Saturday, April 21, 2018

Goodson Records - A Special Request

Goodson Records (collection: Gene)
Stephen Coates, who is researching flexible records, would like to contact Gene from Sevastopol (Ukraine) who contacted Hans Koert around March 2012 with images of some unusual Goodson type Russian records. Hans posted them on the Flexible Record blog on 17 March 2012. here is the link
If Gene reads this, Stephen would be very appreciative, if he could get in touch.

Stephen Coates can be contacted using the, all notifications regarding the issue in focus here will be forwarded to Mr. Coates.


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Picking The Guitar

Nick Lucas (1897 - 1982) (source: Wikipedia)
Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucanese (August 22, 1897 – July 28, 1982), known professionally as Nick Lucas, was the first jazz guitarist to record as a soloist. Lucas played banjo with various dance bands in the early 1920s, and in July of 1922, he made his debut recordings for Pathé with Picking the Guitar and Teasin’ the Frets, both guitar solos.  He re-recorded both sides for Brunswick the next year (and again in 1932, electrically).  Before long, he was making vocal records for Brunswick as the Crooning Troubadour accompanied by his own guitar, sometimes with a piano or orchestra. In 1929, Lucas appeared in the talking picture Gold Diggers of Broadway, introducing Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips with Me, which he also made a hit on record. In 1930 and ’31, he recorded with his own band, the Crooning Troubadours, and the following year he made some recordings for Hit of the Week.  Lucas’ fame faded in the 1930s, but he continued to perform. In the 1940s he made a few Soundies, followed by some Snader Telescriptions in 1951.  Lucas experienced a resurgence in popularity late 1960s after he had appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1969, and in 1974 he performed several songs for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby movie.  After enjoying a career that spanned more than half a century, Nick Lucas died of pneumonia in 1982. (excerpted info from this source)
Nick Lucas picking the guitar (YouTube still)
Here I'll set focus on Nick Lucas' guitar playing and leave the singing troubadour to others (- learn more about Lucas' career at the official website, here). As mentioned above, Lucas had his recording debut featuring two guitar solos in July, 1922. I'll insert both solos below, as they are considered the first ever recorded jazz guitar solos. Eddie Lang may be the Father of Jazz Guitar, but Nick Lucas then may be the Grandfather of Jazz Guitar, as he preceded Lang as a recording guitar player with at least three years (- if you count Lang's 1925 guitar work with McKenzie's Candy Kids  in  Best Black (Vocalion, A 14978) as his registered first jazz guitar solo). - Here is first Nick Lucas' Picking The Guitar as recorded for Pathé Actuelle in July 1922

The flip-side of the 1922 Pathe Actuelle Record 020794 had Lucas' recording of Teasing The Frets

Today it's hard to recognize Nick Lucas' two initial guitar solos as jazz guitar playing, nevertheless Lucas was an influental figure in the development of the plectrum guitar picking technique which helped early jazz guitar pioneers like Eddie Lang to switch from tenor banjo to the guitar. Besides recording as the singing troubadour Nick Lucas also wrote several guitar method folios that inspired other musicians to take up the plectrum guitar
Nick Lucas Guitar Method Vol. 1
A contemporary guitarist, Jake Sanders, has arranged some of Nick Lucas' guitar pieces which were not recorded by Lucas himself, but are included in one or more of his published guitar method folios. There are four Nick Lucas arrangements included in Jake Sanders' recently issued CD album, shown below
Jake Sanders, Estrellas de Radio (Jalopy Records, JRCD003, 2018)
Learn more about Jake Sanders and the shown CD here. - To end this small review of Nick Lucas the guitar player, here is Jake Sanders' version of Lucas' Picking The Guitar (- not included at the shown CD) from a live gig performance featuring Jake Sanders in a trio setting


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Friday, March 9, 2018

From Licks To Riffs At The Guitar

Notation of a simple guitar lick
In popular music genres such as blues, jazz or rock music, a lick is a stock pattern or phrase consisting of a short series of notes used in solos and melodic lines and accompaniment. In a jazz band, a lick may be performed during an improvised solo, either during an accompanied solo chorus or during an unaccompanied solo break. Jazz licks are usually original short phrases which can be altered so they can be used over a song's changing harmonic progressions. A lick is different from the related concept of a riff, as riffs can include repeated chord progressions. Licks are more often associated with single-note melodic lines than with chord progressions. Riffs can be as simple as a tenor saxophone honking a simple, catchy rhythmic figure, or as complex as the riff-based variations in the head arrangements played by the Count Basie Orchestra.  However, like riffs, licks can be the basis of an entire song. For musicians, learning a lick is usually a form of imitation. Imitating style is as important as learning the appropriate scale over a given chord. By imitating, musicians understand and analyze what others have done, allowing them to build a vocabulary of their own. (info excerpted from Wikipedia, here)

