From the Record Shelves #172

Parlor Social Stomp

LP Jazz Panorama JPLP 17

Once, when I was in Paris, I heard that the attendants of the museums held a wild one-day strike, so you could enter without paying. I made a quick visit to the Louvre to have a new look at Mona Lisa. After leaving, I realized that I had ignored a lot of other great paintings.

When it’s about great jazz orchestras that have recorded masterpieces, we often overlook some of their other works worthy of attention. In the case of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver, it’s mostly their late output, but with Duke Ellington, it’s some early ones.

Here’s a nice example. The tune recorded under the name “The Washingtonians” doesn’t bear the stamp of the master, but it has some wild, inspired playing by the soloists. Trumpet players Harry Cooper and Leroy Rutledge take turns playing with intensity, and so does Charlie Irvis on his trombone. Don Redman and Otto Hardwicke solos on clarinet and alto, and behind all this, there are plenty of things happening thanks to banjo player Fred Guy and Bass Edwards on tuba. Duke Ellington is, of course, at the piano and Sonny Greer plays drums. The year of recording is 1926.