Kid Ory & Red Allen
Original Dixieland One-Step * (I wish I was in) Peoria * Careless Love (+++) * High Society * Savoy Blues * Tin Roof Blues *
Muskrat Ramble (+) * Panama Rag * When the Saints go Marching In (+++)
Recorded 22 September 1959 at the Sportpalast in Berlin, Germany
Photo assistance: Dan Vernette, Christer Feller and Frank Hoffman
Mastering and Liner Notes: Bill Bissonnette - t:59.00 - JCCD-3125
Jazz Crusade, 870 High Meadows Road, Concord NC 28025 – U.S.A.
The two sets double Jazz Crusade “A Jazz Concert in Berlin – 1959" album is not only of an historical event, but is of unique significance and value of equating my youth of sixty years ago and still then a teenager to the period of the young musicians in England at the time who were giving noteworthy playing performances of traditional jazz music styles coming out of America played by trombonist Kid Ory, cornetist Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and Hot Seven jazz artists’ members, including several more from New Orleans, naming clarinettist Sidney Bechet as one among them of importance in this field.
What I’ve written above about - is that in what I’ve heard of today’s young musicians taking a liking to, and learning to play jazz music of their choosing, the style of Traditional, Dixieland jazz music as can be heard on this “Kid Ory – Henry ‘Red’ Allen” double album is a classic means and arbutus avenue of encouragement for them to match - go down, get and master.
The businessman that he was, Kid Ory had it in his contract that only one recording of the Berlin concert is made for his own use. Babette, daughter of Kid Ory approached Colin Bray to see if his record label would purchase the rights to her father’s concert in Germany, whereupon of circumstances, he passed the offer to Big Bill Bissonnette, Jazz Crusade owner. The broad story can be read in his liner notes.
Kid Ory (tmb ldr +); Henry ‘Red’ Allen (tpt vcls ++); Bob McCracken (cl); Cedric Haywood (pno);
Squire “Gersh” Girsback (str bs); Alton Redd (drms vcls)
Bill Bailey (+) * St James Infirmary Blues (++) * Wolverine Blues * Sister Kate (+) * Sugar Foot Stomp * Aunt Hagar’s Blues * Kid Ory’s Boogie * At the Jazz Band Ball * Tuxedo Junction * German Banter * Tiger Rag * Without You for an Inspiration
Album number is - JCCD-3126 * Photo assistance, Claes Ringvist (2nd Set) replaces Dan Vernette (1st Set) - time: 60.00.
The Sportpalast, Berlin, concert opens in the 1st Set of the double album on the Original Dixieland One-Step at near breakneck speed, yet I was able to take the dance in on the floor at half the tempo with ease without the need for any cursory steps to be taken in the process, because the beat rhythm was from start to finish of the number absolutely – perfect, magnificent.
Following Peoria the five consecutive numbers come within the top creations in their New Orleans-Dixieland genre of Classic jazz music – named, Careless-Loveless Love Blues, High Society, Savoy Blues, Tin Roof Blues, Muskrat Ramble the latter being composed by Kid Ory – altogether now – one and two – we’re gonna ramble on - sung in mellow voiced, delightfully in rhythmic fashion together with is unsurpassed in the playing craft of Savoy Blues not only for unique tone quality.
The jazz singing of Alton Redd comes over in stirring effect on Careless Love the skills of clarinettist Bob McCracken shine on High Society, and Cedric Haywood on piano is inspiring on Tin Roof Blues all for tasters.
It being a concert (even if I expect a promoting country relationships one) such was the trend that certain songs then were played at a fast tempo as are Bill Bailey, Sugar Foot Stomp (Dipper Mouth Blues), Wolverines with notable Girsback bass break and Tiger Rag a rocket-fired number -:- unlike Sister Kate ---"pretty baby --- she’s just like a little child out to play --- take my advice ---” a tune for song in perhaps Ory style and, to dance to, played wonderfully as if as in dreamland; sheer beauty -:- explosive that can only be listened to - to enjoy mental reward, which incidentally it is not a “Rag” according to Jelly Roll, but is a movement from the French quadrilles.
Several well known trumpeters in those days owed a debt to Henry “Red” Allen whose style was akin to that of Louis Armstrong then, when with the Luis Russell band in having a hit on “Panama” - Russell’s home during the spell when clarinettist Albert Nicholas was with them.
Red Allen then went on to secure a residency in 1954 with his own band at the Metropole in New York developing a wide trumpet range with fascinating timbrel effects making a perfect match with Kid Ory and clarinettist Bob McCracken in this Berlin concert.
Several of the album’s score numbers in this 1959 Berlin concert are in my view masterpieces, inclusive of Aunt Hagar’s Blues to which in announcing it, Kid Ory says he’ll slow down the tempo to 20 miles an hour. Second to an over eight out of this world minutes run on Tin Roof Blues to tremendous applause for Tuxedo Junction that is heard in unison volume for all tunes, there is undoubtedly a sui generic, unparalleled, distinctive trombone note commensurate with the scientific shipping warning sound prior to the invention of the lighthouse that was an aid to warn them of the many shipwrecks lying off the North East coast of Scotland – you name it for all that - for Kid Ory has it in Tuxedo Junction.
With a few beginning measures intros on each instrument of the song, St James Infirmary Blues stretching out progressively with the two main brass protagonists delighting and exciting their Berlinian jazz fans, pianist Cedric Haywood portraying the highest form of musicianship skills, controlled by a delicate, perhaps American made cymbals ringing, and solid innovative Hi Hat time piece movements by drummer Alton Redd, including bassist, Squire “Gersh” Girsback, but leaving him until the next number Wolverine Blues to reveal his showpiece, St James... ended up on the wizardry of clarinettist Bob McCracken taunting all with note stepping attempts of heights, reaching intermittent extends until the leader prompts “make up your mind” whereupon an f# on the top line of the five lined staff above the main stave of the music sheet came over the air on a sustained four bars sound in electrifyingly perfect pitch causing a delightful, outstanding applause from their concert goers - sensational.
Yes – It was – but not as expressed an alone one within the Sets. The three half-minute humorous words spoken by the German announcer, each overwhelmingly supported for a revisit from German Banter fans - allows me compare.
This year 272k tickets were sold for the United Kingdom’s five venues last night at the Proms BBC TV event this August 2007 within the packed full Albert Hall, London event, showing that the velocity of the applause of the crowd there at the Hall did not match that of the size of it as heard on this recording in the Berlin, Sportpalast. Yes, it can be matched one way or the other as done – listen - try it at your chance to so do.
Without you for an Inspiration the finalé tune - feels like as if it was the Kid Ory signature tune. I’m Shy Mary Ellen I’m Shy, that's how it sounded like to me, is a wonderful emotional ending to an enterprising eventful super Berlin jazz concert - truly inspiring, Big Bill - yes.