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EDMOND HALL Profoundly Blue His 27 Finest 1937-1944









Edmond Hall and his Celeste Quartet

1. Edmond Hall Blues

2. Jammin’ In Four

3. Profoundly Blue

Billie Holiday and her Orchestra

4. Me, Myself and I

Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra

5. My Buddy

Henry “Red” Allen and his Orchestra

6. Down In Jungle Town

7. Canal Street Blues

Zutty Singleton and his Orchestra

8. King Porter Stomp

9. Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble

Edmond Hall and his Blue Note Jazz Men

10. High Society

11. Night Shift Blues

Coleman Hawkins and the Leonard Feather All Stars

12. Esquire Blues

Edmond Hall and his Sextet

13. The Man I Love

14. Downtown Café Boogie

Edmond Hall and his All Star Quintet

15. Rompin’ In 44

16. Smooth Sailing

Edmond Hall and his Swingtet

17. It’s Been So Long

18. Big City Blues

Edmond Hall and his Quartet

19. Sleepy Time Gal

20. It Had To Be You

21. Caravan

22. Show Piece



Edmond Hall was born in Reserve, Louisiana in 1901 into a musical family of eight children. He learned his first songs on the family guitar, and later switched to the clarinet. He began playing in New Orleans in 1920 with Buddy Petit and his jazz band, before moving on in 1923 to Florida, where he played with various bands and musicians, including trumpeter Cootie Williams. In 1929 Edmond moved to New York and eventually found a home at the Café Society as the house clarinetist. This gave him the opportunity to perform every night with many notable jazz musicians in and around New York, and nearly every band passing through town. Along the way Edmond developed his own style on the clarinet; a gritty, growling, bluesy style, with less emphasis on improvisation and melodic evolution, and more on rhythm, sound, dynamics, vibrato, pitch and phrasing. Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington greatly admired his sound and technique and became two of Edmond’s biggest fans.

This disc contain 22 selections that Edmond recorded between 1937 and 1944 with various bands in New York. The earliest tune is Me, Myself and I, recorded in June 1937 for Columbia Records with Billie Holiday and her Orchestra, with Buck Clayton on trumpet and Lester Young on tenor saxophone, along with James Sherman on piano, Freddie Green on guitar, Walter Page on double-bass and Jo Jones on drums. Edmond plays an adequate first solo after the opening vocal verse, although the song itself feels stiff and doesn’t swing. A better selection is Downtown Café Boogie, recorded by Edmond Hall and his Sextet in December 1943 for Commodore Records, and featuring the amazing Eddie Heywood playing boogie-woogie piano. From the same recording session comes one of my favorite numbers on this disc, the Gershwin tune The Man I Love. During his clarinet solo Edmond plays an amazing series of descending glissandos, matching Heywood’s glissandos on the piano. The tune High Society was written by Porter Steele in 1901 for a marching band. The tune has a piccolo obligato, which was modified into a clarinet solo by Alphonse Picou when the song became a traditional jazz standard. Edmund Hall and his Blue Note Jazz Men, particularly Sidney De Paris on trumpet and Vic Dickenson on trombone, attack the tune with exuberance and verve. The latest songs in this collection are from a July 1944 session recorded by Edmond Hall and his Quartet for Commodore Records. The band had Teddy Wilson on piano, Billy Taylor playing double-bass and Art Trappier on drums, and they perform a wonderful rendition of Sleepy Time Gal, with fine solos on piano and clarinet. The Quartet’s swinging version of Duke Ellington’s Caravan is a delight, as is Show Piece, a number co-written by Edmond Hall and Teddy Wilson.

The sound quality of this disc is generally very good. A particular treat is listening to Meade Lux Lewis playing the celeste on the first three numbers. There is a 12 page booklet included with the disc, with notes and comments by Vic Bellerby. Recordings and information were compiled by Ray Crick, and final audio restoration and remastering were performed by Alan Bunting.

This disc was previously reviewed by Music Web reviewer Jonathan Woolf.

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