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Jazz Focus

A focused look at some specific moments in recorded Jazz history Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-clark49/support

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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A focused look at some specific moments in recorded Jazz history Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-clark49/support

Zaggin' With Zig - The Ziggy Elman Orchestra Bluebird sides from 1938-39

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Zaggin' With Zig - The Ziggy Elman Orchestra Bluebird sides from 1938-39 featuring mostly members of the Benny Goodman Orchestra (Hymie Schertzer, Dave Matthews, Toots Mondello, Noni Bernardi, Jerry Jerome, Babe Russin, Art Rollini, Jess Stacy, Milt Raskin, Johnny Guarnieri, Ben Heller, Al Kendis, Nick Fatool, Artie Bernstein) doing some excellent Jazz as well as pop standards.  Two bonus cuts by Toots Mondello and His Orchestra leading virtually the same band (with Claude Thornhill) for Varsity.  Sorry in advance for some technical glitches on this one - the narration part was slightly compromised by a microphone issue, but the music is fine!

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Mar 02 2021

1hr 2mins

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WETF Show In A Jam - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra recording for Capitol Transcriptions in 1946 and 1947

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WETF Show In A Jam - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra recording for Capitol Transcriptions in 1946 and 1947 . . between the end of his recordings for Victor and the beginning of his Musicraft contract with repertoire from both . . featuring Ray Nance, Cat Anderson, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Taft Jordan, Joe Nanton (his final recordings), Lawrence Brown, Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney along with Duke, Oscar Pettiford and Sonny Greer

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Mar 02 2021

1hr 2mins

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Guitar In High - Teddy Bunn in 1938-40

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Guitar in High - Teddy Bunn . . great guitarist whose career stretched from the 1920's to the 1960's.  Here we will listen to sides from 1938-40 including those he made with the Mezzrow-Ladnier Quintet (Mezz Mezzrow, Tommy Ladnier, Pops Foster and Manzie Johnson), Rosetta Crawford (Mezzrow, Ladnier and James P. Johnson), the Frankie Newton Quintet/Port of Harlem Jazz Men (Frankie Newton, J.C. Higginbotham, Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pops Foster, Sid Catlett), Sidney Bechet Quartet (Bechet, Foster, Catlett) and by himself in a virtually unique solo guitar session from 1940

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Mar 02 2021

1hr 1min

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Old Bottles, Older Wine - Gil Evans in 1958 and 59 for Pacific Records

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Old Bottles, Older Wine - the Gil Evans Orchestra on Pacific Records, 1958, 1959 . . Arrangements by the innovative Gil Evans of Jazz standards from earlier eras featuring Cannonball Adderley, Budd Johnson, Curtis Fuller, Chuck Wayne, Johnny Coles, Bill Barber, Elvin Jones, Steve Lacy, Ray Crawford, Art Blakey and of course Evans himself.

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Feb 25 2021

1hr 4mins

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Depression Stomp - WETF Show Washboard Rhythm Kings

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Apropos more now than ever, this is a tribute to a very HOT band from Philadelphia in the summer and fall of 1932.  The Washboard Stompers featured Taft Jordan and Valaida Snow on trumpets, Ben Smith and Carl Wade on saxes, Eddie Miles on piano, Ghost Howell on bass and Steve Washington on banjo and vocals with assists from Bella Benson and Lavada Carter

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Feb 25 2021

58mins

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Funny Business - the Joel Shaw Orchestra 1932 . .Hot Dance band!

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The Gene Kardos Orchestra was a busy and frequently recorded band in the early 1930's - based at the Gloria Palast in the Bronx, they were one of the few white groups playing really hot dance music during the Depression years.  While they recorded under Kardos' name (and a variety of pseudonyms) for Victor, Melotone and the ARC labels, it was featured under the name of their pianist, Joel Shaw for recordings made for the Crown label.  These records were, if anything, hotter than the Kardos sides - featuring no well known Jazz players, this band was known to swing harder than its competition - Ben Pollack, Casa Loma and the Dorsey Brothers.

