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George McClennon/Wilton Crawley
     

George McClennon/Wilton Crawley

by George McClennon
 
The adopted son of comedian Bert Williams, novelty clarinetist George McClennon performed in blackface, hopping around like a clown while coaxing unusual noises out of his instrument. Felled by tuberculosis in 1937, McClennon was a direct exponent of the vaudeville environment where he began working in 1910. In 2001, Jazz Oracle released

Overview

The adopted son of comedian Bert Williams, novelty clarinetist George McClennon performed in blackface, hopping around like a clown while coaxing unusual noises out of his instrument. Felled by tuberculosis in 1937, McClennon was a direct exponent of the vaudeville environment where he began working in 1910. In 2001, Jazz Oracle released an unprecedented full-length CD devoted to this all-but-forgotten individual. Two-dozen Okeh recordings made during the years 1923-1926 were originally issued as by the Harlem Trio (with pianist Eddie Heywood, Sr. and an unidentified banjoist) or George McClennon's Jazz Devils, usually anchored by pianist Clarence Williams and banjoist Buddy Christian. "Cut Throat Blues" and "Larkin Street Blues" are duets with Heywood. "Box of Blues" and "Dark Alley Blues" feature strong support from cornetist Tom Morris, trombonist Charlie Irvis, and alto saxophonist Bob Fuller. The man heard blowing through a flügelhorn on "New Orleans Wiggle" and "Michigan Water Blues" was John Lindsay, who also played trombone but is mainly remembered as a superb string bassist during the '30s and early 40s. The only recordings involving McClennon which do not show up in this set are two sides recorded for Pathe in August, 1926 by Buddy Christian's Jazz Rippers. In their place, the producers at Jazz Oracle chose to insert a pair of Victor recordings from June, 1930 by Wilton Crawley & the Washboard Rhythm Kings. Crawley, who shared McClennon's knack for combining contortionism with gas pipe clarinet technique, was a logical choice for inclusion here. What makes "New Crawley Blues" and "She Saves Her Sweetest Smiles for Me" really special are the participation of several outstanding jazz musicians, including trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen, guitarist Teddy Bunn, bassist Pops Foster, and pianist Jelly Roll Morton.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/07/2001
Label:
Jazz Oracle
UPC:
0620588802225
catalogNumber:
8022
Rank:
131909

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George McClennon   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Percussion,Bass Clarinet
Jelly Roll Morton   Piano
Teddy Bunn   Guitar
Buddy Christian   Banjo
Pops Foster   Bowed Bass
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Charlie Holmes   Alto Saxophone
Charlie Irvis   Trombone
John Lindsay   Trombone
Clarence Williams   Piano
Wilton Crawley   Clarinet
Tom Morris   Cornet
Bruce Johnson   Washboard

Technical Credits

Fats Waller   Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Jack King   Graphic Design
Wilton Crawley   Composer
John R.T. Davies   Producer
Edgar Dowell   Composer
Colin Bray   Producer
George McClennon   Composer
John Wilby   Producer

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