U3A NESTON JAZZ GROUP 07 SEPTEMBER 2021
JAZZ TO SMILE TO
(or Is Bing really jazz?)
Armstrong - When you're smiling
Beiderbecke with Hoagy Carmichael - Barnicle Bill
Roll Morton - Hyena Stomp and Billy Goat Stomp
Crosby - You are my sunshine
Armstrong - I can't give you anything but love
Melly with John Chiltern's Feetwarmers - Happy feet
King Cole - On the sunny side of the street
Langham's Hot Fingers - Hard hearted Hannah
Kelly” & his big Seven - Smile
Fryer & Jeff Barnhart - The joint is jumping
Goetz & Keith Nichols piano duet - Cash for your
Jones, Herb Ellis & Red Mitchell - I want to be
Dry Throat Fellows - Do something, Pickin' on your
baby, The Minor Drag
Waller - Your not the only oyster in the stew,
Money, Let's pretend there's a moon, Honeysuckle
Rose, Lu Lu's back in Town, My very good friend the
Bing is not jazz, but
never mind. The music on the Morton sides is great, the sound
effects are awful. We heard Oliver Jones -piano, from Canada, at
the Cork Jazz Festival many years ago. Tony Davies brought the
Dry Throat Fellows over from France for a festival. I love the
words of Hard Hearted Hannah. Smile is from the film 'Pete
"BING IS NOT JAZZ" - a different view!
After almost eight years of living in Gloucestershire I am in
the process of moving back to Cumbria, the chief attraction
being the friends still playing Jazz !
But before that process succeeds , I am coming to Kendal Jazz
Club on Wednesday 13th to 'stand in' on double bass for Gerry
Clayton with the High Society Band !
Due to a lack of opportunities to perform in this part of
England, I too have presented 'Jazz Appreciation' to U3A members
(or u3a as it is now !) so I was interested to read Clive
Edwards' comments and his list of a recent selection of Jazz
My experience from being a 'Jazz Appreciation' presenter has
brought me to the conclusion that it's very difficult for anyone
younger than 75 to have been influenced by Jazz , or Jazz
'interpretation' in 'popular ' music during the 1950s and early
1960s. But many participants often recall that their Parents
enjoyed that music, so they've heard the names 'Bing Crosby'
and' Louis Armstrong' .
Before I was even of 'teen' age, I saw the film of 'High
Society' at the cinema, and was profoundly impressed by Bing and
Louis long before I heard, or even knew about the recordings of
the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (with Bing & the Rhythm Boys) or
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (with Louis on second cornet)
Often the fact that someone has at least heard of Bing and/or
Louis has been a 'key' to exploring those recordings, so I have
to say that I feel that Clive's comment "Bing is not Jazz- but
never mind" is not deserved , since I believe Bing was an
'Ambassador' for Jazz through his life-long associations and
recordings with Louis (regardless of racial intolerance in
American life), even being 'bold ' enough to sing and 'scat' St.
Louis Blues on record with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra in
I have no wish to offend Clive, or encourage a deluge of comment
from others, but if it's true to say that "Bing is not Jazz",
then I challenge anyone to explain why Bing's contribution to
Jazz should be seen as insufficient , or inappropriate, to earn
him an 'appropriate' place in the 'archives' of Jazz as well as
20th Century popular music !
Finally, on the subject of continuing with Jazz Appreciation
during 'lockdown', I have made the incredible discovery that all
the music in my life's collection of Jazz records, cassettes,
and CD's can, nowadays, be found entirely on 'YouTube' ; but I
will be taking them all to my new home to remind of all the years of searching, buying, and listening, before computers were
I read Roy Candsdale's piece with
interest and have to agree with him. In the early years of ‘Just
Jazz’ there were many heated articles about the same subject.
However, the majority of views plumbed for Bing to be included
amongst the ‘jazz influencers’. He may not have had a ‘jazz
voice’, but it was more about, structure, content and timing,
which was very much jazz based – the fact that Bing was playing
drums in bands before he took the ‘Road to Whiteman’, may have
something to do with that. I suspect this argument will continue
for a few more years, however, maybe via YouTube, Spotify etc,
the younger jazz ear will appreciate his contribution to the
early jazz era!
My understanding was that Bing
started his life as a jazz singer but like many more went over
to films when he realised that he was going to make no money.
There are lists of 'em over the years.