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THE Blues / New Orleans Style


Jazz Archives #100(12”) 

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The Blues (Vol.3)

  1. MA RAINEY : Titanic Man Blues (2:43)

  2. BESSIE SMITH : St. Louis Blues (3:38)

  3. IDA COX : I’ve Got the Blues for Rampart Street (2:46)

  4. CHIPPIE HILL : Around the Clock Blues (3:06)

  5. BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON : Risin’ High Water (2:27)

  6. BIG BILL BROONZY : Big Bill Blues (2:59)

New Orleans Style (Vol.4)

  1. KING OLIVER ‘S Creole Jazz Band : Froggie Moore (3:04)

  2. JELLY ROLL MORTON : The Pearls (3:12)

  3. JELLY ROLL MORTON : Big Foot Ham (2:49)

  4. NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM KINGS : Livery Stable Blues (2:34)

  5. ORIGINAL MEMPHIS MELODY BOYS : Blue Grass Blues (2:52)

  6. RED ONION JAZZ BABIES : Cake Walking Babies from Home (3:23)

   That portion of the vast body of jazz that can properly be designated as “classic” makes up a rich and glorious musical heritage. It stretches over many years and much geography: from the work songs and Negro church music that preceded jazz; through ragtime and the early blues; through the great formative years of New Orleans jazz and the “Golden Age” of jazz in Chicago; embracing elements as diverse as barrelhouse “boogie woogie” piano and the music of the white Chicagoans; on through the romping rent-party piano men of Harlem; the birth of big-band jazz; up to present-day Dixieland and the “revivalists” who re-create and adapt the earlier styles.

   All of this is copiously represented on records – but in many cases on records that have long been obscure, virtually unobtainalbe rareties. Riverside has, through its: Jazz Archives” series of reissues, made available much of this great traditional jazz. The History of Classic Jazz is in a sense the culmination of this unparalleled reissue program, using outstanding examples of the work of the greats (Louis, Basie, Bix, Fats, Jelly Roll and many others) and of numerous less famous but highly significant figures to build a vital panorama that reaches from pre-jazz to the present.

   Each of the five LPs that make up the History is complete in itself, containing two unified “volumes.” But those who find this album a valuable and enjoyable listening experience will surely want to include in their jazz libraries its four companion LPs –

Backgrounds / Ragtime (Vols, 1 & 2): Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, etc. (RLP 12-112)

Boogie Woogie / south Side Chicago (vols. 5 & 6): Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis, Johnny Dodds, Freddie Keppard, etc. (RLP 12-114)

Chicago Style / Harlem (vols. 7 & 8): Bix Beiderbecke, Muggsy Spanier, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, duke Ellington etc. (RLP 12-115)

New York Style / New Orleans Revival (vols. 9 & 10): Red Nichols, Bunk Johnson, Kid Ory, George Lewis, Lu Watters, ets. (RLP 12-116)

*The original edition of the History of Classic Jazz is still available as a single complete five-LP unit, in a seled, deluxe album package – Riverside SPD-11 – which also contains jazz histoiran Charles Edward Smith’s 20,000-word essay; “An Introduction to Classic Jazz.”)

The Blues:

   MA RAINEY: Titanic Man Blues. Vocal accompanied by “The Georgia Jazz Band”: Joe Smith (tp) Charlie Green (tb) Buster Bailey (cl) Fletcher Henderson (p) Charlie Dixon (bj) Chicago; August, 1926 (Paramount 12374; master number 2371).

The unsurpassed, deeply emotional voice of a comparatively neglected jazz immortal, the first of the great classic blues singers. Ma is backed by a Fletcher Henderson unit that features the rich, firm horn of Joe Smith.

   BESSIE SMITH: St. Louis Blues. Vocal, accompanied by James P. Johnson (p) the Hall Johnson Choir; and members of the Fletcher Henderson Orch. Probably New York; 1929. “Empress of the Blues” was no more than a fair description of Ma Rainey’s celebrated protégé, heard here in a version of the most famous of blues songs, specially edited from the sound track of a movie short.

   IDA COX: I’ve Got the Blues for Rampart Street. Vocal accompanied by Tommy Ladnier (cnt) Jimmy O’Bryant (cl) Lovie Austin (p) Chicago; Summer 1923 (Paramount 12063; master number 1509) Not as powerful as Ma or Bessie, but their equal in emotional impact and ability to convey the folk-poetry of the blues, Ida was particularly effective when backed by the warmly lyric tones of New Orleans-born Tommy Ladnier.

