From the Record Shelves #189

I Wonder What’s Become of Joe?

LP EMI/Parlophone PMC 7183

This is happy music. First of all, the aim is to entertain and make people dance. Secondly, it’s made during the Roaring Twenties (1926) when many young people in the US had a good time. Then, thirdly, because the musicians in this case had a happy time more or less jamming in the studio.

The Goofus Five was a group within the bigger unit, The California Ramblers. They were free to take what they wanted from the arrangements and had a chance to play more solos than normally in a studio situation. They did not have to stick to the written melody, and they did not, for the most part, have to accompany singers.

The result is lively and “peppy.” It should be enjoyed in small doses because the attitude remains the same throughout the entire LP. We hear the steady yet, in some places, versatile banjo playing from Tommy Felline with Irving Brodsky at the piano and Herb Weil at the drums beside him in the rhythm section.

Then up front there is Abe Lincoln who plays his trombone with facility, and the sax team of Bobby Davis, alto and soprano, and Jack Ruby on tenor sax. Chelsea Quealey plays the trumpet with a round cornet-like tone, and then there is the star that raises the jazz worth of these recordings considerably: Adrian Rollini on bass sax is in a class by himself. Enjoy his shared chorus with Abe Lincoln here.

The tune was written by Maceo Pinkard, a successful African American songwriter who, among other tunes, also composed Sweet Georgia Brown.