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Port of Harlem Jazzmen

The very first time Blue Note founder Alfred Lion ever assembled a band in the recording studio, he thought we would call them the Port of Harlem Jazzmen. It had been Apr 7, 1939, and Lion experienced decided to set up his personal record label (called for “blue records,” the microtonally reduced third, seventh, or 5th examples of the diatonic level) after trimming 19 edges by pianists Albert Ammons and Meade “Lux” Lewis 90 days previous, on January 6. Blue Note’s 1st studio ensemble contains trumpeter Frankie Newton (who Lion experienced 1st heard carrying out at a skating rink in Berlin with Sam Wooding’s Chocolates Kiddies in 1925), trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, pianist Albert Ammons, guitarist Teddy Bunn, bassist Johnny Williams, and drummer Sidney Catlett. “Mighty Blues” and “Rocking the Blues” had been released as Blue Notice 3, while “Slot of Harlem Blues” premiered down the road Blue Notice 14. Two game titles from your April 7 program were played with a somewhat reduced combination and finally issued to the general public as Blue Notice 501; “Daybreak Blues” was shown as from the Frankie Newton Quintet and “Weary Property Blues” as from the J.C. Higginbotham Quintet. Throughout a profession that lasted many years, Higginbotham rarely documented as a innovator; 1st in 1930 with users from the Luis Russell Orchestra as J.C. Higginbotham’s Six Hicks, and in 1945 in the helm of his Big Eight, among the many likewise called ensembles who documented for the Warm Record Culture (HRS). Higginbotham’s short and moderate triumph at Blue Notice happened midway between those milestones. Both trumpeter and trombonist could actually record once again as nominal market leaders on June 8, 1939, when Meade “Lux” Lewis changed Ammons in the piano. Newton was the presented soloist around the “After Hours Blues” (Blue Notice 14), as was Higginbotham around the “Basin Road Blues” (Blue Notice 7). The ensemble was after that enlarged with the addition of soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet for an psychologically torqued tribute towards the lately deceased trumpeter Tommy Ladnier, entitled “Blues for Tommy” and acknowledged to the Slot of Harlem Seven (Blue Notice 7). Bechet as well as the tempo section after that boiled down the enthusiasm of Tommy’s elegy and poured it into probably one of the most effective readings of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” ever documented. It was released on Blue Notice 6, using the “Pounding Center Blues” as performed by the Slot of Harlem Seven on the other hand. Which was the last period that the Interface of Harlem Jazzmen set up before the documenting microphones as an organization. Lion, obviously, was just obtaining heated up; during Blue Note’s initial half 10 years his roster of documented talent would consist of trumpeter Sidney De Paris and clarinetists George Lewis and Edmond Hall, furthermore to pianists Earl Hines, Pete Johnson, and Adam P. Johnson; the daddy of Harlem stride piano was well symbolized as soloist, sideman, and head of many excellent swing rings. Most heavily highlighted had been staunchly traditional groupings under the command of pianist Artwork Hodes or Sidney Bechet. With tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec portion as A&R movie director for Blue Take note, the catalog extended to welcome contemporary innovators like Tadd Dameron, Adam Moody, and Thelonious Monk, a brand new wave of Little Lions coexisting hand and hand with old and even more traditional-minded artists.

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