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Albert Socarras

The first jazz flute soloist ever sold (predating the better-known Wayman Carver by many years), Albert Socarras made records with Clarence Williams starting in 1927 and took occasional flute solos at least as soon as 1929. He started his profession playing in his indigenous Cuba, moving towards the U.S. in 1927. A officially competent musician, Socarras performed all of the reeds (especially alto and clarinet) and caused the Blackbirds displays of 1928-33. He was with Benny Carter for a brief period in 1933, went an all-girls music group that toured European countries in 1934, toured with Sam Wooding the next year and generally led his personal groups apart from becoming briefly with Erskine Hawkins in 1937. A talented traditional single flutist and an educator, Socarras worked well beyond jazz following the 1930’s. But when one hears his flute solos from your 1920’s (including one where he is accompanied by some rambunctious Cyrus St. Clair tuba-playing), Albert Socarras (who just led an individual record day of his personal, four songs having a Cuban-oriented music group in 1935) noises quite futuristic! It really is a pity that his flute playing had not been utilized even more in jazz.

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