Clarence Williams Blue Five – Wild Cat Blues

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“Wild Cat Blues” – Clarence Williams Blue Five (1923)
Although Sidney Bechet has recorded in 1920 and 1921 as well, his first official recording came from a session with Clarence Williams’ Blue Five in New York on July 30, 1923. Together with cornetist Tom Morris, trombonist John Mayfield, Clarence Williams piano and Buddy Christian they recorded just two tunes. The Wild Cat Blues became a popular feature for Bechet. He recorded the tune again in 1947 and 1949.
It had a big impact on the revival world. Claude Luter did it on record again and later Monty Sunshine with the Chris Barber Band made it into a tophit. Even today, many of the better revival bands have this great piece in their repertoire.

Comments

lluviadeltropico says:

Rec NY in 1923 – Sidney Bechet sop, Thomas Morris cnt, John Mayfield tbn, Clarence Williams pno, Buddy Christian bjo.

Derek Elshaw says:

one of the first ever recorded musicians and still one of the best of all time.

Greg Bayes says:

Sid Bechet's soprano saxophone does the talkin'

Great Pianists says:

Check out the carefully cleaned-up digitized versions of acoustically-recorded Victor records on the National Jukebox if you don't believe me (recorded from 1900-1924), and compare with other examples of those same records posted around Youtube, dubbed on various devices (including straight dubs using regular turntables, or playing the record on various vintage acoustic phonograph models, etc.), to hear how the quality changes.

Great Pianists says:

Due to advances in recording horn technology (via constant experimentation), the acoustic recordings on the major labels (Victor, Columbia, Brunswick, Okeh, and Edison) had gotten quite good by 1923-1924 (especially when played on modern-day equipment and judiciously cleaned up, or at least on an old machine with a properly-shaped horn) One wonders how advanced acoustic recording would have gotten had the electric microphone not become commercially viable and in widespread use by 1926.

Great Pianists says:

It's definitely 1923. According to the 4th Edition of "Jazz Records" by Brian Rust, this was recorded in New York, July 30, 1923, and is Okeh matrix # 71706-B.

Great Pianists says:

There are jazz bands today that play in this idiom… they just don't get the press of the other guys. Check out the Hot Antic Jazz Band, the Early Jazz Wizards, and a bunch of other bands. I wish I could name them all, but there are so many. Many of the bands that love the Clarence Williams and Jimmy Blythe small groups are in Europe, in countries like France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Some of these bands have recorded for Stomp Off Records, so check their website.

phil potato says:

I don't get it. This is an incredible recording! Why on earth don't modern so-called jazz men play like this anymore?

Roboviewer says:

Sure this is 1923? The sound quality seems too
good for 1923. 1927 seems more realistic.

Sikandra00 says:

Like, like, LOVE!

MrEclecticity says:

@Squarerig You need to revisit Ken Colyer. A brilliant band-leader and much underrated cornet player. There is lots of evidence of this here on You Tube. My complaint with COLYERFAN concerned the suggestion that the Chris Barber/Monty Sunshine's version was more popular/better than this. A bit like comparing a beefburger to a steak.

MrEclecticity says:

@Squarerig You need to revisit Ken Colyer. A brilliant band-leader and much underrated cornet player. There is lots of evidence of this here on You Tube. My complaint with COLYERFAN concerned the suggestion that the Chris Barber/Monty Sunshine's version of was more popular/better than this. A bit like comparing a beefburger to a steak.

Squarerig says:

Mr electricity Absolutely!Colyer was enthusiastic but really a most mediocre cornet player.He was surpassed by all the other members of his band.But this is PURE,talented,inspired and joyous.

MrEclecticity says:

@COLYERFAN Your parochial knickers are showing.

HissVideo says:

Sounds all very sharply with nonlinear blaze (distortion).
I doubt that such a sound was recorded on the disc itself.

Urbino237 says:

@oldtimejazzfan Yes you're right. My apologies – with respect to the calendar.

Urbino237 says:

Nobody else played like this in 1923? Is Louis not on that list?

Piano Kater says:

Thank you for sharing and for the interesting intro!!!

Fröhliche Grüße aus Tirol
😉

Morahman7vnNo2 says:

I remember this from Ken Burns Doc.

Guy Kornowski says:

Great! I love the old rough sound

Corrie121 says:

Absolutely the finest rendition of this fantastic tune. This is beyond compare.
Thank you for sharing.

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