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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Luis Russell........Part 1

Luis Russell

Luis Russell (6 August 1902 - 11 December 1963) was a jazz pianist and bandleader.
Luis Carl Russell was born on Careening Cay, near Bocas del Toro, Panama, in a family of Afro-Caribbean ancestry. His father was a music teacher, and young Luis learned to play violin, guitar, trombone, and piano. He began playing professionally accompanying silent film by 1917 and later at a casino in Colón, Panama. In 1919 he won $3000 (USD) in a lottery, and used it to move to the United States with his mother and sister, settling in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began performing with New Orleans bands, and took lessons on New Orleans style jazz piano from Steve Lewis. He played with Albert Nicholas's band, then moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1924.

In Chicago he played with Doc Cook and King Oliver, in addition to occasional jobs under his own name and pick up bands in recording studios. With Oliver's band Russell moved to New York City in May of 1927. In October of that year he left Oliver to start his own band.
Russell's band became one of the top jazz groups in New York. It was borrowed for gigs and recording dates by such jazz notables as Red Allen, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong; Armstrong wound up taking over the band as front man in 1929 although Russell remained the music director.

The band returned to Russell's name while Armstrong played in California and Europe in the early 1930s; Russell and Armstrong were reunited in 1935. They again split paths in 1943 when Russell formed a new band under his own name, which played at the Savoy and Apollo in Manhattan as well as in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Between 1926 and 1934, Russell recorded only 38 sides (mostly using his own name), plus those issued under Henry "Red" Allen (1929) and a handful where Louis Armstrong fronted his band. Of these, his 1929-1930 OKeh sides are considered jazz milestones. A 6 song session for ARC (Melotone, Perfect, Oriole, Banner, Romeo) in 1934 yielded 6 very precise modern recordings (3 featured Sonny Woods' novelty vocals, 1 featured the great, although obscure Palmer Brothers). The two instrumental sides, "Primitive" and "Hokus Pokus" are amazing examples of hot jazz precision.

In 1935 Louis Armstrong took it over the orchestra altogether and for the next eight years they functioned as back-up band for Armstrong with Russell acting as the musical director. Russell led a new band from 1943-48 that played at the Savoy and Apollo and made a few recordings.
In 1948 Russell retired from full time music and opened a notions shop, with irregular band gigs and teaching music on the side. In 1959 he visited Panama where he gave a piano recital of classical music. Luis Russell died in New York City, aged 61.

His daughter, Catherine Russell, is a jazz singer.

This is a nice, HOT 'lil set.....don't miss this one, trust me....... :)

Part 1 and 2 are the hotter lists, IMHO...the earlier bands. Part 3 has some warm spots (the later bands), but sometimes Lee Richardson's vocals on a lot of the selections, though technically good, drag on a bit for me (again, just my opinion)....I wish they'd stuck to more instrumentals in that period. 


 Part 1

*unless otherwised noted-LR and his Orch.*

29th and Dearborn-Russell's Hot Six 3-10-1926
African jungle-Jungle Town Stompers 4-15-1929
Broadway rhythm-Lou and his Gingersnaps   9-13-1929
Dirty T.B. blues-Victoria Spivey 10-01-29
Feeling the spirit-9-6-1929
Freakish blues-8-28-1931
Give me your telephone number-J. C. Higginbotham And His Six Hicks 2-5-1930
Goin' to town-LR orch. v=Chick Bullock 8-28-1931
Higginbotham blues-J. C. Higginbotham And His Six Hicks 2-5-1930
High tension-9-5-1930
Hocus pocus-8-8-1934
Honey, that reminds me-12-17-1930
I got rhythm-10-24-1930
It's tight like that-Luis Russell And His Burning Eight 1-15-1929
Jersey lightning-9-6-1929
Louisiana swing-5-29-1930
Moaning the blues-Victoria Spivey 10-01-29
Panama Limited blues-Russell's Hot Six w/ Ada Brown 03-10-26
Plantation Joys-Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers 11-17-1926
Poor 'lil me-5-29-1930
Saratoga drag- 12-17-1930
Savoy shout-1-15-1929
Say the word (From the revue "The Third Little Show") -v=Chick Bullock 8-28-1931
Slow as molasses-Jungle Town Stompers 4-15-1929
Sweet mumtaz-Russell's Hot Six 3-10-1926
The call of the freaks-Luis Russell & His Burning Eight 1-15-1929
The new call of the freaks-v=Henry Allen, J.C. Higginbotham & Louis Metcalf 9-6-1929
The way he loves is just too bad-Lou and his Gingersnaps   9-13-1929
Tia Juana Man-Russell's Hot Six w/ Ada Brown  03-10-26

Part 2

At the Darktown strutter's ball-v=Sonny Woods 8-8-1934
Bloodhound blues-Victoria Spivey 10-1-1929
Case on down (orig. mislabel of "Ease on down")-12-17-1930
Doctor blues-12-17-1929
Dolly mine-Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers 11-17-1926
Ghost of the freaks-v= Palmer Bros 8-8-1934
Muggin' lightly-9-5-1930
My blue heaven-v= Sonny Woods 8-8-1934
Oh, Daddy blues-Bessie Smith 1923
Ol' man river-v= Sonny Woods 8-8-1934
On revival day-5-29-1930
Please don't turn me down-Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers 11-17-1926
Saratoga shout-12-17-1929
Song of the Swanee-12-17-1929
Sweet mumtaz-Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers 11-17-1926
Telephoning the blues-Victoria Spivey 10-1-1929
You rascal you-v=Henry "Red" Allen   8-28-1931

Part 3

1280 jive-1945
A rainy Sunday-1946
After hour creep-1943
All the things you are-v=Lee Richardson 5-29-1946
Boogie in the basement-1945
Deep six blues-1946
Don't take your love from me-v=Lee Richardson 1946
For you-v=Lee Richardson 1946
Garbage man blues-1943
Gloomy Sunday-v=Lee Richardson 1946
Gone-v=Lee Richardson 1946
I'm in a low down mood-v=Lee Richardson 1945
I'm yours-v=Lee Richardson 1946
I've been a fool again-v=Lee Richardson 1946
I've got a gal (whose love comes COD)-1945
Luke the spook-10-19-1946
My silent love-v=Lee Richardson 1946
Remaining souvenirs-v=Lee Richardson 1946
Sad lover blues-v=Lee Richardson 1945
Sweet memory-v=Lee Richardson 1946
The very thought of you-v=Lee Richardson 1945
Walkin' slow-v=Lee Richardson 1946
You gave me everything but love-v=Lee Richardson 1946
You taught me how to smile-v=Lee Richardson 1945

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