[78] Bix Beiderbecke – Singin’ The Blues, Vol. 1

3 Oct

Bright and breezy, light and crisp.  Listening to these wonderful 90 year old tunes feels like Fall.

Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Eddie Land and co.

Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Eddie Lang and co.

Once more, I initially feel at a loss to explain why this selection of tunes pleases me so when a similar collection from Sidney Bechet left me unmoved.  Perhaps I am unfairly comparing the recording quality, which is noticeably poorer in the case of Bechet.  Maybe I prefer the freedom, the looseness which is more noticeable in the Beiderbecke sides.

Whatever the reason, Beiderbecke and his ever changing cast of accompanying musicians grab my ear and my heart from almost the first note, dovetailing effortlessly with the beautiful Fall weather outside my open window.

The more I listen however, the more I come to realize that there may be another, deeper reason for my connection to this sound.  While I am not certain that it was ever actually Beiderbecke that he played, this sound strongly reminds me of the music that I often heard – between 40s standards and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas – whenever my Grandpa was around.

It is a good memory.

Beiderbecke’s coronet dances up and down the scale, darting in and out of the structures built by the rest of the band.  Although recorded around the same time as Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, the power of those legendary horns are replaced here with a playfulness that is infectious – a complement, not a challenge.

Here is a sound that is easy to love, instantly accessible, endlessly listenable, and a perfect soundtrack for when the season begins to turn.  That it also reminds me of my beloved Grandpa is just gravy.

Next week:  Harry Belafonte – Live At Carnegie Hall

Owned before blogging? No. (9 of 78 = 12%)
Heard before blogging? No. (12 of 78 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (63 of 78 = 81%)

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2 Responses to “[78] Bix Beiderbecke – Singin’ The Blues, Vol. 1”

  1. jazztraveler October 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM #

    Thanks for sharing! I am with you, Beiderbecke can move me more than Bechet or sometimes even Armstrong. I like his sound and apparently he was an inspiration for some of the later Jazz player in the Cool Jazz era.

  2. nycavri October 3, 2014 at 1:18 PM #

    Thanks for reading, and especially for commenting. It is always interesting to ponder why one sound inspires and another, similar sound does not. Seems to have become a big part of what I am exploring with this blog – particularly with the Jazz.

    Your discussions on attempting to get a handle on Free Jazz were fascinating, especially since I have no sense of why I took to Ayler and Abrams so immediately.

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