Those Moaning Saxophones

Those Moaning Saxophones

by Six Brown Brothers
     
 
Coleman Hawkins was the first major jazz saxophonist, debuting on records in 1921 and really coming into his own with his solo on "The Stampede" in 1925. The World Saxophone Quartet, the first important a cappella saxophone section in jazz, was founded in 1976. However, the Six Brown Brothers predated both Hawkins and the WSQ, making musical history that until 2004

Overview

Coleman Hawkins was the first major jazz saxophonist, debuting on records in 1921 and really coming into his own with his solo on "The Stampede" in 1925. The World Saxophone Quartet, the first important a cappella saxophone section in jazz, was founded in 1976. However, the Six Brown Brothers predated both Hawkins and the WSQ, making musical history that until 2004 had not been available on CD. Other than a saxophone quartet taken from John Philip Sousa's band that recorded "Annie Laurie" in the late 1890s, the Six Brown Brothers were the first band of its type, recording during 1911-1920. Altoist Tom Brown bought his first saxophone in 1904 and within two years was fronting a saxophone quartet for Ringling Brothers' circus. By 1906 he was leading his group for the circus in the summer and during the off season in the winter on vaudeville. As the Brown Brothers' Saxophone Quintette (with just five saxes), the ensemble recorded three cylinders and two songs for a "78" in 1911. The latter two numbers open up this CD. Although a copycat group re-recorded the two songs less than a year later (with the same arrangement), the next time Tom Brown appeared on record was with the full Six Brown Brothers in 1914. By then they were a hit on vaudeville, combining together music with comedy, and were performing in the show "Chin Chin" as a clown band. Those Moaning Saxophones has roughly half of the recordings of the Six Brown Brothers. Most of the time the personnel actually has five of the Brown Brothers (Percy, who left the group in 1911, died in the influenza epidemic of 1918) plus Harry Fink, who used the name of Harry Brown. The band consisted of two altos, two tenors, a baritone, and a bass sax, with soprano not being used until 1920. Although the musicians played arrangements and did not improvise, their performances are influenced by ragtime and include such numbers as "American Patrol," "That Moaning Saxophone Rag," "Bull Frog Blues," "Walkin' the Dog," "The Darktown Strutters' Ball," and "Jazz Band Blues." Along the way there are a few satires of classical music, several medleys, and some fairly straight (but always colorful) dance music. The final three selections on this CD were previously unreleased, believed to be soundtracks from otherwise lost film shorts, including one from 1927. Although the Six Brown Brothers did not make any records after 1920, they continued playing (with gradually decreasing success) until they broke up in 1933. Except among "78" collectors, they have been largely unheard and forgotten since that time, but now at last there is a full CD of their unique and eerie music, filling an important gap in music history. This unusual and definitive CD from Archeophone (the most important label involved in reissuing pre-1920 music) also has very informative liner notes. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/27/2004
Label:
Archeophone Records
UPC:
0777215105515
catalogNumber:
6002
Rank:
104062

Tracks

  1. The Bull Frog and the Coon Medley: Chicken (Reel)/Cubanola Glide/When ...
  2. American Patrol
  3. That Moaning Saxophone Rag
  4. Chicken Reel Comedy Medley: Poet and Peasant/Chicken Reel/Virginia Lee
  5. Chin Chin Medley : Pretty Baby/Chin-Chin Open Your Heart ...
  6. Bull Frog Blues
  7. Chicken Walk
  8. Walkin' the Dog
  9. Passion Dance (La Danza Appassionata)
  10. Saxophone Sam
  11. My Fox Trot Girl
  12. Ghost of the Saxophone
  13. The Darktown Strutters' Ball
  14. Smiles and Chuckes
  15. For Me and My Gal Medley
  16. Peter Gink
  17. Egyptland
  18. I'll Say She Does (Medley): Smiles/I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles [Fox Tro
  19. Missouri Blues
  20. Jazz Band Blues
  21. Rainbow of My Dreams (Medley): Norse Maid
  22. Top Top Medley
  23. If a Wish Could Make It So Medley : Tickle Me
  24. Shivaree
  25. Rosy Cheeks
  26. Yankee Rose/In a Little Spanish Town/The Bull Frog and the Coon/Yankee

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Six Brown Brothers   Primary Artist
Alec Brown   Baritone Saxophone
Vern Brown   Bass Saxophone
Tom Brown   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
William Brown   Tenor Saxophone
Fred Brown   Alto Saxophone
Matthew Amaturo   Bass Saxophone

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Jolson   Composer
Tom Brown   Composer
Shelton Brooks   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Guy Shrigley   Composer
Bruce Vermazen   Liner Notes
Herbert Stothart   Composer
Paul Biese   Composer
Walter Hirsch   Composer
Egbert VanAlstyne   Composer
Arthur Terker   Composer
Seymour Brown   Composer
George L. Cobb   Composer
Mabel Wayne   Composer
Jean Kenbrovin   Composer
Meagan Hennessey   Producer
F. Henri Klickmann   Composer
Harry Cook   Composer
Frank W. Meacham   Composer
James White   Composer

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