New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without Guy Lombardo, but we’ll skip Auld Lang Syne kick it off with one of his lesser known songs. Seems Like Old Times was written by Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb. Lombardo’s band had a reputation for playing “corny” music for the “blue haired ladies.” So, when Louis Armstrong was asked by jazz critics which was his favorite band, he said Guy Lombardo was his favorite. They all laughed and thought: was he “putting us on?” Only partly. Louis enjoyed the idea of making them crazy, but he also said that he wished he knew how to make his woodwinds sound like Lombardo. It was Lombardo’s secret. One thing I noticed from pictures of his reed men on the stand is that they all could play all the woodwinds. Hat tip: Chuck Cecil. Thanks to MusicProf78.
This is Minnie the Mermaid by Bernie Cummins & his Hotel New Yorker Orchestra. It’s not strictly a New Years Eve record, but It’s a society band with the type of song you would hear at fancy hotels in New York . I really like it. Thanks again to Atticus Jazz for the You Tube, with the often astonishing period pictures from his collection
I’ve played this video of Maceo Pinkard’s song I’ll be a Friend With Pleasure from Jeff and Joel’s October 2013 party before this past year. It’s claim to fame is it was the last song recorded by Bix Beiderbecke. Unfortunately, there was no room to dance at Joel’s farmhouse but a nice setting to hear this great song. Thanks again to CineDevine.
I don’t know if Jelly Roll Morton had a gig on New Years Eve, but he was in Harlem in the late 1920’s. He was under contract to Victor Records at the time. Little Lawrence was one of the earliest “old Jazz” records I heard and, man, I was all over this music. You hear on Little Lawrence another brilliant but tragic figure of this era, Bubber Miley, and his growling trumpet solo. Thanks to sergiofu42.
And here at the turning point, is Fats Waller to take us out with The Joint is Jumpin’
My, My, My as Fats would say, this is Fats Waller’s tribute to the Harlem rent party scene, titled The Joint is Jumpin, where he learned his trade. And usually, when the neighbors call the police, the party is over. It is a Soundie from 1941. Thanks to Ezequiel Giunta.
Since this is New Years Eve and Day, I thought I move both Fats Waller and Art Tatum back a day this weekend only. Tatum is coming up.
Update: a few typos and omissions corrected.