Friday, July 30, 2010

John Bartee - Music Notebook Found

I was recently contacted through this website by a couple who while recently moving came across a music notebook they were given on November 26th, 1983 for their kindness to John.  Story is Janis crossed John's path while he hitchhiked on a Tennessee highway,  something in her heart made her stop to help this long bearded disheveled man.  She took him home where along with her husband Rob they extended food and shelter for the night. The next day when they dropped John off further down the road John handed them the notebook, saying one day it might be worth something.

I do find it a miracle that Rob came across a notebook that he and his wife have held on to for 27 years and just happens to do a google search on, John Lewis Bartee within a couple of weeks of this site coming online.

I have recently spoken with Rob by phone and they seem to be a couple that have a nature of extending a hand to a fellow human in need.  Yes, it is nice to know that quality still exist in our world.  Rob is going to make arrangements to get me some scanned images of the notebook's pages so that I can see what they might hold.  I  will make them available to Kevin Pawlak at the University of Arizona School of Music so that they can compare them with  John's work in the Shaw Archive.  Hopefully the actual notebook can be made available  in the future as a remembrance of John in the proper setting, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, Ga. comes to mind.

The titles:        NB California   -         I am going to guess NB stands for Newport Beach.

                       Brighter than Brite

                       Tic Tac Toe

It's too early to know if there is anything new in the three compositions included in the notebook,  but it would be great if John was able to share some Music with us from the beyond.  If anything the notebook may assist identifying previously uncredited works.

I do want to make a note at this time about the title of the blog,  Serenading the Demons... as even my own Mother seems to have this look of terror on her face when she ask why I named it that.  I didn't name it,  John did... well at least what I have come to understand about him influenced me. It in no way is based on anything evil.  It is more about how Music has the ability to calm the most savage of beast... If John did have any demons within his life, any hardships, sadness...   I feel he found a solitude and love in the Music.  It was the one constant in his life, even if he was walking down a deserted highway with not a nickle to his name... his music was there for him... always a faithful friend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Truth in History: What a Concept.

I want to publicly thank Jose Madera,  longtime member of the  Tito Puente Orchestra, and  son of Machito's founding member Jose "Pin" Madera, for opening the door to future generations on a better understanding of the history of the great Afro-Cuban / Latin band Machito.  In one written statement recently,  he has shed more light & clarity on the origins of the band's sound then a large number of books & articles have done in the last 50 years.

For so long magazine editors, book publishers, record company liner notes & credits, and the like have focused first on producing a product to sell to the consumer.  The media is often so concerned on how to "spin" a story as to draw an audience... they fail to do right by society and seek out the TRUTH.

Sometimes it takes people like Mr. Madera to clarify misconceptions and poor research. We live in a World that now shares mass amounts of information at an ever increasing speed. With an Internet system that is incapable of distinguishing between fact & fiction.  It is up to us as the members this society to learn to read, research on our own, and seek the truth for information which floods our minds.

                                         Machito Orchestra - 1946

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finding John...

I created this blog as a means to document my search & discovery of my great-uncle John Bartee.  My Grandmother told me of her talented brother as a child in the 60's in hopes that I would allow her to start teaching me the piano one summer when I visited her and my Grandfather on my own.  I never learned the piano which was a bad move, for the ability to create music is a door to a world painted with calming sounds & rich emotions.

I never learned to play an instrument,  but I never forgot the way she talked about her brother.  Some years ago after my Grandmother died my Mother knowing of my hobby of documenting family history ask me to include John in my search.  Just maybe I might find him out there some where.  That was about 15 years ago,  I know my computer was not searching the Internet with a operating system like today when I started.  Information was shared on bulletin board type chat rooms with just white type on black screens.  And now to think all this HTML code is behind these words, with pictures, live video & music. Technology has really brought the World & its People in to our homes.

But it was harder back then to get a lot of information,  I wasn't in the position to hire a private detective to find John and I really wouldn't have had much information to give them to start. I knew his name & date of birth... that he was a musician who could play many instruments... being very talented with the sax, clarinet & piano. Not until I did find him did family members seemed surprised that they hadn't told me he was an Arranger.

