Monday, November 28, 2016

Jabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces 1929-1938

Resucitamos este blog, y seguimos compartiendo lo mejor del Jazz Tradicional y el Blues en disco, con este formidable trompetista de los años 20, Jabbo Smith (1908-1991), el único (junto a Bix Beiderbecke, probablemente) que podía entonces compararse hasta cierto punto con el maestro de maestros Louis Armstrong en cuanto a creatividad y sonoridad, con sólo 20 años cumplidos en sus primeras sesiones de grabación. Gunther Schuller, en su monumental y definitivo "Early Jazz" le dedica un buen capítulo a Jabbo Smith en el apartado "Los ejecutantes virtuosos de los años 20", al lado de artistas como Bix, Bessie Smith o James P. Johnson, lo que parece ya bastante revelador sobre el nivel de esta trompeta de indudable personalidad, muy moderno para su época, sin duda. En próximas entregas añadiremos algunas grabaciones de la última etapa de su carrera, si no tan rompedoras como las de los roarin' twenties, sí magníficas también. Entretanto, disfrutemos una vez más de esos magníficos clásicos como "Jazz Battle", "Sweet and Low Blues" (pasmoso diálogo de trompeta y clarinete ahí) o "Sleepy Time Blues" (otro pionero del canto scat).
- Jay Bee Rodríguez

 Although only 20 years old, trumpeter Jabbo Smith cut virtually all of his finest recordings in 1929, when he was touted as a competitor to Louis Armstrong. Smith's 19 sides with his Rhythm Aces (all of which are on this essential CD) are some of the most exciting recordings of the era. Often teamed in a quintet with Omer Simeon (on clarinet and alto), pianist Cassino Simpson, banjoist Ikey Robinson, and the tuba of Hayes Alvis (subs appear on a few numbers), Jabbo's reckless and explorative trumpet flights are often thrilling. Highlights include "Jazz Battle," "Till Times Get Better," "Ace of Rhythm," and "Band Box Stomp," but all of the performances (including Smith's trombone solo on "Lina Blues" and his occasional and effective vocals) are well worth hearing. The CD concludes with Jabbo Smith's four-song 1938 session, which is disappointingly tame. Strange as it seems, Smith was past his prime by 1930 when he was only 21. Except for some early sideman appearances and forgettable efforts in later years (plus one previously unissued Rhythm Ace side from 1929 that was unearthed in the mid-'90s by the Retrieval label), this CD essentially contains Jabbo Smith's entire legacy, although he would live until 1991.
-Scott Yanow

At the request of Mayo Williams of the Brunswick Record Company of Chicago, Jabbo Smith formed his Rhythm Aces, a quintet with which he recorded nineteen sides from January to August 1929. In these works Jabbo displays extraordinary virtuosity and exemplary musicianship on trumpet as well as vocal. Possibly, because the work was too advanced or sophisticated, the records were not accepted by the public and have, until recently, been largely forgotten.
-Len Weinstock


  1. Glad to see you again, Jay Bee - welcome back!

  2. Love the blog! I have you on my 2 blogrolls, thanks!

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