The Kingfish Files

Author: host Created: 1/30/2011 12:59 PM
Celebrating the music and musicians of early jazz.
By host on 6/29/2010 3:00 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2010 Fats Waller and His Rhythm - "A Sweet Beginning Like This" - 1935 Fats Waller was both a clown and a virtuoso pianist. His sense of humour and joy for life infused every aspect of his performances. Fats shied away from the most popular tunes of the day showing a preference for little heard tunes that virtually nobody else recorded. "A Sweet Beginning Like This" is a good example of his repertoire -- light hearted, bouncy, and clever without being too clever. Regarding his band: The "Rhythm" was primarily a studio band, and recording dates had to be worked into the musicians' different schedules. Waller's genius carried the band, enabling them to record as many as ten sides in a single day, often consisting mainly of new material. Rarely did band members know in advance which tunes they would be recording! It is a testament to the collective musical talent of the group that they managed so well without rehearsal. This chaotic approach succeeded in part because of consistency in core personnel which included Waller, Autrey, Sedric and Casey. The chaos no doubt contributed to the spontaneity which characterizes many of the Rhythm's recordings. ...
By host on 6/20/2010 3:00 AM
Starting around 2005, a number of traditional jazz groups started springing up in NYC. Unlike typical "Dixieland" bands that play a cartoonized version of the music, these newer groups were intent on interpreting the music without the trappings added over the decades. Prominent among these bands is the Cangelosi Cards. While the quality of this video isn't the greatest, I think it captures the essence of great music they produce. The tune they play in this video, Milenberg Joys, is one of the oldest songs in the jazz book having been written by Paul Mares around 1916. Milenberg (actually Milneberg, but the spelling ultimately yielded to the pronunciation) was a resort community on the banks of Lake Ponchartrain where New Orleanians would go on weekends to enjoy the waterside resorts. Music was an essential part of the entertainment and many bands would be playing simultaneously within earshot of each other. Given that almost all...
By host on 6/13/2010 3:00 AM
Sunday, June 13, 2010 Annette Hanshaw - "If I Had a Talking Picture of You" - 1929 This week's installment presents a song recorded by the great Annette Hanshaw in 1930 titled "If I Had a Talking Picture of You". The song was written for one of the earliest talking pictures, "Sunny Side Up", filmed in 1929. The lyrics are wonderful. I especially like the line So the censors won't object, We would kiss with sound effects If I had a talking picture of you. The accompaniment is simple enough, dominated by an anonymous pianist with plenty of flourish. I hope you enjoy it. ...

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