Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bubber Miley - hot trumpet in unexpected contexts

Trumpeter Bubber Miley is a well-documented influence on the early Ellington band. He, along with Sidney Bechet, is said to have led Ellington down the path towards hot music. After Miley's departure, various trumpeters filled his chair in the orchestra, playing plunger-muted growl solos in the 'jungle' style.

Miley himself is usually discussed in this context, and it's a source of amazement to me that he crops up in so many other unexpected situations.

Take, for example, this pleasingly sinister version of What Is This Thing Called Love, by Leo Reisman's society orchestra:

How about a duet with Arthur Ray on reed organ?

Then there's a session under Hoagy Carmichael's name, sharing a horn section with Bix Beiderbecke, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Bud Freeman:

Bubber Miley was more than just a catalyst for Ellington's 'jungle' style. He deserves to be heard in all these different environments. Not forgetting, of course, that some of his own records as a bandleader are first class hot jazz in their own right:


JAZZ LIVES said...

The story has it that the head of Victor at the time was -- isn't it wonderful? -- an absolute Miley convert, who insisted that sessions at Victor have Miley on them. I also know that Miley appeared with the Reisman Orchestra, although whether he played a solo from behind a curtain or pretended to be a trumpet-playing usher (complete with uniform) is not clear in my memory. But we are fortunate that Loren Watson of Victor heard something rich and rare and strange.

rhythmoftheday said...


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