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KID ORY

Storyville Nights

Upbeat URCD262D

 

 

CD 1

Dixieland Marching Songs

1. Jambalaya

2. Ting-A-Ling

3. Do What Ory Say

4. Walking with the King

5. Gettysburg March

6. Bye and Bye

7. Battle Hymn of the Republic

8. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

9. Over the Waves

10. Paddle Wheel

11. Lassus’ Trombone

12. Nobody’s Sweetheart

13. San

Recorded on Dec. 21-22, 1960 in Los Angeles, California

Kid Ory Plays W C [sic]Handy

14. Joe Turner Blues

15. ‘Way down South

16. Yellow Dog Blues

17. Atlanta Blues

18. Careless Love.

Recorded on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1, 1959 in San Francisco, California

CD 2

Kid Ory Storyville Nights

1. Storyville Blues [see note‡]

2. Doctor Jazz

3. Milenburg Joys

4. Jelly Roll Blues

5. Winin’ Boy Blues

6. Boogaboo

7. Smoke House Blues

8. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans

Recorded on Dec. 5, 1961 in Hollywood, California

Kid Ory Plays W C Handy (Part Two)

9. Aunt Hagar’s Blues

10. St. Louis Blues

11. Harlem Blues

12. Friendless Blues.

Recorded on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1, 1959 in San Francisco, California


Collective Personnel:

Kid Ory – Trombone, vocal (CD 1, track 3; CD 2, tracks 1, 5, 8)

Teddy Buckner, Andy Blakeney – Trumpet

Bob McCracken, Caughey Roberts – Clarinet

Lionel Reason, Cedric Heywood, Bob Van Eps – Piano

Frank Haggerty, Johnny St. Cyr – Guitar

Morty Corb, Charles Oden, Bob Boyack – Bass

Jesse Sailes, Doc Cenardo – Drums

Lionel Reason, vocal (CD 1, Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 12)


As part of their Ory LP reissue series on CD, Upbeat have made available what is the last of the Ory material on LP—or at least that recorded in the studio—including the hard-to-find Dixieland Marching Songs. The three sessions included here are all from the Verve label. (Note: all of the Ory material on Verve was previously reissued by Mosaic in their Complete Kid Ory Verve Sessions in 1999, but it is long out of print.) Along with the others in this Upbeat series, the transfers here are first class.

In the period these LP’s were recorded Ory was nearing the end of his career—he retired from playing some five years or so after Storyville Nights was recorded. However, his playing on these sessions was still robust, full of the glisses and growls that were among his trademarks, as these discs evince, and his vocals also tended to match his muted trombone playing—guttural and low pitched, almost suggesting a growl. His bands, despite the varying personnel over the years, tended to have a certain Ory imprint as, from his New Orleans background, he never quite jettisoned ensemble work although he did provide solo space to his members. Even at the end of a solo, he frequently cannot resist an ensemble punctuation of the last few bars, leading into the next solo. His rhythm section, too, is always a solid four-to-the-bar, not a “boom-chick-boom-chick,” and he favored guitar over banjo and string bass over tuba, giving a little more depth with a light bottom and adding to the pulse of the bass and piano.

New Orleans has long been famous for its brass bands, and those of Ory’s lifetime did not hesitate to adapt any tune to a march rhythm, changing a waltz to 4/4 time (Over the Waves) or a habanera to a 4/4 time signature (St Louis Blues) or a pop tune to a march (Nobody’s Sweetheart Now). Not many of the tunes from the LP Dixieland Marching Songs in the first CD are played as marches—even Gettsysburg March and Battle Hymn of the Republic which begin in 6/8 time do not stay in it throughout. They are “swung” in common time. Ory is not trying to “recreate” a small marching band, and any roll offs, such as those in these two marches, are merely a nod in the direction of a march introduction or a segue from 6/8 to 4/4 time.

The first CD is filled out with the first half of the Kid Ory Plays W C Handy, the second half of that LP being used to complete the second CD. Handy, by his own admission, performed, wrote down, and published many traditional or folk songs under his name, thus preserving them before they were lost. Occasionally he would piece together several song fragments to make one song. Others bear a resemblance to yet other songs that have appeared under other titles. Thus Harlem Blues contains strains that make one think of Worried Man Blues. All of the other Handy compositions should be familiar except, perhaps, Joe Turner Blues, Way Down South, and the afore-mentioned Harlem Blues.

The tracks from Storyville Nights are for me the best on this set—whether fast or slow they swing. The rhythm section provides that solid base on which the front line can build, and the front line takes full advantage of it. Blakeney does not go chasing after notes at the top of the high register, as Buckner does on the other two albums, and McCracken is quite content to play a spare clarinet line, not indulging in flurries and cascades of notes as does Roberts. And behind (or below) it all is that pulsating rhythm section, propelled by Cenardo on drums, who, unlike Sailes, is not wedded to a backbeat on most numbers and utilizes pressed rolls which, to my ears, enhance the rhythm. These eight Storyville Nights tracks are, by themselves, worth the price of admission to this double CD issue.

Traditional jazz fans who don’t have the Mosaic CD set (or, perhaps, the Verve LP’s) will want to add this pair to the other Ory Upbeats they probably have.

More information is available at the Upbeat web site, www.upbeat.co.uk.

‡Note: Many tunes that appear on records have, for a number of reasons (often associated with copyright), more than one title. On these two CD’s several fall into this category, such as Atlanta Blues = Make Me a Pallet on the Floor and Careless Love = Loveless Love (the latter being the title given on the Verve LP). And Smokehouse Blues was first recorded by its composer under the title Creole.

Storyville Blues on CD 2, however, might surprise a number of listeners as it did me. I was expecting to hear Maceo Pinkard’s well-known composition with that title (alternate titles for which are, or were, Those Draftin’ Blues and Bienville Blues). However, the Storyville Blues on this CD is not that tune at all, but rather Spencer Williams’ Good Time Flat Blues—or to cite its more common title, perhaps,Farewell to Storyville (as sung by Billie Holiday in the 1947 movie New Orleans. Just in passing, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans was written for that same movie.). All of that confusion does not detract from the tune itself, which, although simple, is catchy and memorable.

While on the subject of alternate titles, etc., Do What Ory Say is identical to a tune written by Johnny St. Cyr and Armand J. Piron and copyrighted in 1917 titled Mama’s Baby Boy! (Credit: I am indebted to Bill Haesler for this information on Do What Ory Say.)

Bert Thompson



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