From the Record Shelves #176

Funny Fumble

LP Ace of Hearts AH 97

Here is another good Ace of Hearts LP. It’s hot, well-performed and arranged music, throughout with many things happening. Still, those recordings risk falling through the cracks when it comes to re-editions since there are no well-known selling names involved. The drummer Harry Dial got the recording contract, and accordingly the name of the studio group was “Harry Dial’s Bluesicians”.

Omer Simeon is busy on alto and clarinet, and he’s so refreshing to hear. I hear his influence in many revivalists who play alto sax. On clarinet, his greatest assignment was to take part in Jelly Roll Morton’s classical sessions. Though Simeon, born in 1902, got his schooling on clarinet in New Orleans, like several other great ones, from Lorenzo Tio Jr., he moved to Chicago at a young age.

Another remarkable musician is trumpet player Shirley Clay who is in top form. At the time, his steady job was with Earl Hines orchestra. The skilled pianist here is either Bill Culbreath or Zinky Cohn.

The tune has a somewhat awkward ending, but the band handles it with ease. This session happened in Chicago in April 1930, and sadly, the coming depression years put an end to a lot of the recording possibilities when it came to this kind of happy music.