Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elmer Snowden 1933

Here's Elmer Snowden on banjo with his band in 1933. He was a fine musician who played superb solos on an instrument often viewed as restrictive. Usually he receives a brief mention in history books as having put together the band Duke Ellington used as the nucleus of his more famous orchestra. This film footage demonstrates he led an excellent band of his own years later.

Young Roy Eldridge is featured on trumpet here BEFORE his first recording session, while trombonist Dicky Wells and Sid Catlett are other stars I recognise.

They are no doubt hamming it up at the director's request, yet I find their rhythmic momentum inspiring. Very few bands playing early jazz and swing today can replicate this feel of 'togetherness'.

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