Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Freddie Keppard,one of the greatest legends of jazz
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 04/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Freddie Keppard was an excessive man.He played too loud,and drank too much.More than Fats Waller.He spent nights and nights blowing his horn,and defeated King Oliver during many trumpet contests.He was a giant,both physicaly and musically.He inspired many musicians,and I think that the great Henry "Red" Allen comes directly from him.Maybe Armstrong too,for some parts of his playing.Born in New Orleans February 27,1890 ? ,he learned to play accordion,mandolin,violin and cornet.He didn't like to be recorded,and always played with an handkerchief on his right hand,so that nobody could see his playing.That's why we can't hear a lot of him.
First,let's say that tracks 3-5 don't include Keppard,but the young Louis Armstrong,here in Erskine Tate's orchestra,and who blows some outstanding choruses on "Static strut" and "stomp off,let's go";these three tracks from 1926 offers some very great playing (but how could Satch have played badly ?) by the young Louis.His definitive,hard-swinging playing on "stomp off" is a treasure.I can listen to these tunes everyday,it will never be boring.You have to tap your feet listening to it.Don't miss these tunes,they are some of the most swinging things you'll ever hear.
But let's go back to the legend.Freddie Keppard seems to be present on all other tunes,except tracks 25 and 26.Of course,the sound quality is often poor.I know.But here is the only opportunity you'll have to listen to a legend of jazz.Of course,there will only be shadows of his gigantic playing.But there are some masterpieces here,some ferocious playing;"moanful moan",for example,in which Keppard's playing is absolutely terrific,full of swing and ferocity;truly one of the greatest things ever blown.Please notice the very difficult arrangement for the reed section (Jimmy Noone,Don Pasquall,Doc Poston).Or "the Memphis maybe man",or "here comes the hot tamale man",with a better sound quality.Or "Spanish mama",another masterpiece,even if the tune is rather a poor one.But this is certainly the only opportunity we have to realize how great Freddie Keppard was,even if his interventions are rather short.His short solo,at the end of the tune,is really amazing.Nobody could blow like this at this time.Here are only some seconds of the greatest trumpet playing of all times.THis is just as free and masterful as Louis Armstrong's playing in Fletcher Henderson's band.
He was nicknamed "Whalemouth",because he could drink more than anyone else.He was the king of trumpet,and dominated everybody,even King Oliver,for many years.He was a colossus.Maybe he was the king of jazz.He died in 1932,aged 42,as a poor alcoholic.T.B. killed him officially.And he only left us a little bit more than a handful of tunes,in which he sldom plays like he could,just because he didn't want to be imitated.But listen to the end of "sidewalk blues":who could have imitate him ?"