So years passed by and the best I could really do was check the social security death index and pray he was not listed every year in January.  Apparently the updates in the list didn't happen overnight back in January 2002, too bad because he died December 17, 2001 in Gallup, New Mexico.  And I wouldn't find him for another year, when I looked again in 03.  The day I found him listed I know for a second I thought of never getting the chance to meet him in person.  But, if I had found him while he was alive, that might have been the end of this journey... I would have never had the world of Music open itself to me,  I would not have spent hours & hours digging, searching records & books on the Internet, in the local Library... three days at the Library of Congress.  During all the hours of searching for John,  the Music slowly unfolded... the sounds from the 30's to modern day Jazz, the musicians... their lives... the good & bad of the music business.  The Music had meaning because it had life behind it.

I called the Gallup,  New Mexico Police Department the day I found the record for John listed on the Social Security Death Index.  I now had a social security number issued in the state of New York for him.  The woman at dispatch worked to put his name, date of birth and SSN in her system in between the calls for Gallup emergencies.  She came up with a John Bartel but the SSN and birth date matched.  She read a summary of information in the report under his name.  He had been picked up about  1996 in what was termed a welfare call.  Described as an  elderly man that seemed confused & not sure where he was, seems he had got off  a cross- country bus bound for Flagstaff at the wrong stop based on the bus ticket he had on him. With just the clothes on his back for his safety they took him to The Little Sister's of the Poor retirement home.  Upon learning this I then contacted the home & when I told the woman that answered I was the great-nephew of  John Bartee she became very excited,  telling me not to hang up she was going to get someone.  Sister Gonvague picked up the phone and stated she had given up hope that John had any family out there that cared about him.   I responded .. I did and I had been looking for him for years.

My journey began on that day.  That first conversation with Sister Gonvague shed light on some things John had shared with her those last five years of his life that she cared for him.  He had spoke of a son that he hadn't seen since the boy was young.  He only spoke of one person in the Music business during those five years,  Jimmy Dorsey.  I was told of the first time she walked John though a room that had a piano,  she said his face lit up,  although when he would try to play at different times his age & memory had taken its toll on his gift.  But she made it very clear,  he was a Music Arranger and he had the brightest blue eyes.

I found John's son a couple of months ago after a long search,  he is 70 and last saw John at age 8...  He goes by another last name of the father that raised him.  I have shared what I know of John with him and our family will always leave the door open for him to know more of John's extended family. If John had not mentioned the son to Sister Gonvague, and she had not told me, I would have never known to look.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Picture of Jimmy Dorsey & John Bartee?

I need some assistance in locating a picture I saw back in 2003.  I thought I had seen it originally in the book, Jimmy Dorsey:  A Study in Contrasts.  I got hold of the book again last week and its not there.  Then I remember I had looked at the book, Tommy & Jimmy by Herb Sanford... even remembering the picture of the New Years Eve costume party.  Got the book... party pictures there...  the picture I am looking for is not.  Well, my local Library where I got what ever book I saw this picture apparently likes to get rid older books for newer ones, so I can't find the picture I once saw.

The picture is of Jimmy Dorsey and another man walking toward the photographer.  I believe it was a full page picture on the left side page of the book.  In 2003 I had no idea what John looked like other than in 1936 & 2000.  I have since gotten the 1946 picture of him in California.  The man in the picture with Dorsey caught my eye for some reason and not knowing what John really looked like in the 40's at that time I took a closer look. The caption identifies Jimmy Dorsey but the other man is listed as UNKNOWN.  It may be in a book on Latin Jazz that has a 2 page picture of the Machito Orchestra in the center & the same picture of Machito as the cover I believe.  The book may be just a general reference book on music history.  But I would like to compare the picture of  John in 1946 to the unknown man in this missing but existing & published picture of Jimmy Dorsey.  It may even have been taken on the same day as the one I have on the John Lewis Bartee post. 

I know a lot of you read about the Big Bands & Music History.  One way or another lets identify that unknown man.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Missing & Overlooked - Musicians & Family Members

I thought I'd put up this post in hopes that it might bring in some information on another individual with ties to Artie Shaw, along with Harry James, Charlie Barnet & Pete Rugolo off the top of my head.  Russell Brown, a trombonist (& sometimes vocalist).  Mr Brown's name was stuck in my head as he is listed as a copyist on many of the Shaw Scores from the 37-38 time period, while also playing in the band.  Many of the scores that have his hand on them have had a 3rd trombone added.  It also just happens he is listed with John on Back Bay Shuffle.

