From the Record Shelves #106

I Must Have That Man

LP Broadway BR 108

Here we have an album dedicated to a man of the rhythm section namely the tuba player Joe Tarto. Included is a lot of information about his career that spanned over more than six decades. He was born 1902 of Italian parents and christened to the name Joseph Tortoriello, and he learned to play tuba in the army during World War I. Through an engagement to go on tour with Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards he got a foot into the jazz and dance music world.

The record contains some rarities from Tartos own collection but this tune is from a regular session with Joe Venuti’s Big Band from 1928. Like some other colleagues of tuba playing Tarto was also an arranger and in this arrangement he has given himself a few bars to expose his solo abilities.

Before that we hear the clarinet of Jimmy Dorsey and the brass team of Mannie Klein and Leo Mc Conville.

In the twenties it was not common to change the words of a song like for example to change “man” to “woman” or to “girl” if you were a male singer. The vocalist here that is the drummer Chauncey Morehouse, gets around the problem by not singing the lyrics at all. Did he ever get a chance to do another vocal?

Joe Tarto was not only someone active and much employed in the jazz and dance orchestras of the 1920s. He also was, as mentioned before, an arranger, a composer and a teacher and was one of the players that was able to change to bass violin when called for. As a tuba player he played other types of music fit for the instrument and on two of the photos included on the album he has written under his signature “Tuba Ambassador”.

Over the years I’ve had good use of his book with exercises for tuba that I copied from the library at the Academy of Music here in Malmö, Sweden.