Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden

Another batch from the usual suspects. Come on, every collector makes discoveries! Send ‘em in!


The 78 era ended about 60 years ago, before I got my first jazz record. But discography is still here with us. It is definitely open-ended and new things are found all the time, as you can see in this issue. Keep on digging! 


Data on Art Hodes' first sessions has been added by Björn Englund (Sweden).  Signature 9001 (which is the original issue) has takes 1501-AA/1502-AA. 

Jazz Record 1004 combines JR-103 Washboard Blues with mx JR-104 Eccentric.

Decca session of 19420317: add on Dec (E, export) BM 03428, BM 03452. and correct Br(G) 82509 (no A-prefix, post-war Br(G) issues have no A-prefix).
Black & White sessions of July 1942: add mx nrs: 56-RS She Went And Did Her Dance / 57-RS Sad And Blue / 58-RS Dear Old Southland. Tests exist of two different takes of Eccentric (These 4 B&W titles were auctioned in VJM long ago.)


Deep-digging Ralph Wondraschek (Germany) found the personnel for the Barbary Coast Four's unique OKeh-recording. JR6 suggests Vernon Dalhart and Ed Smalle on kazoo, but the NY Morning Telegraph of 20 November 1925 lists Murray Gold and Irving Mellman (kazoos), Roy King (banjo) and Joe Markese, guitar. New names in JR!


Perry Bradford's Vocalion session of 11 Feb 1925 is infamous for its horrible early-electric sound. A few weeks earlier the two tunes (Lucy Long and I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle) had been recorded by a different Bradford group consisting of 7 men + Bradford, while the remake had one man less, according to the files (JR6 lists 8). Bradford probably used his usual men for the original session but they "were in Europe" so he used Fletcher Henderson's men for the remake (Hendersonia p. 164). The original recording was done acoustically, so omit the E for the matrix numbers. (So who were the men ‘in Europe’? Ed)


Bo Lindquist (Sweden), in co-operation with Han Enderman (Netherlands) produced a magnificent listing of all known OKeh 8000 series issues and their label types, including identification of repressings. There are almost 1000 catalogue numbers. Interestingly one issue in this series remains a mystery. That is Duke Ellington's Black And Tan Fantasy take C, well-known on reissues, e.g. Parlophone. JR6 says it's on OKeh 8521 and 40965. The file card says "use B". Was take 81776-C actually issued on OK?


Han Enderman produced a listing of OKeh personal recordings for Names & Numbers.The list has about 40 issues, including some jazz. OKeh gave the records a customer label and numbered each such label starting from 1 (with one exception, Jaros, see below). Trimp's Ambassador Bellhops is typical: it is labelled OKeh and has the text Ambassador Record 1 in place of the record number. All are rare and several are not in Rust/Laird's OKeh book. Interestingly one of them fills an important gap in the listing of King Oliver's OKehs. That is OKeh Jaros Record 8397, coupled with OKeh Jaros Record 8398. Blanche Jaros was a talented child saxophone player who is accompanied by Hattie and Jerry Jaros. It has matrix numbers 8397 Frolics Of Spring and 8398 Velma (a Rudy Wiedoeft tune). It fills half of the gap between 8391-94 by King Oliver (22 Jun 1923) and 8399-8403 by Erskine Tate and King Oliver (23 Jun 1923). Now what are 8395/6 please? BTW Of course OKeh 8397/8 are in the OKeh race series too (George McClennon & Rev. Gates). 


The exchange and addition of personnel by bands for recording dates was a common method to get a full band together and now presents a puzzle to discographers. Paul Solarski (USA) writes that the 1929 Brunswick recordings in Chicago are typical of this practice. Example: Dan Russo (Brunswick) and Jay Richards band (Vocalion). Sometimes these bands were in the studio on the same day. Clarinet player Fritz Holtz worked with both and arranged and sang vocals. 


Bernhard Behncke (Hamburg) acquired a 2nd copy of Fred Longshaw's Col 14080-D. His first copy had takes 3 on both sides, 1st choices according to the Columbia file cards. His 2nd copy now has 140657-1 for Chili Pepper and 140658-2 for Tomato Sauce. The file cards give these takes a 2nd choice. Both sides were pressed from A 2 stampers and have the same label types, i.e. 12-A (Mahony). Bernhard notes differences in playing and thinks that James P. Johnson's influence is more evident on these alternate takes.


The session of 28 July 1928, maybe Ben Bernie's finest. JR6 lists 3 takes of Ten Little Miles From Town as follows: A-take on Br 4020 (US), the B-take on Br 3882 (UK) and the G-take on Br A-7894. A Retrieval CD claims that it has take B, but it is identical to my Br 4020 US which should be take A. Can someone confirm that the take on Br 3882 differs from Br 4020? Now that we are here: my 2 copies of Br 3145, Bernie's Up And At 'Em, have different takes: the British Cliftophone issue shows mx 18505 and differs from the US issue which shows no mx.


Björn Englund notes that the addenda to ADBORAF (p.4389) includes recordings by Leon Belasco. This should be Lionel Belasco, but since this concerns West-Indian music it should not have been included. Two OKeh titles listed on the same page are not by Belasco but by Ray Miller and Joe Samuels.


Many collectors are familiar with one of Louis Armstrong's greatest records, Static Strut and Stomp Off, Let's Go and most of them are aware of the fact that 2 takes were issued  of the latter side, the take issued on British Oriole 1004 being the rarest of the two. Apparently it almost went unnoticed that this rare take exists on a small number of the British reissue Brunswick 03594, a dub. In VJM #173, Chris Ellis is interviewed and he states that, around 1947, he “bought new over the counter the Erskine Tate Static Strut and Stomp Off Let’s Go”. Then his friend Len bought a copy too and “that’s when we discovered that two takes of Stomp Off Let’s Go had been dubbed on the Brunswick issue. (Your Rambler owns a Decca shellac test of the rare take with mx number XYX1004B, probably dubbed from the Oriole).

  Bernhard Behncke has re-listened to some Armstrongs after he acquired OK 8729 with the non-vocal takes of Some Of These Days and When You're Smiling. This is Carroll Dickerson's band with Homer Hobson as its regular trumpet. Bernhard noted that Hobson is heard behind Armstrong's vocals but not at all in the various non-vocal recordings made by Louis with this band in September and November 1929.


Put And Take by Joe Venuti with Adrian Rollini on Odeon (VJM #178). Björn Englund and Han Enderman answered the question: Od 189635 should be corrected to A189365, the highest number in the Deutsche Bibliothek being A189367 (Armstrong). (A higher number is known: Od A189371 (Cornell / Armstrong). 

Chatterbox Rag on Vike's Special (VJM #181): Björn notes that it should have been catalogue no. 125, not 124 and Vike's, not Vikes's. The label's story was published by Vidar Vanberg in 2007. Nordsk grammofonplatehistorie 18: Vike & Co. 


The good news is that I have a publisher for the biography, the bad news is that there's little time for the discography now. One question: who has a copy of the Cliftophone issue of Br 2543 (Rudy Wiedoeft, The Rosary)? 

Comments (and please refer to the relevant VJM issue!) and new information to me at my new email address - a.vandelden@onsmail.nl Thanks