RLP 12-131
KINGS OF CLASSIC JAZZ

elections by great traditional jazz artists – never previously available on 12” LP -

Jazz Archives #100(12”) 

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SIDE 1

LOUIS ARMSTONG / MA RAINEY : See See Rider Blues (3:18)

   Ma Rainey accompanied by Armstrong (cnt) Charlie Green (tb) Buster Bailey (cl) Fletcher Henderson (p) Charlie Dixon (bj) probably Kaiser Marshall (drs)

   Originally on Paramount 12252 (master number 1925); New York; late 1924

FREDDIE KEPPARD : Stockyard Strut (2:30)

   Freddie Keppard and His Jazz Cardinals: Keppard (cnt) Eddie Vincent (tb) Jimmy O’Bryant (cl) Arthur Campbell (p) Jasper Taylor (woodblocks)

   Originally on Paramount 12399 (mx.no. 2651); Chicago; September, 1926

JOHNNY DODDS : Oriental Man (2:51)

   Dixieland Thumpers : Natty Dominique (tp) Dodds (cl) Jimmy Blythe (p) Jimmy Bertrand (drs)

   Clarence Willams Orchestra: Oliver, Ed Allen (tp) Charlie Irvis (tb) Ben Waters (cl, ts) possibly Ed Whittet (as) Williams (p) Buddy Christian (bj) Cyrus St. Clair (tu)

KING OLIVER : Bimbo (2:34)

   Clarence Willams Orchestra: Oliver, Ed Allen (tp) Charlie Irvis (tb) Ben Waters (cl, ts) possibly Ed Whittet (as) Williams (p) Buddy Christian (bj) Cyrus St. Clair (tu)

   Originally on QRS 7034 (mx.no. 271); New York; 1929

NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM KINGS: Maple Leaf Rag (2:26)

   Paul Mares (tp) George Brunis (tb) Leon Rappolo (cl) Mel Stitzel (p) Frank Snyder (drs)

   Originally on Gennett 5104 (mx.no. GE 11358); Richmond, Indiana; March 13, 1923

BIX BEIDERBECKE: Lazy Daddy (#2) (2:44)

   The Wolverines: Beiderbecke (cnt) George Brunis (tb) Jimmy Hartwell (cl) George Johnson (ts) Dick Voynow (p) Bob Gillette (bj) Min Leibrook (tu) Vic Moore (drs)

   Originally on Claxtonola 40375 (mx.no. GEX 9080 B); New York; October 8, 1924

SIDE 2

JELLY ROLL MORTON : Mamamita (2:57)

   Piano solo

Originally on Gennett 3043 (mx.no. GE 11910); Richmond, Indiana; June 9, 1924

JAMES P. JOHNSON : Loveless Love (3:23)

   Piano solo

   Originally on QRS Piano Roll 1340; New York; April, 1921

JIMMY YANCEY : Yancey’s Limited (2:53)

   Piano solo

   Solo Art (first issued on Riverside 10” RLP 1028); Chicago; Spring, 1939

KID ORY : Weary Blues (2:32)

   Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band: Andrew Blakeney (tp) Ory (tb) Joe Darensbourg (cl) Wilson (p) Bud Scott (g) Ed Garland (b) Minor Hall (drs)

   Originally on Circle (mx.no. LA-4); Hollywood; August 9, 1947

GEORGE LEWIS : Dallas Blues (3:51)

   George Lewis Quartet:  Lewis (cl) Alton Prunell (p) Lawrence Marrero (bj) alcide (Slow Drug) Pavageau (b)

Originally on Riverside 10” RLP 2512; New Orleans; September 23, 1953

SIDNEY BECHET : Song of the Medina (2:37)

Sidney Bechet’s Seven: albert Snaer (tp) Wilbur de Paris (tb) Bechet (ss) Buster Bailey (cl) James P. Johnson (p) Walter Page (b) George Wettling (drs)

   Originally on Circle (mx.no. NY-86); New York; January 31, 1949


   The rich heritage of classic jazz has to a very large degree been preserved on records. Fortunately, the 1920s, when Louis Armstrong was young and men like Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson were in their prime, and when Bix Beiderbecke was all-too-briefly alive, was a period in which considerable recording activity was taking place. In later years, there were at least a few companies interested in preserving the work of important figures who, for one reason or another, had been either unknown or simply unrecorded in the earlier Golden Age: men like George Lewis and Jimmy Yancey.

