Error occurred while rendering Product Content.


Recorded in New York 1916-1935

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

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews