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Author Topic: Mississippi Blues  (Read 5842 times)

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Offline waxwing

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2007, 08:05:21 AM »
However, it has to be said Glen Miller's pre '38 band (in his own name) did record some fair stuff in amogst the dross, but most of the later band is not really considerd 'jazz' per se, a fine dance band with some great players but not jazz...
Not being a jazzer, I wouldn't know. Why are we discussing this here?

I would like to hear the Spand side. eMusic?

All for now.
John C.



"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2007, 08:57:59 AM »
I think it's being discussed, John C., because everything pertains.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Richard

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2007, 11:10:06 AM »
Waxwing
Quote
Was Frankie Carle the piano player for Glenn Miller? Not being a jazzer I wouldn't know.

Since jazz and blues intertwine on so may occasions I was simply filling in a little more detail and a modicum of jazz history to enhance the topic.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2007, 12:39:31 PM by Richard »
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2007, 11:26:39 AM »
Quote
I would like to hear the Spand side.

Hard Times Blues is on the Juke. 

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2007, 06:07:07 PM »
Having waited thru the Terry Bean interview, which played each half hour segment twice (?) I finally heard Charlie Spand's Hard Times Blues. That'll teach me to check the schedule before I make a request. Aside from a mild resemblence to the signature lick in the I chord and perhaps the boogie bass line that Brown goes to in some of his breaks (hardly idiosyncratic) I wouldn't really say this was definitively the source of Brown's arrangement. One point of note is that when Spand goes to the IV chord he merely moves the motif up the keyboard. Brown never does this, but creates a different motif, in the bass for the main theme, and in the treble in the boogie bass sections. Modern day rearrangers of Mississippi Blues, like Geremia and the video version by Tim Sparks that is making the round of country blues forums, do, indeed, move the motif up their 14 fret necks in one section or another, but, IIRC, Brown never did, in all of the many variations in the rather long recording afforded by Lomax's cherished reel to reel. Considering that he was likely capoed up 3 frets and either playing a 12 fret resonator, as some think, or a spanked Stella, as Dai Thomas suggested to me, I guess the argument could be made that he couldn't reach the motif to play it in the IV chord and had to work something else out, altho' he could have moved it over one string as he does the boogie bass pattern.

I have to admit that I was so intent on the piano that I didn't listen to the vocal melody, but I didn't really feel like I was listening to Mississippi blues with different lyrics.

Has anyone heard the Glen Gray's Casa Loma Orch version with Carle on piano that Richard sited? Sorry Phil, I have to think Work was referring to something that sounded closer to what William Brown is playing. You could say Brown's arrangement was suggested by the motif, but he certainly didn't copy it

One other note. I haven't heard anyone recreate the really cool turnaround that William Brown uses, which seems to be all his own. Most players seem to substitute a turnaround of their own. Sparks plays the treble postion in one pass but leaves off the concurrent bass walkdown. I originally learned it from what was presented as Rory Block's tab, which sounds pretty close to the original, and found it difficult, requiring some strong left thumb work, but not impossible. This turnaround seems to be all his own.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Offline blueshome

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2007, 03:59:22 AM »
I have now heard the Glen Gray Sunrise Serenade, and I have listened to the Glenn Miller, they are the same and whilst there is a resemblance and one can see why Work may have suggested it as a source, it is mile away from Miss.Blues, whereas the the basic motif of Hard Times is virtually identical to the latter's signature motif.

I don't think anyone has suggested that W.Brown made a note for note transcription of Hard Times - just that the basic motif was the same and that this motif would probably have been quite common amongst the blues pianists of the time and hence accessible to Brown. I am sure, as I said before that there are other piano versions out there.

There are some great versions of Mississippi Blues around. I also remember Roy Bookbinder claiming that he introduced it the the revival community in the 60's and that he was the only one who sang as well as played it.


Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2007, 05:04:04 AM »
Walter Davis's "I'll Be Back After Awhile" is much closer to "Mississippi Blues" that is Charlie Spand's "Hard Times Blues".  Both use pretty much the same I and IV chord motifs, the melody, and the same boogie feel in the break.  Davis's piece was recorded March 21, 1941.  Not sure when it was released, but  it was on the fourth of five disks released covering the ten songs recorded at the March session, so probably in the fall of 1941.

Now I guess I've got to go back and see if Davis used the melody and accompaniment on an earlier recording.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2007, 11:21:17 PM »
Nothing on Document Volume 5 (21 July 1939 to 12 july 1940), dj.

So I took a look at the lick, as played by Brown, and noticed that it is a walkdown from an A9th chord, thru an A6th to a pretty standard partial 5th position A. The 9th chord certainly speaks to the idea that this motif is a jazz influenced lick. Certainly the piano players were a main conduit for jazz influence on country blues.

So, I listened to Hard Times Blues again on the Juke and Spand is definitely using the same 9th to 6th to Root progression, but with a far simpler rhythm than William Brown. I reworked Brown's lick to sound more closely like Spand's piano lick. Have a listen to the attached mp3.

Actually this little exercise made me realise that in spite of being more in the bass, the IV chord section is more similar to Spand's motif than the I chord section, where Brown gets quite a different feel, adding a syncopation to the second and fourth iterations of the lick. this makes it come on the off beat, creating one of the main difficulties in learning this tune, namely that the alternating bass seems to be reversed, when actually the lick just comes on a different beat.

Anyway, not trying to prove anything here, just make things clearer. Any piano players out there who are familiar with this 9th to 6th to root walkdown in other numbers and even other guises. I agree that this must have been a fairly common melodic progression.

I couldn't find the Davis tune on the juke, dj, any chance you could post an mp3?

All for now.
John C.

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline blueshome

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2007, 04:08:10 AM »
Thanks dj, I knew there was something else out there. Maybe we'll be able to find some more, I'm fishing around other players as well as W.Davis - R.Sykes is a possibility, he recorded so many songs.

Phil

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2007, 12:56:45 PM »
Listening to the Spand/Broon comparison, I'm thinking: that 's the same sequence as in Pinetop's Boogie Woogie (Clarence Smith, 1928)...anybody else hear that?

Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Blues
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2007, 04:50:27 PM »
John C.

I tried to post an mp3 of "I'll Be Back After Awhile", but can't seem to compress it enough to fit it under the attachment limit.  I'll keep trying and get it one of these days.

 

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