   That much is fortunate. Unfortunately, however, the passage of time and the economics of the record business have left only a small fraction of such recordings still generally available. Riverside has consistently sought to keep before the public examples of the work of the significant jazz pioneers. As the list below indicates, our catalogue includes quite a few such LPs, most of them devoted to the music of a single artist. But the mine of traditional jazz runs wide as well as deep. Therefore, on occasion it seems a good idea, instead of dipping deeply into the body of one man’s work, to present a ‘horizontal’ album – one that cuts across a wide area of the classic jazz scene.

   The present album is, of course, such a ‘horizontal’ cut. It has, frankly, two aims. To those who are already steeped in this subject, this reissuance of a dozen selections never before available on 12” LP should be a source of pleasure. And those who are comparative strangers to traditional jazz may perhaps be more readily attracted to an album highlighting so many ‘name’ artists, and may even be moved to go on from there to a more detailed examination of the field.

   This LP includes eight early recordings and four that are more recent. From the ‘20s there is young Louis Armstrong in support of the great blues singer Ma Rainey; the brilliant New Orleans clarinet of Johnny Dodds; the vibrant horn of the near-legendary Freddie Keppard. There is King Oliver (who gave Louis his first job up North) in a recording made when he was past his prime but still mightily impressive. There is the first great white jazz band, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings; the soaring tones of Bix Beiderbecke; the inimitable piano sound of Jelly Roll Morton; and the striding James P. Johnson, in one of his first piano-roll solos.

   From the later “revival” era there is the master of blues and boogie-woogie, Jimmy Yancey; the apparently immortal tailgate of Kid Ory, who was a ‘name’ in New Orleans 40-odd years ago; there is George Lewis, probably today’s best-known “pure” traditionalist; and finally, the rich soprano sax tones of Sidney Bechet, another whose career reached from New Orleans into the 1950s.

   These are certainly not all the “Kings” of classic jazz; but hey represent at the very least an awesome amount of bedrock jazz.


   Most of the jazz giants heard here are also featured on other Riverside LPs, including –

Young LOUIS ARMSTRONG (RLP 12-101)

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: 1923 – with KING OLIVER’S Creole Jazz Band (RLP 12-122)

MA RAINEY: Classic Blues (RLP 12-108)

JOHNNY DODDS: New Orleans Clarinet (RLP 12-104)

KING OLIVER: Back o’ Town (RLP 12-108)

NEW ORLEANS THYHRM KINGS; with Jelly Roll Morton (RLP 12-102)

BIX BEIDERBECKE and Wolverines (RLP 12-123)

JELLY ROLL MORTON: Classic Piano Solos (RLP 12-111)

The Incomparable JELLY ROLL MORTON (RLP 12-128)

JELLY ROLL MORTON: Mr. Jelly Lord – piano solos from the Library of Congress recordings (RLP 12-132)

JAMES P. JOHNSON: Rare Solos (RLP 12-105)

JIMMY YANCEY: Yancey’s Getaway (RLP 12-124)

New Orleans Legends: KID ORY, BUNK JOHNSON, KID RENA (RLP 12-119)

GORGE LEWIS: Jazz at Vespers (RLP 12-230)

GEORGE LEWIS of New Orleans (RLP 12-283)

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(The surface noise audible on this LP 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.)


LP produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS

First three selections reissued by special arrangement with Paramount Records and John Steiner.

Cover produced and designed by PAUL BACON-KEN BRAREN-HARRIS LEWINE

Re-mastered, 1960, by JACK MATTHEWS (Components Corp.)


RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.