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Northern Society For Jazz Study Vol.2 No.15 0011

Northern Society For Jazz Study Vol.2 No.15 0011

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namely two trumpets, tmb., four roods and four rhythm. Of these only trmb. CLAUDE JONES has been met with before . The tpts • c ontained an original and outstanding soloist in JOHN NESBITT, whose style was reminiscent of JOE SUITE* s, with its lyrical melodic line and easy style. CURL was first trumpet and PRINCE ROBINSON on tenor, later became well known with other groups. CUBA AUSTIN (drums) BOB ESCUDEIRO (banjo) and TODD RHODES (piano) comprised a driving rhythm, section.

Strangely, upon leaving F.H., JOE S:UTH took NESBITT*s place for a while (late in 1929) before NESBITT

rejoined to partner him. CURL was superseded in turn by SIDNEY DE PARIS 'whilst the saXoSct«, was entirely re-organised. The HENDERSON reed men entered the fold for a while in CARTER and HAWKINS, as did barrelhouse pianist, JAMES P. JOHNSON, with BILLY TAYLOR (later with ELLINGTON) as bass. Other changes in LEO. DAVIS for DE PARIS on horn, with WALLER talcing over from JOHNSON on piano for a while and BONNIE JOHNSON (gtr.) added, wore subsequently made.

"liilenburg Joys” 7/ill remain as the outstanding record the COTTON PICKERS made in their early days. Their work at this tine ran Henderson*s very close, REDMAN*s rare combination of instrumental«»

ist and orches£radtor being responsible for much of this. .


and CARTER were next absent from the line-up and REDMAN added ROBINSON again, and ED. INGE., REX STEJART from F.H. completing the list.

The personnel changed amongst the above mentioned artists (with 1ATRSHALL on drums .after leaving F.E.), until 1931 7/hen REDMAN relinquished his lead to form own group exclusively.

CARl'rlR cj CO.

CARTER had developed his arranging talents until a point when he ranked alongside the HENDERSONS and REDMAN: and he took over the lead of the COTTON PICKERS. Earlier on,CARTER had used the nucleus of the group to wax items issued on E.Parlo.. Later this group was a selection of the HENDERSON and the COTTON PICKERS, and CARTER was able to draw on the two. They Included his friend HARRISON, who waxed some of his finest trombone in such as "Six or Seven Times”. The name used 7/as that of the CHOC QUITE DANDIES, and this small group included STEITART, HIGGY, REDMAN, HANKINS, etc. etc. STARK, HORACE HENDERSON, and KLRBY wore In later sides - 1931* The group toured a while in fact, and was revived in 1933 as a mixed group of ’Chicago Stylo* exponents and younger coloured ’New


Yorkers’ including BERRY and HILSON as in ”Once Upon A Time". BAILEY also revived the name about 1937, rising many of the original combinations .

The COTTON PICKERS themselves toured until 1935 v/hen the group seems to have dissolved.


Just as REDMAN was ideally equipped to lead the COTTON PICKERS, it was but a short step to forming his own exclusive line-up in 1931.

In the forefront of arrangers and instrumentalists; his added experience leading the COTTON PICKERS not unnaturally resulted in his own outstanding success. He opened at Connie’s Inn, and included many former F.H. and C.P’s men«, These comprised DAVIS, COLEMAN, ALLEN (tpts), GEO. WASHINGTON, BENNIE MO TEN, FRED ROBINSON (trnbs.)

INGE (reeds) HORACE HENDERSON (piano) and HANZIS JOHNSON (drums)«, The newcomers were COLE and CARROLL (sxs.) with REEVES(banjo) and YSAGUIRE (bass). ’

The wealth of original material in such as his famous"chant Of The Heeds” v/as unfortunately, not followed up. With ideas tota31y different from anything F.E. had used, he digressed to trite and at times ’ham1 Tin Pan Alley churnings. Such analysis may appeal' severe in comparison to the uaterial with which even other groups of the tine surrounded themselves - but the comparison must be, not with what others did but with what ho hinself produced before hand. ,

QUENTIN JACKSON, JONES (trnbs.) CURL and DE PARIS had spells in place of DAVIS, COLEMAN, 'JASHIIIGTON and ROBINSON — all from the COTTON PICKETS; a new horh in SHIRLEY CLAY eventually completing the swreep in the tpt. section.

Sessions were recorded under vocalist HARLAN . LATTIHORE* s name, and many scores also came from the pen of E.H.

Excepting for KIRKPATRICK for H.H. (when ho re—joined brother FLETCHER), and the omission of JONES, the lino-up remained .stable almost up to 1936 when after a spell at the cotton Club, touring followed.

Despite the falling off of the original promise he so indicated, REDMAN’s jovial vocals and personality endeared him to t he Harlem crowds. This together with the unchanged and outstanding musicians it comprised, achieved lor RSD._AN a popular ity rivaling that of HENDERSON* s for a while.

Not until 1936 were the changes of RON. JONES for CURL_ GENE SIMON added on trmbo BOONE for CARROLL, with CLARENCE HOLIDAY (gtr.) fcr