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Feb 25 2021

1hr 8mins

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WETF Show - Benny Goodman in 1945/6

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WETF Show - Benny Goodman in 1945/6 . . from December '45 to Jan '46 - one radio show and two transcription sessions featuring the big band (with Stan Getz, Bernie Privin and Mel Powell) and the Trio, Quintet and Sextet (with Powell, Red Norvo, Mike Bryan and others).  Some of Goodman's greatest and least inhibited playing under his own name

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Feb 19 2021

57mins

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Swingin' Minstrel - the vocals of Clancy Hayes with a variety of trad jazz stars

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Swingin' Minstrel - Clancy Hayes!  The banjo player and singer with Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band (Bill Napier, George Probert, Jack Buck, Pud Brown), Art Hodes, Yank Lawson's Yankee Clippers (Cutty Cuttshall, Pee Wee Russell, Dave McKenna), Salty Dogs (Lew Green, Kim Cusack, John Cooper, Wayne Jones, Mike Walbridge) and his own quartet with Jess Stacy or Ralph Sutton . .great tunes and singing with a mix of West Coast, Chicago and New York Dixieland musicians.

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Feb 19 2021

1hr 3mins

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Clarinet Marmalade - Edmond Hall on Commodore

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Clarinet Marmalade - Edmond Hall on Commodore - featured as a sideman with Wild Bill Davison's Commodores (including George Brunies, Vernon Brown, Gene Schroeder and Eddie Condon), The DeParis Brothers (Sidney and Wilbur Deparis, Clyde Hart), and George Wettling's Rhythm Kings (Billy Butterfield, Wilbur DeParis, Dave Bowman) . . great mainstream/trad!

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Feb 19 2021

1hr 4mins

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Louis in Transition - Louis Armstrong 1947

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Louis Armstrong 1947 . . transition!  Two live concerts (February and April) leading up to his Town Hall Concert in May and the formation of the All-Stars.  The February date has him fronting the Edmund Hall Sextet at Carnegie Hall with Irving "Mouse" Randolph, Henderson Chambers, Ellis Larkins, Johnny Williams and Jimmy Crawford along with Hall . . the April date is the "This Is Jazz" show produced, written and narrated by Rudi Blesh for WOR . . the This Is Jazz All-Stars with Louis are Wild Bill Davison, George Brunies Albert Nicholas, Art Hodes, Danny Barker, Pops Foster and Baby Dodds.

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Feb 10 2021

56mins

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WETF show - Clarinet Spice

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Clarinet Spice . . .recordings featuring two (or more) clarinets!  The Southern Jazz Five (led by Dave Dallwitz), Bechet-Nicholas Blues Five (Albert Nicholas and Sidney Bechet), Clarence Williams Washboard Band (with Bennie Moten and Ben Whitted), Benny Goodman and Stan Hasselgard, Ray Burke and Harry Shields, Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra, Johnny Dodds and Junie Cobb, Edmond Hall with Herb Hall and Omer Simeon and others . .

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Feb 10 2021

59mins

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Chasing the Blues Away - Orchestras of Claude Hopkins and Chick Webb 1935/6

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Chasing The Blues Away - recordings for World and Associated Transcriptions in 1935 of the Claude Hopkins Orchestra (with Ovie Alston, Ed Hall, Hilton Jefferson, Bobby Sands and Sylvester Lewis) and 1936 of the Chick Webb Orchestra (with Bobby Stark, Sandy Williams, Pete Clarke, Edgar Sampson, Teddy McRae, Joe Steele and Ella Fitzgerald)

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Feb 03 2021

1hr 15mins

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Reunion - Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker 1957 along with some unreleased sides

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The Reunion - December, 1957 recording sessions featuring Gerry Mulligan.  One with the reunion of Mulligan and Chet Baker in a quartet setting (with Henry Grimes and Dave Bailey) and two tunes from the unreleased album "Gerry Mulligan with the Vinnie Burke String Quartet" featuring Calo Scott and Dick Wetmore

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Feb 03 2021

58mins

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A Side Of Cole . . Nat King Cole with Lester Young, Lionel Hampton and Dexter Gordon

