Friday, May 2, 2014

Jazzcast Summer Series: Episode #9 with Dr. (James) Matt Whitfield

Fess Williams

mp3 audio | ogg audio | torrent

So, this is a long-time coming. There was a high-pitch noise that was in some of the recordings I did last summer with Ryno. I haven't been working on getting that out for the last nine months, but it did take some time. Better late than never, and since we are trying to figure out what to do with our standard music show, I thought this was a perfect Friday to release this show!

Also, I missed an obvious chance to say "That's cool, Daddio!"

More show notes after the fold.

All the tracks today are under public domain.

Was the jazz guy by default. A few years ago he gave it to someone else.

1) Wolverine Blues, Jelly Roll Morton
It's not really blues! For marketing sake, record companies

Originally called "The Wolverine"

Johnny Dots is playing

claims to have invented jazz in 1902.

Dr. Whitfield plays the clarinet. It's in a few different tracks!
Clarinet was the predecessor to the saxophone in Dixieland in particular.
Saxophone came around with big bands.

early jazz used cornets, not trumpets.
In mid-20s there was a shift to use trumpets.

Recording might have had something to do with it.

2) Stack O' Lee Blues, Ma Rainey
This one is vocal blues. Ma was the mother of the blues.
W.C. Handy was the father of the blues.
Came from the field hollars from the slaves.
Usually fairly slow.
Very often a 12-bar pattern.
There was a murder in 1905.
Lots of songs and version about this guy. 100s of artists have adapted the songs...changed the tune, lyrics or slant.

Louie Armstrong is playing trumpet on this track.

Ma has changed it so that she is the woman.

Bessy Smith was another one, but came a little later.
Ella Fitzgerald is more modern.

78 RPM record would only hold 3 minutes of material.
1948 is when LP came out: 33 RPM. multiple tracks on one side!

practice makes perfect. You had to get it all in one take!
improvisation originally, but not on recording! 
are there people lost to history.
some performers: 

classics make it more difficult!

3) Dippermouth Blues--King Joe Oliver/Louie Armstrong
Started off with a trumpet.  <-- or was that cornet...I need to check.
Original Dippermouth had cornet. 

Lil Hardin became Louie Armstrong's wife.

Banjo picked up better on recordings.
Didn't use upright base.
Drum set didn't pick up real well, so used woodblock.
Trombone slide in these is called "tail gate"

Creole Jazz Band...but none of them were creole.
12-bar blues again, but choruses in some of their stuff.
Improvisation was also important in their stuff.

Accompaniment did some stop time stuff just for variety.

King Oliver played with a plunger mute.

Blues is hard to can be any tempo.

4) Livery Stable Blues--Fox Trot, Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Foxtrot was a new dance.
Record companies saw dollar signs!

This was the first jazz recording...but not the first jazz composition!
Jelly Roll Morton is known for embellishment.

Touring, so made it hard to copy, unless recorded.

Dixieland and jazz were not use in New Orleans until 1915 or so.
Jazz may have come from the west coast.
recorded in New York City! (reminds me of Pace commercial)
First pop record to sell over 1.5 million records.
Original Dixieland Jazz Band played for King George V
spread to Europe like wildfire (Paris, especially)
It wasn't a "race record."

Rock 'n' Roll was jazz all over again.

5) Hot Mama--Fess Williams (and his Royal Flush Orchestra)
Fess is from Danville, KY.
a lot of jazz guys had training.
House band for a place in Harlem.
Lindy Hop and Jitterbug started there. 
flutter tonguing, slap tonguing
This band is not just 5, but not quite big band. 11-12 people in this band
This also says foxtrot!
32-bar song form: 8-8-8-8. Really common in popular songs: Gerswin, Porter, etc.
shows the roots of jazz and the progression. Maybe a little lesser known.