Ton Van Bergeijk
So many words to announce a new course by Dutch master guitarist, Ton Van Bergeijk, who has just released a DVD based guidebook entitled Licks to Riffs with focus on the blues style and how to adapt any lick to any chord changes at the guitar. Ton explains the project more precisely in the video below

In the video Ton stated, quote: ”I've always found that licks played on other instruments are a great source of inspiration for guitarists. Pianists like Jimmy Yancey or James Booker are at the top of my personal list. For stronger riffs, I look at the great riff orchestras: Count Basie, Al Cooper, and then there's T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Allen Toussaint…musical sources for “riff-spiration” is virtually endless. (-) Of course, we can translate the lick to guitar, and then play the lick exactly as it was played, over the same chord or chord changes. But if we change just one or more notes, we can create new licks that can be used over other chords and chord changes. I’ll show you how to do that in this Licks To Riffs Guidebook.”
DVD course (TrueFire, 2018)
According to the inserted video and further info at the website offering the course for purchase, Ton has organized the course into two sections. In the first section, you’ll learn how to make a lick fit over the three chords in a standard blues progression. Ton will show you how to "barbershop" a lick and turn it into a riff. Then, he'll demonstrate how easy it is to make changes to that lick for a jazzier blues. In the second section, Ton will teach a selection of his own favorite licks that he has transformed into versatile riffs.  Learning how to get the most of any lick is the key objective of this course to generate  “riff-spiration” for other guitarists. - More info about the DVD course and how to purchase a copy, here

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lammy Bruyns Combo - Swing Musette & Chansons, Live CD

CD front: Lammy Bruyns Combo - Swing Musette & Chansons (live, 2017)
Lammy Bruyns is an acknowledged accordionist in Holland known for her virtuosity in the Parisian Musette music as well as for her singing. About five years ago Lammy met Georg Lankester, guitarist in the gypsy-swing style, who had published a book about Django Reinhardt’s influence on the Musette-rhythm. During their first meeting Lammy, Georg and some friends spontaneously played a bit together and then Lammy suggested to form a combo. The Lammy Bruyns Combo is a quartet consisting of Lammy Bruyns (accordion and vocal), Georg Lankester ((solo) guitar), Arthur Siero (guitar) and Jan Miedendorp de Bie (double bass). The repertoire of this quartet includes original Musette waltzes, (music in which Lammy is an expert) - and all these backed up in a highly swinging rhythm like it was played in the 1930s and 1940s' Paris. Moreover some American popular songs are added as well as famous French chansons and own compositions.
Lammy Bruyns Combo in performance
In October 2017 the combo gave a concert in the Northern part of Holland which was recorded for an enthousiastic audience. From this concert a selection of the recordings was chosen in order to present a variety of the repertoire by the Lammy Bruyns Combo in a just released CD, shown above. The CD includes original French Musette waltzes, some ballads as well as examples of Django swing from the 1930s and 1940s. Tracklist: Style Musette / September Song / Indifférence / It had to be you / Vous et Moi / Lady be Good / Ma première Guitare / Mr. Sandman / Pour Jo / Chez Jacquet / You made me love you / Les yeux noirs. - A couple of audio clippings from the CD are inserted in the video below

Next to live performances in Holland – starting from 2017 – the Combo also gives concerts in Germany.
Lammy Bruyns Combo in Germany
The music of the Lammy Bruyns Combo with a French touch will bring listeners back to the Parisian cabarets of the 1930s and 1940s and certainly invites to dancing as well as a cozy atmosphere in good company.

For any information, send an e-mail to:

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Announcement of Importance for Researchers/Collectors of Hit of The Week/Flexible Records Material

Hans Koert, who passed away in September 2014, was a passionated jazz collector and the author of the Hit of the Week and Durium Discography.

This entry is to inform you that Hans Koert's collection and archives of the HoW/Flexible Records now have been handed over to the files of the Doctor Jazz Foundation in The Netherlands.