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WETF Show - A Side of Cole . . .not Hawkins this time, but Nat "King" Cole recording with other swing groups from 1940-1947.  The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Lester Young Trio, Dexter Gordon Quintet  and a special addition, Cole's first records - 1936 with his brother Eddie's band.  Featuring Kenneth Roane, Wesley Prince, Oscar Moore, Buddy Rich, Red Callendar, Harry Edison

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Feb 03 2021

1hr 1min

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WETF Show - Mardi Gras with Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band 1944-5

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Mardi Gras . .Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band 1944, 45.  These recordings were in some ways the beginning of the New Orleans Jazz Revival - done for Crescent in Los Angeles they feature mostly New Orleans-born African-American musicians who were active professionally from the first and second decades of the 20th Century.  Mutt Carey, Ory, Omer Simeon, Darnell Howard, Buster Wilson, Bud Scott, Ed Garland, Minor Garland, Alton Redd, and, on two live shots from the Orson Wells radio show, Zutty Singleton and Jimmy Noone.

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Jan 28 2021

1hr 1min

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Teddy's Boogie - Teddy Powell and His Orchestra

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Teddy's Boogie - Teddy Powell and His Orchestra . . little known big band from 1939 at the beginning of its career featuring live recordings, transcriptions and its first Decca records with Jerry Neary on trumpet, Pete Skinner on trombone, Gus Bivona on clarinet, Don Lodice on tenor sax and Milt Raskin on piano - some great swing playing!

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Jan 28 2021

1hr 1min

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A Smile Will Go A Long Long Way - Sterling Bose, 1935

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The underrated cornet/trumpet player Sterling Bose was active as a Bix and King Oliver influenced stylist in the 1920's but played with a raft of big bands in the 1930's . . these 1935 recordings focus on three groups (and one bonus) . . .The Vic Berton Orchestra has Bose with the leader on drums, Spencer Clark on bass sax, Matty Matlock, Pee Wee Russell and Chick Bullock while the Little Ramblers are led by Adrian Rollini (on piano!), Sid Stoneburn, Freddy Fallensby and other members of the Joe Haymes Orchestra.  The Haymes musicians (Stoneburn, Bose, and tenor saxophonist Johnny Van Eps) are also with Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven, featuring the leader and Edythe Wright.  The bonus is the actual Joe Haymes Orchestra on one tune  - others will be on a future podcast!

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Jan 28 2021

1hr 6mins

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New Moten Stomp - Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra from October, 1930

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New Moten Stomp - Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra from October, 1930 . . one year into the Depression and the Moten band was still popular enough for a marathon recording session for Victor in KC . .featuring Count Basie, Hot Lips Page, Jimmy Rushing, Ed Lewis, Thamon Hayes, Harlan Leonard, Woodie Walder and Willie McWashington

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Jan 19 2021

1hr 7mins

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Who Can Your Regular Be - The Arcadian Serenaders . . Great hot dance band from St. Louis in 1924/5

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Who Can Your Regular Be - The Arcadian Serenaders . . Great hot dance band from St. Louis in 1924/5 featuring either Wingy Manone or Sterling Bose with Cliff Holman, Avery Loposer, Johnny Riddick and Felix Guarino . .many of them were either from New Orleans or worked there, so the sound is very much the New Orleans dance band sound of the 1920's

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Jan 19 2021

53mins

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WETF Show The Willies - 1940's and 50's small group sessions by the remarkable alto saxist Willie Smith

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WETF Show The Willies - 1940's and 50's small group sessions by the remarkable alto saxist Willie Smith - known for his years playing lead for Lunceford and Harry James, Smith was a stylist on alto and a good arranger as well.  He is presented here with his own groups as well as ones led by Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday, Al Casey, Corky Corcoran, Gene Krupa and Shorty Sherock and featuring those notables as well as Charlie Shavers, Billy May, Les Paul, Murray McEachern, Harry Edison, Teddy Wilson, Allan Reuss and Israel Crosby


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Jan 19 2021

1hr 2mins

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