Further evidence has come in verifying the value of that cache of previously unheard recordings in the Savory Collection at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Proof is posted on Newsweek‘s web editiontantalizing solos from the late 1930s and early ’40s by Mildred Bailey and Jack Teagarden; Lester Young with Count Basie; Roy Eldridge; Herschel Evans; Benny Goodman; Bobby Hackett; Lionel Hampton; and the John Kirby Sextet. To read the Newsweek story and hear the audio clips, go here.
Just for fun, here’s a later edition of the Kirby sextet with (left to right on your screen) Charlie Shavers, Sid Catlett, Charlie Holmes, John Kirby, Buster Bailey and Billy Kyle. This is from a 1947 move, Sepia Cinderella.
For previous Rifftides items about the Savory collection at the National Jazz Museum, see the August 19 and August 22 posts,
don frese says
Incredible music. The Lester Young solo, especially. Hope this becomes available to listeners.
Steve Provizer says
Shavers=amazing. Watching Big Sid’s flair combined w. economy of motion is a great pleasure.
Being a John Kirby sextet fan, I have a fairly large collection of their recordings but I’ve never seen the movie “Sepia Cinderella” and I certainly didn’t know that this clip was available.
Many thanks indeed!
Man, they are brilliant now but they sure were incredible players back then too. The National Jazz Museum needs to continue informing the public about this music. As a matter of fact, Charlie Shavers played with the all time greats such as Gillespie and he was commercially successful.
Bart Roderick says
It’s cool how this music points the way to the development of bebop –
the irregular phrasing, killer tempos . . .
Plus the tune uses “Rhythm” changes. Wikipedia cites the 1939 Coleman Hawkins recording of “Body and Soul” by Coleman Hawkins as an “antecedent” of bebop. So by 1947 bebop should be going strong . . . hmmm . . maybe one of you historians can set me straight. I think of the 40s as the big band era, but I know most of those guys dabbled in more exploratory forms.
(Hawkins was one of the first major swing figures to encourage, and record with, some of the young boppers. Establishing a firm date for the emergence of bebop is a bit like catching water in a sieve because the idiom began flowing into the jazz mainstream in the early forties. In any case, it was firmly established as a genre by the mid-forties. That development and its relationship to the big bands is covered in my chapter Big Bands and Jazz Composing and Arranging After World War II in The Oxford Companion to Jazz: http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Companion-Jazz-Bill-Kirchner/dp/019512510X DR