Sunday, November 02, 2008


I heard quite a bit of Dixieland when I was growing up, mostly on my father's scratchy records. He often surprised me with how much he knew about the music and the players.

I remember when my parents went to Hawaii. They returned after their vacation talking about the places they saw and the people and the food and all their experiences there, but the one thing my father seemed most excited about was meeting Trummy Young. Somewhere or other in their travels, they stopped to listen to a jazz band playing and my father recognized Trummy Young. Young was a jazz trombonist who played with Louis Armstrong for several years in the 50s. I don't know if my dad recognized his face or his sound. I wouldn't be surpised if he recognized the sound though, as he had a knack for identifying horn players on recordings he wasn't familiar with. He had a chance to chat with Mr. Young for a while and he was really pretty excited about it.

My dad loved to meet jazz players. He used to tell me about going to the Colonial Tavern on Yonge St. here in Toronto to see the jazz greats. Now this always surprised me because the Colonial was a strip bar through the whole time I can remember it being there. He used to tell me about the time he met Wingy Manone. What a great name. He was called Wingy because he was a one-armed trumpet player. Here's one of Mr. Manone's tunes, Ochi Chornya, from 1938. Keep in mind that my dad never let facts get in the way of a good story, so this one may have been adjusted a little over the years. He told me bought a drink for Mr. Manone while he was playing at the Colonial, and brought it up to the bandstand. Mr. Manone stopped playing, picked up the drink, and said to the band, "take it away boys, I've got a sponsor", and went to join my dad at his table, where they chatted about jazz for several minutes before Wingy went back onstage to finish up the tune.

Another player my father really admired was Kid Ory Here's an interview with Mr. Ory.

My father also really liked blues shouters like "Mr. 5X5", Jimmy Rushing, who sang for Count Basie for a while. He really liked a recording put together by John Hammond with Rushing fronting a smaller band. Here's Mr. Rushing doing a solo piece, Good Morning Blues. I didn't know until I found this clip that Mr. 5X5 was a piano player. Here he is with the Basie Band. I really like the texture of Mr. Rushing's voice...and then in comes Basie's lovely plunkety piano solo-very sweet, very sweet.

I haven't really explored the world of music my father cut his teeth on, more than the familiarity that comes with hearing those old records around the house. When I hear those players, I'm reminded of my father and his life-long love of all kinds of music and expecially what he called "those jazz chestnuts".


sp said...

Thank you for this post! I absolutely love Dixieland and I never take the time to search you tube or anywhere else for the music so thank you for this.

mister anchovy said...

Glad you enjoyed this post. cheers!

Anonymous said...

Great music. I totally think the meeting went down like "Crry on boys, I've found a sponsor" There just seems or feels some natural truth. Or is it like Stephen Colbetsays "truthiness"? I like the play on words because "sponsor" makes a small eference to AA when a newbie has a sponsor, so it's quite a sophisitcated little ditty of a story!