In the past few days, his grand-daughter Marci has started posting for information on this long lost family member that not even her father got to know.  Back in 2007 another grandchild,  E. Brady was also seeking information on him through a daughter he may also have had. 

As in my own search I have come cross many people in the music business that were lost to families they once had for many reasons & life didn't allow them to find their way back.  And, many talented musicians that never received their ovation for work we still enjoy today.  I will keep an open post available here for people to acknowledge & tell the stories of those that never got their 15 minutes in the spotlight.  Somewhere someone cares where they are.

As a family member that has searched to pull together the pieces of a relative's life,  I know many times there are good & bad stories about the persons we seek to find.  But it is more important to just find anything so as to have a remembrance of them.  Small clues can led to great rewards.

My search of John Bartee's life has had a happy reward,  two months ago I was finally able to find the son he spoke of to the Nun who cared for him the last years of his life.  A son that had not known anything of John since he was a boy of 8,  he is now 70 with a different name which made him all the harder to locate.  This man now has the knowledge of who John's parents & siblings were, and a little about the music John heard.

Please feel free to post & exchange information here.

Update August 10, 2010:  I recently found on the Social Security Website that the S.S.Administration will forward a letter at no charge to a missing relative.  This is only in the case of a family emergency and if that member has no other way of receiving word of a death, illness, etc.  You will need to know legal name , date of birth, & the full names of both parents.  The letter will be opened & read by the  S.S.Administration to verify that it is an emergency situation, so keep this in mind.  If the individual is working & paying into S.S. or receiving benefits, the letter will be forwarded to their last know address.  It will be up to the individual contacted if they want to respond.  I could have found John prior to his death if I had known about this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mambo Man & Music DNA

 An in depth study of  hundreds of songs and their origins from Chick Webb & Cab Calloway in 1934 to Artie Shaw in 1949.

 The evolution of Latin / Afro-Cuban has a hidden cousin.

Song by song I will work to identify, or clarify the Composer / Arranger & dates associated with recording.

I will start by addressing this recording, Roots of Mambo.  A series of tunes that the producers of this album seemed to feel played some roll in the evolution of  the Mambo.  This is a French production and until recently many European Countries only acknowledged 50 years of copyright, England has extended this,  but many re-recording productions do not honor the rights of the original performers & composers. 

Translated French Album Notes:
The Mambo - also known as Afro, Latin jazz or Cubop - is the result of a marriage between Afro-Cuban and American jazz. He continues to swing the years the United States before moving to bebop. Explosive cocktail of mirth, music of all busty, Mambo provides an irresistible feeling of nostalgic warmth for years that dancing is inextricably linked.

 Eric Remy & Patrick Frémeaux
This album, issued by the world-famous publishers, Frémeaux & Associés, has been restored using the latest technological methods. This album, Issued by the world-famous publishers, Frémeaux & Associates, has-been restored using the latest methods technologique. An explanatory booklet of liner notes in English and a guarantee are included.

  Audio Rights: Frémeaux & Associates - The Audio Library (Our collective memory to listen).

. The books sound Frémeaux & Associates are produced by the best specialists to receive analog and digital restoration recognized worldwide, are subject to an explanatory booklet in French and a certificate of guarantee.. The mark Frémeaux & Associates has received over 800 awards for his work in museum preservation and dissemination of audio heritage.

1.  No NoiseRecorded Dec 1948 Mercury Released 1949 / Previously Titled Killer Joe Recorded 1947.   (Previous Detailed Post)
Never a question of Composer - John Lewis Bartee

No Noise Parts I & II - Composer/John Bartee Performed by Charlie Parker & Flip Phillips, Machito

(The Individuals/Corporations receiving John's Composer Royalties please step forward to acknowledge how you came about ownership.)

