Release Date: 01/20/07
The recordings of two Chicago clarinettists who were active in the 1920s, Jimmie O'Bryant and Vance Dixon, are covered by Document Records JPCD-1518-2 and JPCD 1519-2. While neither O'Bryant nor Dixon can be considered as challengers to Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Noone or Omer Simeon, their records show that they were more than merely proficient instrumentalists. On hearing Crazy Quilt by Dixon, the listener is aware of a technically sound performer who was well able to improvise. On occasion, O'Bryant, who was influenced early by Jimmie Noone and later, probably around 1924, by Johnny Dodds, could sound very much like Dodds. I am reminded of an early LP reissue of Dodds material which actually included some selections by O'Bryant. Quite a compliment to Jimmie! On the first of two CDs released originally on the Austrian RST label, clarinettist Jimmy O'Bryant, a long-forgotten but talented player who died in 1928, is featured on his ironically titled Famous Original Washboard Band (a trio/quartet with pianist Jimmy Blythe, Jasper Taylor on washboard, and guest cornetist Bob Shoffner) on nineteen selections. In addition, O'Bryant and Blythe accompany singer Sodarisa Miller during two songs, and O'Bryant, cornetist Tommy Ladnier, and pianist Lovie Austin, assist blues singer Julia Davis on two others. O'Bryant was not a major soloist, although he might have grown into a stronger talent were it not for his premature death. Certainly, O'Bryant plays well and many of his originals have not been revived until now and are worth investigating. 1920s jazz fans will want this CD, along with the second volume. The records by O'Bryant's Washboard Band appear to have sold rather well for, even today. most are relatively easy to obtain. Paramount, with limited finances, would not have continued to record the group if the records were not selling. Not so commercially successful were the recordings of Vance Dixon. They are difficult to find and most on JPCD1519-2 have not been reissued before.
|Label: Document Records|
|Run Time: 70 mins|
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