Harlem Big Bands

Harlem Big Bands

     
 

OK, try and ignore the weird cartoon album cover, and focus on the musical contents of Harlem Big Bands, a 24-track compilation released by the Timeless label in 1998. Rather than trundling out the usual spread of oft-reissued recordings by well-known ensembles, the producers of this package chose to zero in on five bands that rarely receive the kind of…  See more details below

Overview

OK, try and ignore the weird cartoon album cover, and focus on the musical contents of Harlem Big Bands, a 24-track compilation released by the Timeless label in 1998. Rather than trundling out the usual spread of oft-reissued recordings by well-known ensembles, the producers of this package chose to zero in on five bands that rarely receive the kind of recognition they deserve. That even goes for Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra, which according to Billie Holiday, was a highly regarded band in its day, before being eclipsed by Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Orchestra. What you get here are all of the master takes from each of Johnson's recording dates, first for Emerson in February 1925 and then for Victor at four different sessions in 1927, 1928, and 1929. At various points, Johnson's ensemble had Jabbo Smith, Tom Morris, and Sidney De Paris in the trumpet section, as well as trombonists Charlie Irvis and Jimmy Hamilton, and reedmen Benny Carter and Edgar Sampson. The vocalist heard on some of Johnson's records was Monette Moore, who hailed from Gainesville, TX. Tracks 12-19 were waxed for Victor in 1927 and 1929 by two different bands under the leadership of the brothers Scott, who began their careers in their hometown of Springfield, OH. Cecil Scott, who called his group the Bright Boys, was proficient on multiple reed instruments, and Lloyd Scott was a drummer. The common denominator in the Scott-led bands was Tennessean trombonist Dicky Wells; other noteworthy participants were trumpeters Bill Coleman and Frank Newton. Tracks 20-23 were recorded for Victor in August 1931 by an 11-piece orchestra led by Panamanian pianist Luis Russell. This ensemble, which served as Louis Armstrong's backing band, featured (in addition to Wells, who was destined to achieve lasting fame as a member of the Count Basie Orchestra) numerous natives of New Orleans, including trumpeter Henry Red Allen, clarinetist Albert Nicholas, bassist Pops Foster, and drummer Paul Barbarin. The vocal on "You Rascal You" is by Red Allen; the pop singer on "Goin' to Town" and "Say the Word" is Chick Bullock. This highly rewarding album of vintage Harlem jazz closes with a rare 1927 Gennett recording by Andy Preer & the Cotton Club Orchestra. Not to be confused with Duke Ellington's similarly named ensemble, Preer's group (which was also billed on Kildare records as the Harlequinaders) included trumpeter Lammar Wright (who had played cornet with Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra in 1926); trombonist De Priest Wheeler, and saxophonist Walter Thomas. By 1930, all three of these men would be working in a band initially known as the Missourians and subsequently yoked into service as the Cab Calloway Orchestra.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/1998
Label:
Timeless Holland
UPC:
8711458201032
catalogNumber:
10

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Henry "Red" Allen   Trumpet,Vocals
Paul Barbarin   Drums,Vibes
Bill Coleman   Trumpet
Sidney DeParis   Trumpet
Albert Nicholas   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Luis Russell   Piano
Jabbo Smith   Cornet
Charlie Johnson   Piano
Frankie Newton   Trumpet,Vocals
Edgar Sampson   Clarinet,Violin,Alto Saxophone
Gus Aiken   Trumpet
Fletcher Allen   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Benny Carter   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Leonard Davis   Trumpet,Cornet
R.Q. Dickerson   Trumpet
Pops Foster   Bass
Don Frye   Piano
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Charlie Irvis   Trombone
Leroy Maxey   Drums
Monette Moore   Vocals
Earres Prince   Piano
Kenneth Roane   Trumpet
Cecil Scott   Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
George Scott   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Smith   Double Bass
Cyrus St. Clair   Double Bass
George Stafford   Drums
Greely Walton   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Waters   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Dicky Wells   Trombone
Priest Wheeler   Trombone
Lammar Wright   Trumpet
Chick Bullock   Vocals
Will Johnson   Guitar
George Stevenson   Trombone
Mack Walker   Double Bass
Andrew Brown   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Davey Jones   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Charlie Johnson's Paradise Band   Track Performer
Luis Russell & His Orchestra   Track Performer
John Williams   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Billy Taylor   Double Bass
Hubert Mann   Banjo
Lloyd Scott   Drums
Robert Cheek   Trumpet
Alec Alexander   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Charlie Johnson & His Orchestra   Track Performer
Charlie Johnson & His Paradise Band   Track Performer
Andy Preer & the Cotton Club Orchestra   Track Performer
Bobby Johnson   Banjo
Ben Whittet   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Elmer Harrell   Clarinet,Violin,Tenor Saxophone
Cotton Club Orchestra   Track Performer
Tom Morris   Cornet
Chester Campbell   Double Bass
Gus McClung   Trumpet
Charley Stamps   Banjo
Henry Jones   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Chris Barber   Executive Producer
Luis Russell   Director
Charlie Johnson   Director
Benny Carter   Arranger
Chris Ellis   Original Material
Don Frye   Arranger
Richard Hadlock   Liner Notes
Kenneth Roane   Arranger
Benny Waters   Arranger,Composer
Wim Wigt   Executive Producer
Brian Rust   Original Material
John R.T. Davies   Original Material
Lloyd Scott   Director
Andy Preer   Director

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