From the Record Shelves #84

Five Pennies

78 rpm Brunswick 01851 A

On the record label of this Brunswick 78 rpm we can read the lineup of the group, Red Nichols and his Five Pennies and our ears can easily confirm it.

The timpani of Vic Berton starts off this rather peaceful performance. Nichols plays the not so catchy melody of his own composition, and he concentrates on sound, striving for a rich cornet sounding tone more than a trumpet one, and it’s pleasant to hear. The same goes for the sonorous interjections from Adrian Rollini’s bass sax in the background. I can also zoom in the distinct rhythm playing from Eddie Lang’s guitar.

Arthur Schutt plays a modernistic piano bridge alone. After Lang’s single string guitar break Miff Mole takes a short trombone solo to an arranged busy background, and he finishes with some characteristic register jumps in his break. Rollini enters with his bass sax and sounds more urgent and dynamic than the rest, with wonderful sound, fine logic and with an ending similar to Mole’s. Lang’s rhythm playing is more prominent, sounds more inspired now. A short clarinet solo by Fud Livingston, then Nichols enters with some more melody playing and now the rhythm with Rollini back into the section has gone into a more energetic mood. The performance is signed off as it started with Berton’s timpani. A certain quality is the overall dynamics!

Now everything could have been at peace, but though he is mentioned in the lineup I don’t hear the violin of Joe Venuti here. On the other hand I hear a sax behind Nichols first melody chorus. It could be Livingston doubling on alto. Who can you trust? Rust? (Brian Rust “Jazz Records 1997-1942” 5th Revised and Enlarged Edition). He has Jimmy Dorsey as the clarinet/alto player.

The recording date is anyway June 20, 1927.