From the Record Shelves #73

Just Pretending

LP VJM Records VLP 19

From 1925 when an electric system had just been taken in use the record companies could make tours in the south and find suitable subjects for recording.

On several of these tours they came to New Orleans to record among others the Halfway House Orchestra. The band got its name from playing in a roadhouse outside the city where they only played a couple of numbers every hour and let the people alone to speak, eat and drink the rest of the time.

One of the Brunies brothers played cornet and since they did not have a trombone player it was good to have a man with a very agile, fluent style on clarinet. On this record there is so much jazz in the well constructed clarinet solo of Sidney Arodin and in the ensemble playing with Abbie Brunies on cornet that in between I can also peacefully enjoy the non-jazz elements. Like the straight saxophone of Joe Loyacano and the vocal of Johnny Saba.

They used simple, effective arrangements and the rhythm was kept up by the much used team of Leo Adde, drums, Bill Eastwood, banjo and the veteran Chink Martin on tuba. The band’s pianist Lyn Lea “Red” Long composed this and several other popular tunes for the band.