From the Record Shelves #147

Sweet Suzanne

78 rpm Brunswick Br 4253

Here’s an example of a record that I can pull out of the shelves sometimes and enjoy a sweet melody without tapping my foot, looking up the personnel in a discography, and without the need to play it again. Just enjoying a sweet melody played by an orchestra that has all the goods necessary and that in their daily work played also waltzes and other type of songs besides hot dance music or jazz.

The tune is of the kind in melody and harmony that could be turned into fox-trot 4/4 time and be played by a New Orleans revival band with good collective improvising.

The sweet rendering here is made by a muted trumpet, a trombone in a bucket or a hat and a violin together with a soft saxophone section.

Ben Bernie (1894-1942) had a fine band in the twenties. They can be seen in a De-Forest Phono Film from 1925 playing among other tunes Sweet Georgia Brown featuring c-melody saxophonist Jack Pettis who plays if not the first, at least one of the first improvised solos on a saxophone that is recorded. Another jazzman that played with Bernie was trumpet player Bill Moore.

Now I just had to look up the record in Brian Rust’s The American Dance Band Discography 1917-1942. It’s recorded in February 1929 in New York.