2.  Rhapsody in RhumbaCab Calloway / Released 1940  I originally connected this tune to Artie Shaw's  -  Hold your Hat, or Hold your Hats depending on the arrangement or performance.  John is given Arranger credits for  HYH in 1937-38,  Yet in the early radio recording the announcer clearly gives complete credit for this original number & arrangement to Shaw.  And a year or two later the melody within it, is in Rhapsody in Rumba.  Here we see Rhapsody included in Roots of Mambo -  Were Shaw, Calloway & Bauza working together, or was John Bartee the common link in the creation of this number. Also, considering John's involvement in this Mambo Sound started with a melody in Hold your Hats and continued at least until Shaw recorded the Latin numbers in 1949.  I'd say a blind man could see he was in the middle of the mix from the beginning.

Rhapsody in Rhumba - Composer/John Bartee Arranger/J. Bartee Performed by Cab Calloway
Hold your Hat - Composer/John L. Bartee Performer/ Artie Shaw Orchestra on Radio 1938
Hold your Hats - Composer/John Bartee Arranger/ J. Bartee Performed by Shaw Orchestra

3.   Bop Champagne -

Preview all tunes on this Album at Amazon UK will not allow United States purchase. 

(Mambo#3 recorded by Machito & No Noise appear to have music files reversed on preview site)

CDPisteTitreArtiste principalDuréeEnregistré en
11Saint louis bluesHavana Yacht Club Orchestra 00:02:411931
12The peanut vendor 1Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra 00:03:231930
13The peanut vendor 2Duke Ellington And His Orchestra 00:03:211931
14Doin the rumbaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:02:581931
15Moonlight fiestaDuke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra 00:02:541935
16Caravan 1Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra 00:02:431937
17Conga bravaDuke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra 00:02:591940
18The congo congaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:03:011938
19Chili con congaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:03:051939
110Rhapsody in rumbaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:02:471940
111Yo eta cansaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:03:001940
112Goin congaCab Calloway And His Orchestra 00:02:511940
113No quiero swingMariano Merceron Y Sus Muchachos Pimient 00:03:321943
114Caravan 2Duke Ellington And His Orchestra 00:02:511945
115BijouWoody Herman And His Orchestra 00:03:231945
116Mambo 1Arcano Antonio00:03:061946
117Mambo 2Orch Noro Morales 00:02:471948
118Cubana be cubana bop 1Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:05:571947
119Cubana be cubana bop 2 afro cuban suiteDizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:07:111947
120Algo buenoDizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:03:001947
21Swedish suiteDizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:02:511949
22TabuDizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 1948
23Manteca 1Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:03:071947
24Manteca 2Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:07:461948
25Guarachi guaro 1Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:03:131948
26Guarachi guaro 2Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:08:531948
27Caravan 3Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:02:571951
28Tin tin deo 1Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra 00:02:421951
29Tin tin deo 2Burns Dave00:02:481948
210Mambo 3Machito And His Afro Cubans 00:06:061950
211No noiseMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:04:551949
212How high the moonMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:03:511949
213Bop champagneMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:05:161949
214Mambo is here to stayMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:03:111949
215U bla ba duMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:03:161949
216Gone cityMachito And His Afro Cubans 00:02:521949
217TropicanaWalter Gil Fuller And Orchestra 00:02:581949
218Hey pretty babyErskine Hawkins And His Orchestra 00:02:451950
219OpportunityErskine Hawkins And His Orchestra 00:02:451950
220CasbahTadd Dameron And His Orchestra 00:03:001949
221LamentoAime Barelli Et Son Orchestre 00:02:511949

Credits for the above:

