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Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra Featuring Bix Beiderbecke: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

I am not convinced that this was recorded in 1927. It just sounds too clear. In any case, it’s great Here is the credited personnel, at least according to a comment at YouTube: Frankie Trumbauer, Bix Beiderbecke, Bill Rank, Don Murray, Charles “Pee Wee” Russell, Adrian Rollini, Frank Signorelli, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti and Chauncey Morehouse.

Here is more on Trumbauer:

Frankie Trumbauer’s accomplishments as a Jazz musician have been overshadowed by the role he played in Bix Beiderbecke’s career. In his own right he may have played a greater role in the history of Jazz than Bix, as the grandfather of Modern Jazz. His cool, intellectual style of playing was a major influence on Lester Young, and something of his style can be found in the Cool Jazz movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Trumbauer was unusual in that he played C-Melody saxophone. He got his start playing in several dance bands in the Midwest and eventually became musical director of Jean Goldkette’s Orchestra. (Continue Reading…)

Check out this beautiful cover of Beiderbecke’s “Davenport Blues.” Andy Stein, the saxophonist for “Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen,” had a lot of very nice things to say about Venuti in an interview.

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.