[JPL] carney with strings/first out of the gate

Tom Reney tr at wfcr.org
Sun Sep 3 13:06:28 EDT 2006

The 1954 Clef session was billed as Harry Carney With Strings, but it's been 
reissued in a multiple-session set under Ben Webster's name entitled Music 
for Loving.  The Carney billing remains intact on this 2-CD set, but the 8 
titles recorded under his name didn't constitute enough material for a CD 
release of its own; still, Verve should have listed it under Webster and 
Carney's names.

Carney is only arguably the "first out of the gate."  Coleman Hawkins, Eddie 
Barefield, and Jack Washington were playing substantial ensemble passages on 
baritone contemporaneously with Carney; no doubt others too.  One is in 
murky waters when trying to determine firsts in jazz of this period; the 
music was only beginning to be documented on records in any substantial 
manner from 1923, but it's got a lineage that precedes recordings.

And don't forget the amazing Adrian Rollini, who recorded prolifically with 
the California Ramblers between 1922 and '27, later with Goodman, Teagarden, 
his own groups.  While he played the bass saxophone, Rollini was truly a 
primary model for these and many other players of the bari and other reeds. 
Rollin's intonation, sound and fluid style astonished Carney, Barefield, and 
Budd Johnson.  Carney said he tried to make his upper register sound like 
Hawk's tenor, and his lower like Rollini's bass.  When Wynton Marsalis 
polled a number of jazz greats on their favorite solos for his NPR series 
Making the Music, Gerry Mulligan cited a 1933 recording featuring Rollini, 
whom he mistook to be playing a baritone.  It's worth noting that Rollini 
used a baritone mouthpiece and reeds, and he had the neck of his bass 
saxophone customized to be more like that of a bari.

Tom Reney
"Jazz à la Mode"
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tr at wfcr.org

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