Havana Yacht Club Orchestra , Castro Andres, Castro Antonio, Castro Manolo, Gonzalez Daniel, Portela Guillermo, Castro Juanito, Suao Luis, RubioMc Clure Red Mac Morris, Scott Harold, Graven Luther, Hite Les, Johnson Marvin, Jones Charlie, Prince Henry, Simons Moises, Duke Ellington And His Orchestra , Whetsol Arthur, Jenkins Freddy Posey, Williams Charles Cootie, Nanton Joe Tricky Sam, Tizol Juan, Hodges Johnny, Carney Harry, Bigard Albany Barney, Cab Calloway And His Orchestra , Culley Wendell, Dickerson Roger Quincey, Wright Lammar, Wheeler De Priest, Harris Arville, Brown Andrew, Thomas Walter, Prince Earess, Kenny , Perkins , Irving Mills, Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra , Stewart Rex, Brown Lawrence, Ellington Duke, Hardwick Otto, Cheatham Doc, Collins Shad, Randolph Irving, Johnson Keg, Jones Claude, Coots , Davis , Haughton Chauncey, Berry Chu, Mills Irving, Baron , Tuvim, Payne Benny, Barker Danny, Hinton Milton, Calloway Cab, Harding , Socarras , Iznaga , Mariano Merceron Y Sus Muchachos Pimient , Merceron Mariano, Anderson Cat, Hemphill Shelton, Jordan Taft, Nance Ray, Woody Herman And His Orchestra , Berman Sonny, Candoli Secondo Conte, Candoli Pete, Hefti Neal, Lewis Irv, Harris Willard Bill, Kiefer Ed, Pfeffner Ralph, Burns Ralph, Arcano Antonio, Antonio Arcano Y Sus Maravillas , Inconnu , Lopez Orestes, Orch Noro Morales , Morales Noro, Buenos Ruben, Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra , Gillespie Dizzy, Bailey Benny, Burns Dave, Wright Elmon, Kelly Ted, Shepherd Bill, Brown John, Russell George, Cook Willie, Harris Benny, Duryea Andy, Hurt Sam, Tarrant Jess, Fuller Walter Gil, Tarrant Jesse, Henry Ernie, Lecuona Ernesto, Pozo Gonzalez Chano, Gayles Joe, Payne Cecil, Wilson Gerald, Graham Bill, Smith Stuff, Jackson Milton, Heath Percy, Jones Al, Coltrane John, Burrel Kenny, Forman James, Moody James, Boyd Nelson, Blakey Art, Machito And His Afro Cubans , Bauza Mario, Davilla Frank, Edison Harry, Stewart Al, Woodlen Bob, Johnson Gene, Parker Charlie, Skerritt Fred, O Farrill Chico, Madera Jose Pin, Bartee , Phillips Flip, Johnakins Leslie, Hamilton , Sampson Edgar, Becke Pepe, Walter Gil Fuller And Orchestra , Dalee Mustapha, Massey Bill, Salaam Abdul, Johnson Charles, Rasheed Haleen, Ross Clarence, Tarrant Rip, Erskine Hawkins And His Orchestra , Hawkins Erskine, Johnson Bobby, Lowe Sam, Sulieman Idrees, Hall Rene, Range Bob, Wood Michael, Mitchell Jimmy, Smith B, George D, Tadd Dameron And His Orchestra , Navarro T Fats, Winding Kay, Shibab Sahib, Gordon Dexter, Dameron Tadd, Russell Curley, Clarke Kenny, Aime Barelli Et Son Orchestre , Barelli Aime, Caturegli Alex, Mauclair Jean, Gay Georges, Simino Marcel, Vasseur Benny, Migiani Armand, Aldegon Jean, Bartel Joe
Works of Cab Calloway

1939 - 1941

1. For the Last Time I Cried Over You
2. Twee Twee Tweet
3. Pluckin' the Bass
4. I Ain't Gettin' Nowhere Fast
5. Chili Con Conga  **
6. Tarzan of Harlem
7. Jiveformation, Please
8. Vuelva   **
9. Bee Gizendt
10. Give, Baby, Give
11. Sincere Love
12. Do It Again
13. Pickin the Cabbage
14. Chop Chop Charlie Chan
15. Paradiddle
16. Boog It
17. Calling All Bars
18. Do I Care, No No
19. Lone Arranger   **
20. Feelin' Tip Top
21. Topsy Turvy
22. Hi Di Hi Serenade
23. Who's Yehoodi?
24. Fifteen Minute Intermission
25. Rhapsody in Rhumba   **
26. Come on With the 'Come On'
27. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance
28. Bye Bye Blues
29. Papa's in Bed With His Britches On
30. Silly Old Moon
31. Boo Wah, Boo Wah
32. Sunset
33. Yo Eta Cansa
34. Cupid's Nightmare
35. Levee Lullaby
36. Are You Hep to the Jive
37. Goin' Conga       **
38. Hot Air
39. Lonesome Nights
40. Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird
41. Worker's Train
42. North of the Mohawk
43. Make Yourself at Home
44. Run Little Rabbit
45. Willow, Weep for Me
46. You Are the One in My Heart
47. Are You All Reet?
48. Ebony Silhouette
49. Hep Cat's Love Song
50. Jonah Joins the Cab
51. Geechie Joe
52. Special Delivery

