WINGY MANOME’S DIXIELAND JAZZ
Jazz Archives #1000(10”)
Wingy Manone’s Orchestra: (Wingy) Manone (tp) Miff Frink (tb) George Walters (cl) unknown (ts) Maynard Spencer (p) unknown (bj) Orville Haynes (b) Dash Burkis (drs) (On #1 only; add Bob Price Eddie Camden (tp) on #2 and #6: omit Frink, Haynes, and banjo.) Vocals (on #1, 3, 4, 6) by Manone Richmond, Indiana; August and September, 1930
1. Big Butter and Egg Man (2:49) (Freiend – Clare – Santly)
2. Tar Paper Stomp (3:05) (Wingy Mannone)
3. Weary Blues (2:50) (Artie Mathews)
4. Up the Country (3:02) (Wingy Manone)
5. Tin Roof Blues (2:48) (New Orleans Rhythm Kings)
6. Shake That Thing (3:18) (Charlie Jackson)
WINGGY MANONE is a unique phenomenon. This is stated as undebatable fact, but if it should need any substantiation, you’ll find plenty of that in the half-dozen wild and happy trumpet and vocal performances that make up this LP.
It’s not that his personal style is off by itself, unrelated to that of the many other musicians he has known and worked with, or to the several jazz styles that – even as early as 1930 – he had been exposed to. On the contrary, many influences can easily be detected: the white Dixieland style of his native New Orleans; the pioneer Negro cornet greats he had heard as a boy in that city; the white Chicago crowd with whom he had played in the ‘20s. Most of all, here’s the strong impact of Louis Armstrong on both Wingy’s horn and his vocal chords. But, important as these factors may be, it’s nevertheless quite plain that there is something more. Call it what you will: humor, excitement, jive, just plain lack of inhibition – or maybe “vitality” covers the subject best. Whatever it may be, it transforms whatever he does into something that’s stamped with Wingy’s own personality, and that’s never quite like what any other musician could be expected to do with the same material.
Wingy is most often associated with the jive numbers and take-offs on popular songs that have been his specialty since the kd-1930s. But when he made the records reissued here, he was still very much in the spirit of the early jazz traditions. These tunes – with a strong touch of the blues and stomps in them – are the sort that were part of the basic repertoire used by Wingy and most other white jazzmen of the ‘20s. They are fairly direct descendants of the music of his hometown. Joe Mannone (he later dropped one “n” on the advice of a numerologist) was born in New Orleans on February 13, 1904. This meant he was a bit too late take an active part in the early jazz goings-on there but was in time to hear a lot of it. And he has recalled that his idols and models included such figures of jazz legend as King Oliver, Kid Rena, Punch Miller and Buddy Petit.
It was when he was about ten that Wingy came into his nickname: his right arm was crushed between two streetcars, and had to be amputated above the elbow. Since he’d been taking trumpet lessons for about two years then, he simply decided to re-lean with his left – indicating that there’s considerable determination, and not just 100% jive, in the man.
He spent most of the ‘20s in Chicago, which is the source of the two influences most readily to be noted on these records. He hung out with the Chicago kids – the Austin High gang and their colleagues, who were busily creating a brash, new jazz style. And he began a long friendship with another youngster from New Orleans – Louis Armstrong. There is no denying just how much of Louis there is in Wingy’s music. Wingy, from one, certainly has never thought of denying it. You can hear it throughout this LP: in the gravel-voiced second vocal chorus on Butter and Egg Man; in the stop-time trumpet solo and brilliant long-sustained high note (particularly favorite Satchmo devices at that time) on Up the Country; in the amazingly gentle scat vocal on Shake That Thing. All this is surely derivative, but it would be quite mistaken to classily it as mere imitation. It’s more of a tribute – the same sort of “sincerest form of flattery” that a great many performers have paid Armstrong. And it’s also (to return to our opening dogmatic statement) identifiable as uniquely Wingy.
(And while on the subject of derivatives, all those who find Tar Paper Stomp strangely familiar should realize that it preceded by several years the celebrated Glenn Miller recording title In the Mood.)
By 1930, Manone had been to New York, had made a few records, had even done a brief whirl in vaudeville, accompanying Blossom Seeley. He was on the road, late in the Summer of that year, when Gennett grabbed him up for a couple of record date. The men he played with here, although discographers have identified most of them by name, remain a rather mysterious crew, not known to have made any other jazz recordings. The Gennett files indicate that they probably were from a local Midwestern band, since Big Butter and Egg Man is listed there as “Bob Finley and His Orchestra.” Whoever they were, they obviously knew the Chicago style, and at least one of them sounds like a most capable follower of Frank Teschemacher – as shown by the clarinet solo on Weary Blues.
In all, these records make a most interesting discographer’s nightmare. There are only six of them alto together because August versions of Up the Country and Tin Roof Blues had been rejected and destroyed by Gennett and were remade at the September session, where the takes that were finally issued were given master numbers of GN 17058 and GN 17059 E. This second session also produced Weary Blues (GN 17060) and Big Butter and Egg Man (GN 17061). Tin Roof (GS 16949 A) and Shake That Thing (GS 16950) are from the August date.
When these were first released, Tar Paper and Tin Roof came out under Wingy’s name (on Gennett’s subsidiary label, as Champion 16153), while the others were issued as by Barbecue Joe and His Dogs,” which may have been because Wing had commitments to other record companies, or may simply have been another of many instances in which Gennett used differing band names on its different labels. Shake That Thing and Butter and Egg Man were on Ch 16192, while the other two numbers had an even more checkered career. They were on Ch 16127, on Gennett 7320, and were also among a handful of Gennett items that appeared on a short-lived Savoy label run by the Chicago music publishing firm of Melrose and Montgomery. And on that label for no apparent reason, they were listed as by the “New Orleans Rhythm Kings”!
And, before the head stops spinning, it might also be noted that Gennett put these numbers into their “Race” catalogue (i.e.; aimed at the Negro market only), because – in the words of the anonymous hand-written notation alongside two of them in the Gennett ledgers – they were ‘spoiled for white by vocal chorus.” No comment seems called for, but we can all wonder what Wingy may have said if he ever heard about that …
The slight 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.
Produced by Bill Grauer
Notes by Orrin Keepnews
Cover by Gene Gogarty
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS
418 West 49th Street New York 19, N.Y.