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Shirley Clay

Regardless of the femme-sounding name and credits burning the decidedly feminine Boswell Sisters, this swing-era jazz trumpeter isn’t a long-lost number to become put into the miniscule rates of feminine players out of this period. Shirley Clay was a Midwestern guy who started dealing with bands from your St. Louis region around 1920, when he was still an adolescent. Although not really a name that arises in the 1st and even second set of popular swingtime jazz hornmen, he non-etheless amassed an extraordinary group of discographical credits aswell as opportunities to include his own details to various recognized jazz masterworks, not absolutely all of which had been used by this understated, careful, and unobtrusive participant. His 1st touring clothing, the Synco Jazzers, was led by St. Louis-based John Williams, employment that lasted for just two years before Clay relocated to Chicago. He used Louis Armstrong “for one minute” as the jazz manifestation goes into 1927, but a good second with Satch could have been an memorable experience for just about any trumpeter. His even more regular collaborators after that included Carroll Dickerson and a large music group led by clarinetist Clifford Ruler. From the past due ’20s in to the early ’30s, Clay started seeping in to the saving studio scene like a freelance trumpeter, and from your appears of his discography, you can safely assume he produced proficient at it. He documented with Earl Hines, including a 1929 day for Victor, and in addition got in for the traditional blues noises of Ma Rainey, aswell as documenting with well-known vocal abilities the Boswell Sisters. Talking about vocals, Clay is among the band of top-flight hornmen who had been the flower women to Billie Holiday’s bride-to-be on her behalf landmark middle-’30s recordings. He started a link with Don Redman that endured until 1936, but also allowed him plenty of time to undertake many tasks with fussy bandleader Benny Goodman, who’s said to possess attempted to unnerve the solid Clay by loosening the lamp on his music stand to the main point where vibrations through the bass drum would make it venture out. He also caused the kinder and gentler Ben Pollack and completed out the 10 years alongside traditional golf swing veteran Claude Hopkins. In the first ’40s, he was back again with Hines, after that in groupings led by Horace Anderson, Leon Abbey, and an especially well-received combo fronted by trumpeter Cootie Williams. He also documented and performed the hi-de-ho audio of Cab Calloway in the middle-’40s. Clay went being a bandleader from 1944 until his loss of life, but also performed being a sideman with Hopkins, a music group led by Manzie Johnson, as well as the quartet of Harry Dial, who mentions Clay in his 1984 autobiography EVERYTHING THAT Jazz About Jazz. He was also highlighted on some periods with the Mills Brothers.

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