Heroes #10: Joseph ‘Kaiser’ Marshall, 1899-1948

 “One of the great drummers of the early days of jazz” – Leonard Feather KEY RECORDINGS: With LUCILLE HEGAMIN, 1920-22 With FLETCHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCHESTRA, 1923-29 With McKINNEY’S COTTON PICKERS, 1929 With LOUIS ARMSTRONG, 1929 A select number of individuals in jazz history were awarded honorific ‘noble’ nicknames by their peers; some of these … Continue reading Heroes #10: Joseph ‘Kaiser’ Marshall, 1899-1948

Heroes #9: Chauncey Morehouse, 1902-1980

"The Dixieland drummer[’s] success depends entirely on his own originality" – Chauncey Morehouse KEY RECORDINGS: With THE GEORGIANS, 1922-24 With JEAN GOLDKETTE & HIS ORCHESTRA, 1926-27 With FRANKIE TRUMBAUER & HIS ORCHESTRA, 1927 With BIX BEIDERBECKE & HIS GANG, 1927 In jazz, as in many art forms, certain historical figures occasionally acquire a mythical status, … Continue reading Heroes #9: Chauncey Morehouse, 1902-1980

Library #3: On Transcription & Zutty Singleton: ‘My Little Dixie Home’ (1929)

Transcription. When anyone asks me how to learn more about 'twenties jazz drumming, I always say it comes down to three things: transcription, transcription, transcription. It doesn't have to be on posh music-notation software, it could be with pencil on manuscript paper, or even (with the right discipline), in your head. What matters is listening … Continue reading Library #3: On Transcription & Zutty Singleton: ‘My Little Dixie Home’ (1929)

Library #2: ‘The Bassist’s Perspective’: Pops Foster on Drums in the ‘Twenties

The great New Orleans bass player George 'Pops' Foster (1892-1969) played with almost every great black jazz artist in the 'twenties at some point or other, including King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, 'Red' Allen, Sidney Bechet, Luis Russell and many others.He also left an autobiography rich in detail and humour, a … Continue reading Library #2: ‘The Bassist’s Perspective’: Pops Foster on Drums in the ‘Twenties

Instruments #2: Jasper Taylor’s Wooden Washboard, c.1924

The tradition of washboard jazz is a deep and wide-ranging one, with numerous legendary players down the decades occasionally having reason to pop the thimbles on at one time or another in search of a bit of down-home gutsiness, a crowd-pleasing showpiece or simply a lightweight and space-saving alternative to the drumset. But the origin … Continue reading Instruments #2: Jasper Taylor’s Wooden Washboard, c.1924