From the Record Shelves #187

Tell Me Cutie

LP Herwin 104

The picture of Natty Dominique on the cover is anything but sharp, and the music is a little bit the same. One of the best numbers is this one, on the B-side of the LP, where Dominique is not present. Instead, we hear a clarinet player by the name of Baldy McDonald and an alto saxophone allegedly played by an “unknown white teenager.” Maybe someone has dug deeper into this after the release of this record and come up with more precise results.

But the music is fluent and hot, thanks also to the other participants. Jimmy Blythe, the Chicago pianist, is behind the various recordings by “State Street Ramblers”, and he is a busy accompanist. On the bass we hear, faintly on stereo equipment and probably not at all on the telephone or computer, the great Bill Johnson of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band fame. W.E. Burton is normally the group’s washboard player, but here he is supposed to be only the vocalist, with a man called Marcus H. Norman providing the woodblocks and other drum effects as cymbals.

All this happened in 1928, and the group had to go to Richmond, Indiana, to be recorded by Gennett.