From the Record Shelves #85


78 rpm Parlophone R 2932

When I hear this I can’t help thinking about a passus from Eddie Condon’s book We Called It Music. In a chapter called “Young Man with a Cap” it reads:

“The next day we got up as the train came into Cleveland. With nothing to do but sit and stare at the scenery from there to Buffalo, I began to wonder about the cornet. I got out my banjo. Eberhardt dug up his saxophone and doodled along with me. Finally, Beiderbecke took out a silver cornet. He put it to his lips and blew a phrase. The sound came out like a girl saying yes. Eberhardt smiled at me. ’How about Panama?’ he said. I was still shivering and licking my insides, tasting the last of the phrase. ’All right’ Beiderbecke said, Panama. By itself, so it seemed, my banjo took up the rhythm. At last, I was playing music; so far as I was concerned it could go on forever.”

We do not hear Beiderbecke on this record but Condon and his banjo is there, Frank Teschmaker on alto sax and clarinet, Joe Sullivan, piano and Gene Krupa on drums. The four Chicago musicians all heard Bix, got inspiration from him and Eddie Condon continued to talk about him the rest of his life. Here he is also responsible for the vocal chorus.