From the Record Shelves #167


CD Retrieval RTR 79008

Writings about Oliver Naylor’s Seven Aces often deal with the fact that they are unjustly unknown. And indeed, they had the capacity to play hot collective choruses like a few white orchestras at this time, around 1924. The New Orleans-born and bred musicians in the band are, of course, a reason for this, having heard and practiced the methods of the city’s great legendary jazz bands.

I was surprised when I first heard them on a Fountain LP, and I’m often surprised still if I hear them in a random play of 1920s jazz records.

The band had an engagement in New York’s famous Roseland Ballroom, and was well recorded by the Gennett record company’s studio in the big city.

We hear a firm lead from the band’s cornet player, Pinky Gerbrecht, and two sweet-sounding saxophones, backed up by Jules Bauduc’s banjo and good cymbal work by Louis Darrough. Then Gerbrecht takes a long straight solo with a mute, probably a Conn straight metal mute, which he then takes in the hand and operates à la King Oliver in the last chorus. It’s here that the band gets in new gear and plays hot with a middle clarinet break by Bill Creger.