From the Record Shelves #209

I’m Through, Goodbye

LP Riverside 8820

This record is from 1966, when I was sixteen. I was working in the fields in the summer, and half of the earnings went to my mother. For the rest I bought clothes and a few records. Some time ago I met a guy that I barely recognized but who worked with me at the time. He was happy to speak about it and said, “Oh, that was happy times; you were speaking about a guy called Bix and singing his solos all the time!”

I didn’t remember that, but I remember that we had to go back and forth for about an hour with our bikes, and then the work in the hot sun was very exhausting. So after I bought this record and put it on in the evening, I never managed to hear more than four or five tunes before I fell soundly asleep, and that was repeated day after day.

But it is beautiful music. And this tune is very sad in all its beauty. It’s a composition by Sidney Bechet. Ed Allen’s playing with a mute in pure King Oliver style has never sounded better. Oliver was there also, but he doesn’t solo on this one. And Clarence William’s scat singing is also very effective. We understand everything that he wants to say without the spoken words, and when he finally says “Sweetheart, that means I’m through,” you could easily get tears in your eyes.

Ed Cuffee on trombone and Cyrus St. Clair on tuba can also be enjoyed for their sonority.

The recording was made in Long Island City in November 1928.