From the Record Shelves #234



There’s a special atmosphere in this fine recording featuring Johnny Dodds and Louis Armstrong. This is April 1927, and the couple plus drummer Baby Dodds recorded the tune again only a few weeks later with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Seven.

But this version is quite different, less dominated by Armstrong’s brilliance on the trumpet and less exciting, but with something else that is very good in return. It’s not easy to describe in words; they play with a kind of peacefulness, respectfully taking care of the melody that sounds very much in the New Orleans tradition.

It reminded me of another recording, which took me a while to figure out. The clue was Barney Bigard’s almost straight tenor sax solo on the first sixteen bars of the chorus. He plays the same sentimental style, with the same sound from Bud Scott’s banjo behind him in Someday Sweetheart with King Oliver’s Dixie Syncopators. It’s touching, and so is the playing of Johnny Dodds on clarinet, in low and high register, and of course the controlled emotional trumpet contributions from Armstrong. Earl Hines plays a short, fine piano solo, and I also want to praise him for his good four beats to the bar accompaniment. The trombone that is most effective during the verse in the beginning is said to be played by Roy Palmer.