San Francisco Jazz 1930-1932: The Flexo Recordings

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
In 1992, the Harlequin historical reissue label released a 23-track collection of rare classic jazz and hot dance records made in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area during the lean years 1930-1932. Largely due to the lack of participation by major labels, Californian jazz recordings from this period are relatively rare and have always received less recognition than the music that came together in cities east of the Mississippi. The recordings gathered onto this disc (which is an expanded edition of an LP bearing the same title and released by Echo records in Berkeley) are all the more uncommon for having originally appeared on Flexo unbreakable records, a product ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
In 1992, the Harlequin historical reissue label released a 23-track collection of rare classic jazz and hot dance records made in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area during the lean years 1930-1932. Largely due to the lack of participation by major labels, Californian jazz recordings from this period are relatively rare and have always received less recognition than the music that came together in cities east of the Mississippi. The recordings gathered onto this disc (which is an expanded edition of an LP bearing the same title and released by Echo records in Berkeley) are all the more uncommon for having originally appeared on Flexo unbreakable records, a product of the Pacific Coast Record Corporation and the invention of Jessie J. Warner, a recording engineer from Kansas City, MO. In addition to being unusually resilient, Flexo records were almost wickedly variable in their every physical aspect. A Flexo record might measure anywhere from 3 to 16 inches in diameter. Its grooves might be set to play from the outside in or from the inside out, at either 78 or 33 & 1/3 revolutions per minute (sometimes two different speeds on flip sides of the same record) and the disc might be colored black, red, yellow, blue, green, orange, salmon, or pink. Flexo advertising copy makes ridiculously exaggerated claims not unlike those that would eventually circulate with the introduction of the compact disc during the early '80s: "The new Flexo Records have been put to the most trying and extraordinary tests. They have been thrown in the streets, run over by automobiles and trucks for hours at a time; they have been laid out under the burning rays of a hot summer sun without materially affecting their rendition qualities. They will wear almost indefinitely and are a permanent and lasting record." What is verifiable is the fact that the Flexos reproduced here generally seem to document better, jazzier, and in some cases more exciting music than much of what was being waxed by the competition, i.e. Durium's Hit of the Week flexi-disc series. Flexo's roster of talent (as reissued by Harlequin) includes trombonist George "Drux" Druck's (aka Drux) Sweet's Ballroom Orchestra; the Flexo Recording Orchestra under the leadership of either saxophonist Lew Reynolds or drummer Goodwyn Goldie, and pianist Jack Coakley's Tait's at the Beach Orchestra. Track 23 makes available to the world a fabulous 33 & 1/3 rpm blank label. unissued test pressing containing in its grooves a solid nine-and-a-half minute medley of hot jazz favorites (beginning with a swell version of Luis Russell and Paul Barbarin's "Call of the Freaks") performed by an unknown band that probably included several members of Faye Elliot's New Yorkers. The only positively identified individual is drummer Paul Slobody, whose surname is the Slovakian word for "freedom."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/14/1994
  • Label: Harlequin Records
  • UPC: 008637202521
  • Catalog Number: 25
  • Sales rank: 184,871

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Happy Days Are Here Again - Jack Coakley (1:16)
  2. 2 Wabash Blues - Jack Coakley (3:26)
  3. 3 Walking My Baby Back Home - Jack Coakley (2:32)
  4. 4 Cheer Up - Jack Coakley (2:53)
  5. 5 My Future Just Passed - Jack Coakley (3:21)
  6. 6 Headin' for Better Times (2:45)
  7. 7 You're the One I Care For (2:35)
  8. 8 At Last I'm Happy (2:41)
  9. 9 Smile When the Raindrops Fall (2:28)
  10. 10 I'm No Account Any More (2:47)
  11. 11 My Baby Just Cares for Me - Tom Smith (2:15)
  12. 12 Come Easy Go Easy Love - Fay Elliot (2:55)
  13. 13 Tiger Rag - George Druck (2:57)
  14. 14 Jazz Me Blues (3:00)
  15. 15 Oh My Love (3:07)
  16. 16 What a Fool I've Been (2:31)
  17. 17 You Don't Need Glasses (2:07)
  18. 18 We're Friends Again (2:36)
  19. 19 You're Driving Me Crazy (2:31)
  20. 20 Ho Hum (2:41)
  21. 21 Ya Got Love - Goodwin Goldie (2:32)
  22. 22 By a Lazy Country Lane - Goodwin Goldie (2:53)
  23. 23 Medley: Call of the Freaks/Darktown Strutter's Ball/Nobody's ... (9:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Richard Nelson Alto Saxophone
George Roberts Banjo, Guitar
Tom Smith Guitar, Vocals
Dick Miller Drums
Jack Dean Vocals
Lew Reynolds Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Track Performer
Jimmy Bret Alto Saxophone
Rudolph Dailey Trombone
Cy Eynon Alto Saxophone
Harry Fish Saxophone
Wayne Haney Piano
Larry Kohler Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Paul Slobody Drums, Vocals
Al Zohn Trumpet
Izzy Zohn Trumpet
Charlie Sirard Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Bill Starkey Saxophone
Dudd Williamson Ukulele, Vocals, Track Performer
Bill Snow Mellophonium
Dick Warfield Bass
Tom L. Smith Guitar, Vocals
Bob Logan Guitar
Jack Coakley Piano
Jack Harris Drums
Technical Credits
Nick LaRocca Composer
Milton Ager Composer
Fred E. Ahlert Composer
Walter Donaldson Composer
Henry W. Ragas Composer
Larry Shields Composer
Chris Strachwitz Remastering
Roy Turk Composer
Terry Zwigoff Liner Notes
Charlie Crump Remastering
Dave Ringle Composer
Fred Meinken Composer
Antonio Sbarbaro Composer
Edwin Edwards Composer
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