LP Parlophone PMC 1184
When I saw this record in the shop, a department store, some day back in 1966 the price was over my budget. But I just had to have it, so I swapped etiquettes with a cheaper one. It was the only time, and I’m a bit ashamed, but it doesn’t make the music on the LP sound less good.
On this number from 1928 I hear Bubber Miley, the most important musician in the band except Duke Ellington himself, doing his thing on the cornet. He is backed by agile banjo from Fred Guy, steady bass playing from Wellman Braud and good cymbal work from Sonny Greer. The saxophones haves a soprano on top which gives a whimsical effect, and after their theme we hear the trombone of “Tricky Sam” Nanton. Since the “carpet”, the long background notes, of the saxes is absent in his solo, it sounds naked, but he plays rough with confidence.
Then we get a welcome guest appearance, in the form of Lonnie Johnson, who takes a twelve bar guitar solo in his characteristic style. I guess that he is tuned as usual in open “D” but tuned up half a step to come into E-flat.
Now enters Barney Bigard on clarinet and after that Bubber is back and brings the number to its climax. The rhythm section with the addition of Lonnie Johnson is terrific!
I also note that the opening bars are similar to Ellington’s great Creole Rhapsody that was recorded three years later.