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Northern Society For Jazz Study Vol.2 No.15 0012

Northern Society For Jazz Study Vol.2 No.15 0012

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REEVE made, the latter two from HEADERSOHo

The next year (the last of the real REDMAN orch.) the trumpet soloists were replaced by OTIS JOHNSON ¿z HaYARD BAKER: SIDNEY

CATLETT (drums) replaced T7.

JOHNSON, BOB LESSEY - CL .HOLIDAY, and PORTER (sax,) was added as REDMAN himself practically ceased to play.

The band had been played out, and though he made various attempts to re-organise it on its old footing, he eventually turned to full-time arranging, being almost inactive now, A neglected talent we could badly do withIJ


So far the groups dealt with have been those associated with the leading 1 names* or the arrivals in N,Y, from other parts of the country. One v/ho did not come from the ranks of the *big~timers* or from afar -was CHICK WEBB — the drummer.

He started a small band in'HARLEM with cousin JOHNNY HODGES occasionally on alto, and JOHN TRTJEHEART (banjo). It was due in no small measure to these two, that despite countless set-backs, CHICK climbed the hard road to fame, TRUEHEART remained his partner and plectrum player to the end providing an ever constant optimism at the most hopeless times

HODGES by his connection with ELLINGTON interested the Duke in CHICK., v/ho gave him a much needed hand in those early and uncertain days. Later, ARMSTRONG finding

himself without a band in NEW YORK, used them for recording work about 1930, under the JUNGLE. BAND alias. From the »Black Bottom*' (1928) they movpd to the Paddock Club, and the Roseland in 1930. Not until 193lj was it that they made their niche in jaxz. history when they moved to the 1 Savoy Ballroom» , This became their home from home, and j with which their name will for ever be associated, VJhat the Roseland was to HENDERSON, the SAVOY was (even more) to 7JEBB.

Ehon tho inseparables, HARRISON and CARTER joined him j In 192-1, the group took on a now standing. For In addition to their work as. soloists,

CARTER did quite a lot of arranging,, and composed "Blues In My Heart" (EJ3r,01857). A number of others well-known -HILTON JEFFERSON,. ELMER 17ILLIA2.IS were with. YJEBB also.

HARRISON*s stay was but a temporary one for alter a short recovery, a relapse occurred in July 1931, and he passed away. :

CARTER seemed alone without him, and not surprisingly left, '

The original tpts. were ■

»SHAD* COLLINS,. LOUIS HUNT, & LOUIS ' BACON. DON KIRKPATRICK (piano) and ELMER JAMES (bass) completed a powerful rhythm |

section — the outstanding j

feature of the bands CHICK 1

himself on drums being- responsible for it.

. 21. EDGAR SARPSON (who joined in 1934) did much of the arranging after CARTER left, including their famous "Stompin» At The Savoy".

To succeed HARRISON, a trombonist in the "Harrison Stylo" was added - SARD Y NILLIAMS, BADZA,

JONES (prior to REDLLAN) and TART JORDAD made up the tpt.section;

KIRBY coning in on bass and STEELE on piano also about this time. JONES had only a short stay before STARK replaced him, and JEFFERSON returned for SA EPSON. CARVER (flute and tenor), and TH0MAJ3 for KIRBY were more changes accomodated.

Later again, important changes were LOUIS JORDAD (alto) and FULFORD (piano) in the late *30»s.

Gradually (especially after CHICK»s interest in ELA FITZGERALD) the "commercial" angle became so pronounced as to be almost inseparable in style from the countless other bands of the "Swing Aige".

It may be said that A/EBB»s was essentially a band for dancing to, nevertheless, its sad decline led to its eventual d.iaiemberEient soon after CHICK» s death in 1939.


HENNY CARTER» s name has cropped up frequently from the HENDERSON days to organising the CHOCOLA.TE DADDIES. Turning back to the

days when he waxed "Cnee Upon Ai.

Time" etc, early ¿n 1933. provides the stepping-stone for CARTER to form his own outfit that same

year. His instrumental virtuoe-

ity of aito, tenor, clarinet,

etc., had new oeen e xtended by / * trumpet (as in the side just

mentioned). Remembering all this and his powers as an arranger and composer placed alongside ELLINGTON - above even FLETCHER HENDERSON and REDHAN -in the realms of jazz. More* s the pity he has never had the opportunity ELLINGTON had to carry out the brilliant ideas.

The time early in 1933 CARTER chose to launch himself as a leader, was just about the worst slump period in HURLER It»s said his group spent more time rehearsing than playing, although It dj d play at the CLUB HARLEM for a while. Unfortunately, the most deserving of a break, got the least. Of his line-up, "SHAD" COLLINS DAD; IS, GEO .AAR KINGTON, the brothers DE PARIS, CKtJ BERRY, and SIDNEY CATIASTT had all been alongside him at various times, and were all included. BILL DILLARD (tpt.) HOWARD JOHNSON (alto) RODRIGUEZ (piano) ERNST.

HILL (bass) and LUC.IE (gtr.) completed the line-up. Four titles were cut for E.Col. and among them was one written by a young British composer - "SPIKE" HUGHES. It was HUGHES» trip to NEW YORK that year, that provided a first well deserved break for the group. H0 oame to record a whole lot of originals with a coloured band for the Decca label; and he entrusted .....