excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 91 (205 words)

excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 91 (205 words)

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Jazz Anecdotes

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Jabbo [Smith] was standing out in front, and I'll say this, he was blowing - really coming on like the Angel Gabriel himself. Every time he'd fan that brass derby on a high F or G. Altis, his buddy from Small’s would yell, “Play it, Jabbo! Go ahead, Rice!” (Everybody from Charleston called each other rice. It was the hometown nickname.) “Who needs Louis?” he yelled, “You can blow him down any time.” When Johnson's set ended with Jabbo soaring above the rhythm and the crowd noise, everybody gave them a big hand. I could tell from the broad grin on Jabbo’s face that he felt that once and for all he’d shown Satch who was king.

Then all of a sudden [King] Louis bounced onto the opposite stage. [...] I've forgotten the tune, but I'll never forget his first note. He blew a searing, soaring, altissimo, fantastic high note and held it long enough for everyone of us musicians to gasp. Benny Carter, who has perfect pitch, said, “Damn! That’s high F!” Just about that time, Louis went into a series of cadenzas and continued into his first number.

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excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 91 (205 words)


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