From the Record Shelves #95

Don’t Give Me Sympathy

United Artists UAS 5028

According to Edmond Hall himself, this nice little song was one that they often sang and played at home when he was small, and it stems from the 1890s. Home was in Reserve, Louisiana but Edmond got his musical inspiration and learning from New Orleans where his father, a clarinet player was a member of the Onward Brass Band. In a family where everybody played music he started by becoming proficient on guitar then concentrated on clarinet at seventeen in 1918.

His long career included playing with the legendary Buddy Petit in New Orleans, then later in the 20s he played in Texas and Florida before coming to New York with Alonzo Ross’ Orchestra.

In the 30s we find him as a soloist on clarinet and baritone sax with Claude Hopkins, Lucky Millinder and Billy Hicks.

In further activities he is recording with Billie Holiday and playing in small groups led by Joe Sullivan, Red Allen and Teddy Wilson among others. He also was involved in the circle of Eddie Condon and finally lead his own band until 1948. After long engagements in Boston and San Francisco he became a member of Louis Armstrong’s All Stars between 1955 and -58. At the time of this, his first LP-album in 1959, he is free-lancing.

Edmond Hall’s expressive clarinet playing is rich with emotion and swing and his sound is varied. On this tune he also gives us a pleasant vocal and his company on the date is first class with Emmett Berry, trumpet and Vic Dickenson on trombone in the frontline and behind Ellis Larkins, Milt Hinton and Jimmie Crawford on piano, bass and drums.