’m Beginning To See The Light,”
“Creole Love Call” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More.” (“Take The ‘A’
Train” is by Billy Strayhorn).
Next came W- C- Handy with three successful numbers: “St. Louis Blues”
(which won the poll by a fairly wide margin), “Careless Love” and “Beale Street
King Oliver and Thelonious Monk are bracketed together (for the first time in
jazz history!) with two winners each: “Dippenmouth Blues" and “Dr. Jazz" from
Oliver, “Round Midnight” and “Straight, No Chaser” from Monk. While Kid Ory
also provides a brace of titles in the shape of “Savoy Blues” and Muskrat Ramble.”
I was surprised to find that Jelly Roll Morton only just squeezed into the top
thirty with “Wild Man Blues, although he was represented further down the list
with several other numbers — as indeed were Ellington, Handy and Monk.
Equally conspicuous by the absence from the main chart, however, are such
“good old good ones” as the following:-
“Lady, Be Good" (32nd ), “On The Sunny Side Of The Street’’ (35th ),
“Honeysuckle Rose” (38th ), “Les Oignons” (44th ), “When The Saints Go Marching
In” (45th ), “Indiana" (49th ), “Stardust" (51st ), “Tea For Two” (55th ), “Tiger
Rag” (unplaced with two votes) and “After You've Gone" (unplaced with one
A T ANY paragraphs have been written in praise of John Cassavetes’ experimental
film “Shadows” (still to be seen at the Academy Cinema in London at (he
time of writing) but no one seems to have mentioned, for the benefit of jazz aficion-
ados, that Charlie Mingus provides much of the excellently atmospheric soundtrack
music on bass — with able assistance from tenor saxophonist Shafi Hadi.
Another film involving jazzmen is a delightful French short entitled “The
Golden Fish" which has been showing at various news theatres in town during the
past few weeks and will doubtless crop up again quite soon.
This time the music was assigned to André Hodeir and that fine guitarist, the
late Henri Crolla; and while it has little (if anything) to do with jazz, I found it
Published by Jazz News Ltd. 37, Soho Square, London, W 1. Trade Agents: Horace Marshall & Son. Ltd., Temple House,
Tallis Street, E C.4. Printed by Free Press Ltd., 175, High Holborn, W.C.I.
JAZZ NEWS! taa Saturday. December 24, 1960
THE UNHEARD LEGEND
Myself” (Verve MG Y-8928) will be
granted us by HMV.
Eleven records. A very good score
for one year.
No, Buster isn't modern, by any
means, in the strictest sense of that
overworked word, but his is a brand-
OF BUSTER SMITH
rpHERE is a record sitting over at Decca House on the Albert Embankment
whidi, I am told by the powers that be, is “not on the release schedule
It is “The Legendary Buster Smith” (Atlantic 1923) and as far as I am con-
cerned this is one sad way to start the New Year.
I have, through the kindness of Atlantic’s Mr. Nesuhi Ertegun, had this 12in.
LP in my collection for the past few months. Not a day has gone by that I
haven’t played it as least once.
It’s that kind of a record.
The kind that doesn’t wear thin on
repeated hearings, the kind that stays
with you, that grows on you, that adds
something to your every day every
time you hear it.
We all know how rare are such rec-
In the past year I have, more than
once, attacked the Decca mob for sit-
ting tight on discs they should have
released. I remember particularly what
1 was told when I suggested release of
Ornette Coleman's first 12" LP on
Atlantic. Said Decca: “We have no
intention whatsoever of releasing that
To that kind of mentality, com-
mercial censorship is a creative act.
TPELL, someone had second thoughts.
Which is just as well. First
thoughts at Decca don’t seem very
An 'Ornette LP on Atlantic was re-
leased: “The Change of the Century.”
But only after the far more adventurous
Vogue company had issued Ornette’s
“Tomorrow Is The Question.” And
the LP I considered worthy of British
release, “The Shape of Jazz to Come,”
is still bottled up at Decca.
lt‘s clear, at any rate, that the Deeca
gang can be pushed into releases that
seemed originally repugnant to them.
Let us, with this in mind, consider the
case of Buster Smith.
A PART from Ornette, James Moody's
“Last Train From Overbrook”
(American Argo), Monk at Town Hall
(Riverside; now released here) and
Duke’s “Nutcracker Suite,” which
Philips gave us with commendable
speed, 1960 seems to me to have been
a pretty barren year in Britain for
modern jazz records.
Add Buster to this short list, add the
Billie and Prez memorial albums, add
the upcoming Joe Turner (on Atlantic,
too; will Decca release it here?) and
a superb King Pleasure (American Hifi-
jazz) which Vogue is said to be con-
sidering for British pressing, and there
you have it. Except that you may
chose to credit Decca with releasing
Coltrane's “Giant Steps” even as you
hope that Lester Young's “Going For
GJTARTfNG out from Dallas, Texas,
his home town, with the famed Blue
Devils band in 1925, Buster Smith
stayed with the band until 1932 as alto
saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and
composer. In those years, Walter Page,
Jimmy Rushing, Prez and Hot Lips
Page were all Blue Devils.
Many of them moved into Bennie
Moten’s great band in Kansas City in
1933 and when Basie later led some of
them toward the promised land, Buster
was with him.
There the legend begins. There start
the stories that Buster was the real
strong man in Basie’s band. True or
false, when Basie swung North to fame
under the sheltering wing of John
Hammond, Buster stayed put. In 1937
he organised his own group.
Enter Charlie Parker. Bird's begin-
ning. In later years Bird said: “Buster
was the guy I really dug.”
F is a statement that has, perhaps,
given Buster too much credit for
Bird’s development. But there it stands,
and shall stand, a vital clue in the life of
the greatest virtuoso, apart from
Armstrong, that jazz has ever known.
Bird went on to Jay McShann. Buster
started vanishing. He is on a 1940
record date with Eddie Durham. He
is known to have cut some 78s. in
1942. After that, silence. For 17 years.
Until Mr. Gunther Schuller managed,
after many mishaps, to lure Buster and
his small current band into a Fort
Worth, Texas, recording studio in June,
1959. The result: Atlantic 1323.
I will not try to describe this record.
You must hear it for yourself.
So Decca doesn’t plan to release it
in 1961. So write to Decca. Tell them
Ira Gitler (Down Beat, December 8,
1960) just gave this record a four-star
review. Ask them why they feel Decca
should be allowed, repeatedly, to make
up your mind for you.
Amen, Ira! Thank you, Mr. Schuller!
Bless you, Buster!
And to the stop • eared gentry at
Decca House, a Happy New Deaf
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