For interested researchers/collectors it is possible to contact the Doctor Jazz Foundation for further information using the following link

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Spanish Swat - Morton's Music Revitalized In A Duo Setting

Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton emphazised the importance of the 'Spanish tinge' as an inevitable ingredient in jazz referring to the influence of the habanera and the Caribbean tango in the rhythm pattern of compositions worthy of the term jazz. Morton's solo piano renditions of compositions of his own like i.e. 'New Orleans Joys', 'Mamanita', 'Creepy Feeling' and not least the perhaps best know example: 'The Crave' are all elaborated pieces of music which demonstrate his conception of the Spanish tinge. The legendary 1938 Library of Congress recordings contain some examples which Morton did not record commercially, among them 'Spanish Swat' in focus here to announce a great contemporary project initiated by pianist Andrew Oliver and reed player David Horniblow. The duo has started a project to play all of Morton's compositions in a duo setting and record the performance in a video format to be uploaded at You Tube; here's the duo's rendition of Morton's 'Spanish Swat' - from the latest update of the project uploaded earlier today

As mentioned, the duo intends to play and record all of Morton's compositions in this setting - the project estimates to have two new compositions uploaded every week this year. You can read more about the project at Andrew Oliver's website, and subscribe to the videos at the You Tube channel devoted to the project, here. Up till now 12 videos have already been uploaded - and what a thrill to have free access to these contemporary renditions of Morton's music, revitalized by two great musicians. Do not hesitate to subscribe to the video channel and learn more about the duo at Andrew Oliver's website

I'll insert another example of the duo's fine video performance to end this, here's Andrew Oliver and David Horniblow's rendition of Morton's 'Mamanita'


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Debut CD of Les Guitares Magiques

CD front: Les Guitares Magiques (SABAM, LGM 17-1) (2017)
A couple of years ago, while preparing an article on Les Loups and the duo's recording of the tango Guitarra que llora, I had the good fortune to discover a contemporary version of the tune uploaded at YouTube, which convincingly recreated the original 1928 recording by Gastón Bueno Lobo and Oscar Alemán. The recorded performance of this re-take of Guitarra que llora was made by a Belgian trio named Les Guitares Magiques and I still count this performance as a magical exsample of music played by very skilled musicians who know and respect their roots. The video performance is certainly good enough to have a reprise here

The video was published February 2015 and the trio consisted of Raf Timmermans playing conventional guitar, René Stock on double bass and Gijs Hollebosch playing lap steel guitar. The trio had uploaded a couple more videos featuring Hawaiian inspired music, which confirmed my impression of a talented ensemble. I subscribed to the video channel of LGM and recently discovered another re-take of a Les Loups recording by  Raf Timmermans and Gijs Hollebosch inserted below

This performance by Les Guitares Magiques of the waltz Ramona excellently recreates the 1928 version of the tune by Les Loups and made me wish for more. Fortunately, there is more music by Les Guitares Magiques available. In the notes with the Ramona video published October last year it is stated that the debut CD by the ensemble has been issued. I found it available at the website of Les Guitares Magiques, and here is the tracklist of featured music at the disc
CD track list
At the CD Les Guitares Magiques feature Raf Timmermans playing National steel, acoustic guitar, mandolin, slack key and ukulele, Gijs Hollebosch playing Hawaiian steel guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele and tiple and further Mathias Moors playing double bass.
(l-r): Raf Timmermans, Mathias Moors, Gijs Hollebosch (photo by Walter-PETROSA-Cuyvers)
Les Guitares Magiques invited some guests to perform and record together at the CD, they are: Jan De Smet featuring vocal and ukulele on track 3, Maarten Flamand (acoustic guitar) on track 4 and 10, Frederik Goossens (ukulele) on track 5, 6 and 9, Johnny Joris (vocal, banjo) on track 8, Esther Lybeert (vocal) on track 13 and Guido Belcanto (vocal) on track 15. The repertoire is a mixed bag of tunes and songs, many of them associated with the Hawaiian hype that swept the world in the first decades of the previous century such as the arrangements of Singing The Blues (track 5) and Wringin' and Twistin' (track 10) (in the Sol Hoopii style), Ghost Dance (a strange lap steel exercise originally recorded by the Truett & George Hawaiian duo), the Kohala march medley (track 6), three tunes from the Les Loups repertoire (besides Ramona in track 7, you have La Porteña es una Papa in track 11 and Criollita in track 12), Kostas Bézos' The False Kisses of Women in track 4, two songs associated with Gino Bordin: the French chanson J'écoute la Guitare (with vocal by Esther Lybeert in track 13) and Serenade Bleu (track 16). Singing is also featured in Het Bibbelebomse Eiland in track 3 (- a kind of On The Beach at Waikiki sung in Dutch by Jan de Smet), Ramona with vocal by Guido Belcanto and Dutch lyrics in track 15, and Caroline with English lyrics sung by Johnny Joris in track 8. Further there are two examples of slack key guitar playing in track 9 and 14. The arrangements of the featured music at the CD are great, all involved in the project have provided excellent performance and the CD certainly invites to repeated listening. Recommended, definitely! - The CD is available for purchase at the website of Les Guitares Magiques, more info with examples in streaming audio here,  and it is also available from Grass Skirt Records, more info here.

To end this small review, I'll insert another video of a live performance by Les Guitares Magiques, here playing Singing The Blues 


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