Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Boots & His Buddies|
Boots & His Buddies 1935 37
Listen to Samples
Boots and his Buddies - Volume 1
Doug Norwood | Greensboro NC USA | 08/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Many collectors of big band jazz of the thirties and forties are intrigued by the phenomenon known as the "Territory Band". This was a band operating in an area away from one of the major population centers - New York or Chicago for example - often serving as a breeding ground for new talent. These outfits were active in every region of the country but nowhere more than in the Southwest. Some of these groups attracted enough attention to become nationally known - Count Basie and Andy Kirk are among the best examples of this - but most left only memories and perhaps a few recordings to chronicle their existence.In this respect, Boots and His Buddies, a band led by drummer Clifford "Boots" Douglas and working out of San Antonio was more fortunate than most. This band recorded forty-two sides for Bluebird. Twenty one of these are included in this CD with the rest being in Volume 2.Boots (or maybe it was Bluebird)had a habit of assigning dumb names to well known tumes - for example Sometimes I'm Happy has been retitled The Happy. Soloists were competent but for the most part, not outstanding. The exception was tenorman Baker Millian, a musician who should be better known and who played in the "Texas Tenor" style not unlike Herschel Evans. Although the band was inconsistent, at its best it is well worth hearing."
Overrecorded territory band
JJA Kiefte | Tegelen, Nederland | 01/19/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Texas born drummer Clifford 'Boots' Douglas led a band from the early thirties onwards, mainly staying in the southwest, and was one of very few territory bandleaders who secured a long running recording contract with a major company (RCA Bluebird). Only a handful of their recordings have stood the test of time, the opening "Rose Room", "How Long" and "Riffs" being particluarly felicitous, with nice, unpretensious arrangements, fairly good (if at times slightly ragged) section work, good solos on tenor sax by Baker Millian (who very much sounds like Willy Lewis' tenorist Big Boy Goudie) and piano by one A.J. Johnson.
The next eight tunes make one wonder if this is the same band at all. Either they are trying in earnest to emulate some of the worst white sweet band styles (the flowery trumpet of Clyde McCoy with its obnoxiously wide and exaggerated vibrato and the terrible saxophone sounds of a Guy Lombardo) in "Wild Cherry" (in fact Don Redman's "Cherry") and "I Love You Truly" or they are just having a bit of fun (which I doubt; many blacks (including Louis Armstrong; boy did he disappoint me in this......) were as enamoured of this 'sweet' style as many whites). Even worse are the february 1936 recordings of "Sweet Girl", "Marie" and "Coquette" (I don't recognize Carmen Lombardo's tune as such however) which sport listless, grandstanding, pretensious arrangements and the most awfully ragged section work and out of tune playing I have ever heard; The other five titles from this date are only marginally better in this respect but are saved by better arrangements and solos.
The addition of a fourth saxophone on the last date from february 1937 doesn't help the section work and the sweet band style is still very much in evidence on the slowfoxes (so it sadly wasn't a joke after all), abetted (in the negative) by the most whimperingly sad travesty of a singer I have ever encountered (one Israel Wicks). So ragged are the brass and so badly out of tune are the saxes on this date that the recordings, despite their pleasant rhythmic drive and fairly good solos, are almost unlistenable (a big surprise therefore is one item, "San Antonio Tamales", which is free of all of these defects!). They either didn't rehearse properly, were just mediocre musicians, were too destitute than that they could afford proper instruments or they didn't care about the tunes they had to record (probably a combination of all four).
Don't buy this unless you feel you really have to."
Hot territory band
Yves F. Smierciak | Chicago, Illinois United States | 03/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Boots and His Buddies recorded 6 recording sessions for Bluebird between 1935 and 1938, and,on this CD the first three sessions appear from 1935 to early 1937. While the music enclosed may occasionaly be deficent in intonation, the very fine tenor of Baker Millian and the excellent trumpet solos (evidently by different trumpet players on the various sessions), particularly on the earliest sessions, make this CD a worthwile purchase. The strong southwestern swing of the band reminds one of a B grade version of 1932 vintage Bennie Moten (but then Hot Lips Page , Ben Webster and Count Basie are not present), and the blues (How Long), or the riff oriented pieces like "Riffs", "The Vamp" (really a slower version the the Will Hudson chart "Nit Wit Serenade"), or "The Swing" (this is a more swinging version of Ben Pollack's "Swing Out")really show the band to advantage, and gives us a picture of a typical ensamble that would have been the real soundtrack to the Kansas City movie that was popular a few years ago. Enjoy"