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Jazz Focus

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Jazz Focus

A focused look at some specific moments in recorded Jazz history Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/john-clark49/support

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Recent Episodes of Jazz Focus


Kid Muggsy - Muggsy Spanier in the 1920's

Kid Muggsy - Muggsy Spanier in the 1920's

Muggsy Spanier was a mainstay on the Chicago jazz scene in the 1920's - influenced primarily by King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, he remained true to his style for the rest of his career. Here are some of his first recordings, with the Bucktown Five and Stomp Six (with Volly De Faut on clarinet, Mel Stitzel on piano and Ben Pollack on drums), the Danny Altier Orchestra (with Maury Bercov on clarinet, Jess Stacy on piano and George Wettling on drums) and the Charles Pierce Orchestra (with Frank Teschemacher on clarinet)

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Episode 11 June 2024 58m and 35s


WETF Show - Ted Heath and His Music 1944-49

WETF Show - Ted Heath and His Music 1944-49

Immensely influential British big band from the mid 1940's through the 1960's, Ted Heath and His Music was just finding its way in the middle 1940's. Featuring soloists like Kenny Baker on trumpet, Harry Roche and Jackie Armstrong on trombone, Reg Owen on clarinet, Les Gilbert on alto, Johnnie Gray on tenor and a rhythm section of Norman Stenfalt on piano, Dave Goldberg on guitar, Charlie Short on bass and Jack Parnell on drums, this group could hold its own with any American counterparts.

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Episode 11 June 2024 56m and 40s


Johnny Hodges and His Orchestra 1951-53

Johnny Hodges and His Orchestra 1951-53

The short time Johnny Hodges left Duke Ellington's band produced a bounty of recordings from his regular band and studio groups. Here is the regular group with Nelson Williams, Emmett Berry or Harold "Shorty" Baker on trumpets, Lawrence Brown (trombone), Al Sears, Rudy Williams, Flip Phillips or Ben Webster on tenor sax, Leroy Lovett or Teddy Brannon on piano, Lloyd Trottman on bass and either Sonny Greer, J.C. Heard or Joe Marshall on drums and the leader's matchless alto sax

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Episode 7 June 2024 1h, 7m and 50s


WETF Show - Cab Calloway and The Missourians 1929/30

WETF Show - Cab Calloway and The Missourians 1929/30

The first band Cab Calloway led (on recording at least) had previously been known as the Missourians and before that the Original Cotton Club Orchestra. A relentlessly hot dance band, the group featured R.Q. Dickerson and Lammar Wright on trumpets, DePriest Wheeler on trombone, George Scott and William Thornton Blue dividing the clarinet and alto solos, Andrew Brown on tenor, Walter Thomas on tenor and baritone, Earres Prince on piano, Morris White on banjo, Jimmy Smith on tuba and Leroy Maxey on drums.

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Episode 3 June 2024 56m and 40s


Wingy Manone in the 1920's

Wingy Manone in the 1920's

New Orleans trumpet player Manone was well-travelled in the 1920's . . here he is featured with his own groups in New Orleans (with Hal Jordy, Arnold Loyocano and Johnny Miller) and Chicago (with Frank Teschemacher, Wade Foster, Bud Freeman and George Wettling). Also with Barbecue Joe and His Hot Dogs (an almost unknown band with Miff Frink - a very hot trombone player) and Bennie Goodman and His Boys (with Freeman, Joe Sullivan and of course Benny Goodman)

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Episode 27 May 2024 1h, 10m and 52s


WETF Show - Frank Assunto and Herb Ellis, 1962

WETF Show - Frank Assunto and Herb Ellis, 1962

Odd pairing - Assunto founded and led the Dukes of Dixieland which was at the height of its popularity in 1962. These recordings were done for Columbia at the same time as sessions by Herb Ellis and His All-Stars. Ellis was touring with the Dukes (with also included Fred Assunto on trombone, Jac Assunto on trombone and banjo, Gene Schroeder on piano, Bob Casey on bass, Charlie Lodice on drums and on two tunes, Edmond Hall guesting on clarinet) and recorded a mainstream session under his own name featuring Buddy Tate, Ray Bryant and Gus Johnson. Roy Eldridge was also...

Episode 27 May 2024 57m and 27s


Mezzrow and Ladnier - 1938/9 and 1959

Mezzrow and Ladnier - 1938/9 and 1959

The remainder of the Panassie sessions of 1938 and the Rosetta Crawford Decca session of 1939 featuring trumpeters Tommy Ladnier and Sidney DeParis, clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow, James P. Johnson (piano), Teddy Bunn (guitar), Elmer James or Pops Foster (bass), Zutty Singleton or Manzie Johnson (drums). Two tunes from 1959 feature Mezzrow's Paris-based band.

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Episode 21 May 2024 1h, 3m and 4s


WETF Show - Don Byas 1946

WETF Show - Don Byas 1946

Two great Savoy sessions by the peerless tenor saxophonist, featuring Teddy Brannon, Sanford Gold, Franklin Skeete and Max Roach . .definitely transition sessions between swing and bebop with superb ballad and uptempo playing.

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Episode 21 May 2024 54m and 8s


Le Rois Du Fox-Trot - Jean Pierre Morel, Hot Dance in the 21st Century

Le Rois Du Fox-Trot - Jean Pierre Morel, Hot Dance in the 21st Century

Outstanding French band playing the music of the black dance bands of the 1920's - not recreations, but reinterpretations. Featuring the leader on cornet, Patrick Bacqueville on trombone and vocals, Marc Bresdin, Michel Bescont, Nicholas Montier on saxes, Gerard Gervois on tuba and Bernard Thevin on piano. Very hot and energetic live recordings!

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Episode 15 May 2024 1h, 8m and 9s


WETF Show - Side of Monk

WETF Show - Side of Monk

Thelonious Monk made very few recordings as a sideman during the 1950's - here are a few samples! The Clark Terry Quartet (with Sam Jones and Philly Jo Jones), Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (with Bill Hardman, Johnny Griffin and Spanky DeBrest), Sonny Rollins' Quartet and Gigi Gryce's Quartet (with Blakey).

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Episode 15 May 2024 54m and 18s

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