Collector’s Corner (Free MP3 Downloads):
Some June – July 2019 Finds
Some nice jazz additions to the collection in the past month or so, starting off with two sides that allegedly include Glenn Miller on trombone, although the sources of those claims are sketchy at best. Brian Rust and others have made that attribution, with no sources cited, as usual (and if you believe everything you read in Rust and the various Jazz Records clones, let’s talk about a big bridge in Brooklyn on which we can make you a terrific deal).
The Miller attribution on the Mendello side has also been made by a descendant. Granted, family tales are sometimes embroidered, but it adds perhaps a bit more credibility to the claim. If anyone has credible, verifiable documentary proof that Miller is on either of these records — not “I hear Glenn” or “so-and-so remembers” — please send us a scan of the document, and a note telling us where you found it, so that Miller can finally be properly credited. It’s good trombone work, for sure.
JAMES G. G. MENDELLO & HIS FIVE GEE GEE’S
(as DIXIE JAZZ BAND): High Hattin’ Hattie (E-)
New York: August 15, 1928
Oriole 1363 (mx. 8150 -1 / Plaza control 1804 – 1)
Vocal by Jack Kaufman, as Dick Holmes. Personnel listed in Rust’s Jazz Records and derivative works are apparently speculative (no source cited; not Plaza-ARC file data).
The Five Gee Gee’s appear to have been purely a studio pick-up group; no reliable report of the band performing in public has been found so far. All of the titles they recorded are what the recording industry used to call “dogs” — those “B”-side fillers that hack songwriters peddled to the record companies for a modest flat fee, no royalties required. Mendello was primarily a New York theater-band trumpeter who also recorded with Gus Haenschen’s “Carl Fenton” Orchestra for Brunswick (per the Paterson [New Jersey] Evening News, April 14, 1927) and reportedly directed one of the Ben Bernie orchestras (Paterson Morning Call, June 13, 1931). He died on June 12, 1931, at the age of twenty-eight.
THE COTTON PICKERS: Kansas City Kitty (EE-)
New York: March 27, 1929
Brunswick 4325 (mx. E 29525 -)
Personnel listed in Rust’s Jazz Records and derivative works are apparently speculative (no source cited; not Brunswick file data). The selected take is not indicated in the pressing, nor in the Brunswick files; two takes were made.
FLETCHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Sensation (E)
New York: March 19, 1927
Brunswick 3521 (mx. E 22029)
EARL HINES & HIS ORCHESTRA: Grand Piano Blues
(E- to V++, with label damage)
Chicago: October 25, 1929
Victor V-38096 (mx. BVE 57322 – 2)
This master was later dubbed for reissue on Bluebird and British H.M.V., being stripped of much of its bass in the process. The inferior dubbed version was also used on RCA’s various LP reissues.
LUIS RUSSELL’S ORCHESTRA (as RED ALLEN & HIS ORCHESTRA): Funny Feathers Blues (E)
New York: September 24, 1929
Bluebird B-6588 (mx. BVE 55853- 2)
Vocal by Victoria Spivey. Henry (Red) Allen, director, per the Victor files. October 1936 original-stamper reissue of Victor V-38088.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG & HIS SEBASTIAN NEW COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA: You’re Driving Me Crazy! (What Did I Do?) (E-)
Los Angeles: December 23, 1930
Okeh 41478 (mx. W 404418 – B)
Vocal by Louis Armstrong; opening dialogue by Armstrong and Lionel Hampton.