   CHIPPIE HILL: Around the Clock Blues. Vocal accompanied by Lee Collins (tp) Lovie Austin (p) John Lindsay (b) Baby Dodds (drs) Chicago; February 5, 1946 (Circle J1013; master number C-7) The comeback of an early blues star, excitingly recreating (with thoroughly authentic support) the sound of the era in which she played a leading role.

   BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: Risin’ High Water. Vocal, accompanied by George Perkins (p) Chicago; 1927 (Para 12487; mx. No. 4491) The harsh but highly moving voice of probably the greatest of early male blues singers. Now almost entirely forgotten – except as the man who taught Leadbelly and Josh White – Jefferson was extremely popular with “race” record-buyer of the 1920s, and was a folk-artist of rare talent.

   BIG BILL BROONZY : Big Bill Blues.  Vocal, self-accompanied on guitar

Richmond, Ind.; Feb1932 (Champion 16400; mx. No. GEN 18385) Transition from Lemon’s “country” style towards more sophisticated “urban” blues is represented in the rocking rhythms of Big Bill. (this selection was originally released as by “Big Bill Johnson.”)

New Orleans Style:

   KING OLIVER’S CREOLE JAZZ BAND: Froggie Moore. King Oliver, Louis Armstrong (cnt) Honore Sutrey (tb) Johnny Dodds (cl) Lil Hardin Armstrong (p) Bill Johnson (b) Baby Dodds (drs) Richmond, Indiana; April 6, 1923 (Gennett 5135; mx. No. 11390) Early New Orleans style has been preserved for us largely through Northern-made discs (the actual Storyville era of New Orleans, of course, preceded jazz recording activity). This band, featuring such greats as Joe Oliver, Louis Armstrong and Johnny Dodds, and standing as perhaps the finest of all traditional-style groups, was formed and flourished in Chicago in the early ‘20s.

   JELLY ROLL MORTON : The Peals. Piano solo Richmond; July 18, 1923 (Gennett 5323; mx. No. 11547)

   JELLY ROLL MORTON’S STOMP KINGS: Big Foot Ham. Probably Natty Dominique (cnt) Roy Palmer (tb) Townes (cl,as) jelly Roll Morton (p) Jasper Taylor (drs) Chicago; 1923 (Para 12050; mx. No. 1434) A flamboyant genius, Morton may not have exactly “invented” jazz (as he once claimed). But as composer, arranger, pianist and bandleader he produced much remarkable music and was a dominant influence on his jazz contemporaries. Heard here are the definitive piano version of one of Jelly’s most celebrated tunes, and an early band selection that is among the rarest of Morton recordings.

   NEW ORLEANS RHYTHMKINGS: Livery Stable Blues. Paul Mayers (tp) George Brunies (tb) Leon Rappolo (cl) Jack Pettis (sax) Elmer Choebel (p) Lew Black (bj) Steve Brown (b) Ben Pollack (drs) Richmond; august 29, 1922 (not issued by Gennett; mx. No. 11184)

   ORIGINAL MEMPHIS MELODY BOYS: Blue Grass Blues. Paul Mares (tp) Leon Rappolo (cl) other personnel unknown Richmond; March 31, 1923 (Ge 5157; mx. No. 11379) Mares, Rappolo and Brunies (the last-named still quite active) were three able young followers of the early white “Dixieland” style who came North from New Orleans and, among other things, helped shape the jazz future of the younger Chicagoans (see vol.7). The first selection here was made by the “Friars Society Orchestra,) the name the Rhythm Kings used at first; the other is a rare item, featuring Mares and Rappolo, probably made by a pick-up group.

   RED ONION JAZZ BABIES: Cake Walking Babies from Home. Louis Armstrong (cnt) Charlie Irvis (tb) Sidney Bechet (ss)  Lil Hardin Armstrong (p) Buddy Christian (bj) Vocal by Beatty and Todd. New York; December 11, 1924 (Ge 5627; mx. No. 9248). New Orleanians Armstrong and Bechet are the major talents in this small-band number that suggests a transition from the original ensemble jazz technique to the latter emphasis on virtuoso solo efforts.




These recordings from source material either owned by Bill Grauer Productions, Inc. or exclusively controlled by special arrangement

Tape editing by RAY FOWLER. Remastered by Reeves Sound Studios

(The slight surface noise audible on several of these selections is due to the limitations of early recording processes; it has not been entirely removed in order to preserve highest fidelity possible and to give more faithful reproduction of original tone qualities.)

Cover designed by PAUL BACON


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