Recorded in New York 1916-1935

Recorded in New York 1916-1935

by Wilbur Sweatman
     
 
Wilbur Sweatman has often been overlooked or written off in jazz history as a primitive clarinetist who, even with the passing of time, sounded like a vaudevillian. Listeners tend to forget just how far back Sweatman goes, for he was born in 1882 and performing professionally as early as 1895, making him a near-contemporary of Buddy Bolden. Sweatman worked in theater

Overview

Wilbur Sweatman has often been overlooked or written off in jazz history as a primitive clarinetist who, even with the passing of time, sounded like a vaudevillian. Listeners tend to forget just how far back Sweatman goes, for he was born in 1882 and performing professionally as early as 1895, making him a near-contemporary of Buddy Bolden. Sweatman worked in theater orchestras and extensively in vaudeville, learning his craft independent of the New Orleans jazz world. He became famous for playing three clarinets at once although unfortunately, he never recorded that feat. However in December 1916 he recorded two versions apiece of his "Down Home Rag" and "My Hawaiian Sunshine," two months before the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made "Livery Stable Blues," which is considered the first jazz record. Listening to Sweatman's debut (which was preceded by a long-lost 1903 cylinder) makes one wonder a bit, for he sounds as if he is improvising jazz a bit, so perhaps he was really the first to record jazz. Sweatman next recorded with a saxophone quartet in April 1917 (influenced by the Six Brown Brothers) and then made most of his recordings with a rambunctious series of groups during 1918-1920. Those performances, which are mostly all-ensemble, lack any real subtlety although Sweatman does get to show off his technique and some of the tricks that he learned in vaudeville. All of Wilbur Sweatman's recordings are on this two-CD set and they also contain later performances from 1924 (including the first of five versions of Sweatman's "Battleship Kate," which may have Duke Ellington on piano), 1926, 1929, 1930, and four final numbers from 1935. While Wilbur Sweatman would never be considered as important to jazz as such clarinetists as Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds, this two-fer inspires one to re-evaluate his standing in jazz history. He was also one of the first worthwhile jazz bass clarinetists, too.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2005
Label:
Jazz Oracle
UPC:
0620588804625
catalogNumber:
8046
Rank:
138071

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. My Hawaiian Sunshine
  2. My Hawaiian Sunshine
  3. Down Home Rag
  4. Down Home Rag
  5. Dance and Grow Thin
  6. I Wonder Why
  7. Boogie Rag
  8. Joe Turner Blues
  9. A Bag of Rags
  10. Dancing an American Rag
  11. Regretful Blues
  12. Ev'rybody's Crazy 'Bout the Doggone Blues But I'm Happy
  13. Ev'rybody's Crazy 'Bout the Doggone Blues
  14. Regretful Blues
  15. The Darktown Strutters' Ball/I'm Sorry I Made You Cry
  16. Good-Bye Alexander (Goodbye Honey Boy)/Oh! Frenchy
  17. Indianola/Those Draftin' Blues
  18. Oh! You la! La!/I Want Him Back Again
  19. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody
  20. Those Draftin' Blues/Somebody's Done Me Wrong
  21. Has Anybody Seen My Corrine/Down on Bull Frog's Isle/Livery Stable ...
  22. Dallas Blues/At the Funny Page Ball/Lovin' (I Can't Live Without It)
  23. Dallas Blues
  24. Ringtail Blues
  25. Bluin' the Blues
  26. Has Anybody Seen My Corrine?
  27. Ringtail Blues
  28. Rainy Day Blues
  29. Ja-Da! (Ja-Da, Ja-Da, Jing, Jing, Jing)
  30. A Good Man Is Hard to Find/Sweet Child

Disc 2

  1. That's Got 'Em
  2. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
  3. Lonesome Road
  4. Kansas City Blues
  5. Slide, Kelly, Slide
  6. Kansas City Blues
  7. I'll Say She Does (Intro: N'Everything)
  8. Lucille
  9. Hello, Hello!
  10. I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jellyroll/Just Leave It to Me
  11. But/Tiddle-Dee Winks
  12. Think of Me Little Daddy/I'm Going Back to My Used to Be
  13. Battleship Kate
  14. Battleship Kate
  15. It Makes No Difference Now
  16. Get It Now
  17. Poor Papa
  18. Battleship Kate
  19. Sweat Blues
  20. Jim Town Blues
  21. Sweat Blues
  22. Got 'Em Blues
  23. Breakdown Blues
  24. Battleship Kate
  25. Battleship Kate
  26. The Florida Blues
  27. Whatcha Gonna Do
  28. The Hooking Cow Blues

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wilbur Sweatman   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Leader
Arthur Briggs   Trumpet
Duke Ellington   Piano
Walter Gray   Banjo
Jerome Jones   Tuba
Bobby Lee   Piano
Henry "Rubberlegs" Williams   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Nathan Glantz   Violin,C-Melody Saxophone
Ramon Hernandez   Tenor Saxophone
William Hicks   Trumpet
Charlie Gaines   Trumpet
James I. Lent   Drums
John Reeves   Trombone
Percy Green   Alto Saxophone
Bud Aiken   Cornet
Crickett Smith   Trumpet
Henry Bowser   Drums
Dan Parrish   Piano
Frank D. Withers   Trombone
Arthur Reeves   Trombone
Russell Smith Orchestra   Trumpet
Pastor Arthur Gray   Banjolin
George Smith's Orchestra   Violin
Calvin Jones   Trombone

Technical Credits

Jolson   Composer
Perry Bradford   Author
W.C. Handy   Composer
Euday L. Bowman   Composer
Shelton Brooks   Composer
Garvin Bushell   Author
Henry Creamer   Composer
Frank Driggs   Photo Courtesy
Eddie Green   Composer
Turner Layton   Composer
Henry W. Ragas   Composer
Vincent Rose   Composer
Jack King   Art Direction
Victor Arden   Composer
Wilbur Sweatman   Composer
John R.T. Davies   Producer
L. Wolfe Gilbert   Composer
Jeannine Clesi   Composer
Frank Warshauer   Composer
Colin Bray   Producer
Jean Schwartz   Composer
Douglas Williams   Composer
George W. Meyer   Composer
John Wilby   Producer
Mark Berresford   Liner Notes,Photo Courtesy
Billy Rose   Composer
Dave Peyton   Author
Hart A. Wand   Composer
Richard Rudy   Graphic Design

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