From the Record Shelves #105

Yellow Dog Blues

LP Ace of Hearts AH 166

Number three in the Cotton Club series includes some oddities in the house bands book.

W. C. Handy’s blues has been interpreted by many and here in 1928 it gets the early Duke Ellington treatment. Bubber Miley, the master of growl trumpet, does his thing, very convincingly. The soprano sax to follow is played by Johnny Hodges, new in the band, who even if he doesn’t sound alike took impression from Sidney Bechet. This session was his recording debut.

Then “Tricky Sam” Nanton plays a chorus and in fact he is the father of the growl style. The best way to do it is with a pixie mute inserted in the bell combined with a plunger mute. You have to have good coordination between your two hands to do it good on a trombone.

Louis Metcalfe is the trumpet player that we hear next, and then a characteristic clarinet trio beautifully executed enters and stays until the end, at least two of them.

The descending phrase that is played at the end and also at the very beginning sounds familiar and in fact it is the base of Happy Hour Blues a tune recorded by Lloyd Scott’s Orchestra the year before.