1935 - 1940

1. Good Sauce from the Gravy Bowl
2. Keep That Hi-De-Hi in Your Soul
3. Miss Otis Regrets (She's Unable to Lunch Today)
4. I Ain't Got Nobody
5. Nagasaki
6. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
7. I Love to Sing-A
8. You're the Cure for What Ails Me
9. Save Me, Sister
10. Love Is the Reason
11. When You're Smiling
12. Jes' Natch'ully Lazy
13. Are You in Love With Me Again?
14. Copper Colored Gal
15. Frisco Flo
16. Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Swing
17. Hi-De-Ho Miracle Man
18. Don't Know if I'm Comin' or Goin'
19. My Gal Mezzanine
20. That Man Is Here Again
21. Reckin'
22. Congo
23. Swing, Swing, Swing
24. Wake Up and Live
25. Manhattan Jam
26. Moon at Sea
27. I'm Always in the Mood for You
28. She's Tall, She's Tan, She's Teriffic
29. Go South Young Man
30. Mama, I Wanna Make Rhythm
31. Hi-De-Ho Romeo
32. Queen Isabella
33. Savage Rhythm
34. Every Day's a Holiday
35. Jubilee
36. In an Old English Village
37. (Just an) Error in the News
38. Minor Breakdown (Rustle of Swing)
39. Bugle Blues
40. One Big Union for Two
41. Doing the Reactionary
42. Rustle of Swing
43. Three Swings and Out
44. I Like Music (With a Swing Like That)
45. Foolin' With You
46. Azure
47. Skrontch
48. We're Breakin' Up a Lovely Affair
49. Peck-A-Doodle-Do
50. At the Clambake Carnival
51. Hoy-Hoy
52. Miss Hallelujah Brown
53. Conga-Conga
54. Boogie Woogie
55. There's a Sunny Side to Everything
56. Shout, Shout, Shout
57. Mister Paganini, Swing for Minnie
58. Jive (Page One of the Hepster's Dictionary)
59. Penguin Swing
60. Do You Wanna Jump Children?
61. I'm Madly in Love With You
62. April in My Heart
63. Blue Interlude
64. F.D.R. Jones
65. Deep in a Dream
66. Tee-Um, Tee-Um, Tee-I, Tahiti
67. Angels With Dirty Faces
68. Long, Long Ago
69. Afraid of Love
70. Ratamacue
71. Ad-De-Dey
72. New Moon and an Old Serenade
73. One Look at You
74. Ghost of Smokey Joe
75. Floogie Walk
76. Trylon Swing
77. Utt-Da-Zay
78. Crescendo in Drums
79. (Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin' Jive
80. For the Last Time I Cried Over You
81. Twee-Twee-Tweet
82. Pluckin' the Bass
83. I Ain't Gettin' Nowhere Fast
84. Chili con Conga
85. Tarzan of Harlem
86. Jive Formation, Please
87. Vuelva
88. Bee Gezindt
89. Give, Baby, Give
90. Sincere Love
91. Do It Again
92. Pickin' the Cabbage
93. Chop, Chop. Charlie Chan
94. Paradiddle
95. Boog It
96. Calling All Bars
97. Do I Care? No, No
98. Lone Arranger
99. Feelin' Tip Top
100. Topsy Turvy (Hard Times)
101. Hi-De-Ho Serenade
102. Who's Yehoodi?
103. Fifteen Minute Intermission
104. Rhapsody in Rhumba
105. Come on With the "Come On"
106. Ghost of a Chance
107. Bye Bye Blues

1938 - 1939

1. Skrontch
2. We're Breakin' Up A Lovely Affair
3. Peck-A-Doodle Do
4. At The Clambake Carnival
5. Hoy-Hoy
6. Miss Hallelujah Brown
7. The Congo-Conga
8. The Boogie-Woogie
9. There's A Sunny SIde To Everything
10. Shout, Shout, Shout
11. Mister Paganini-Swing For Minnie
12. Jive (Page One Of Hepster's Dictionary)
13. Do You Wanna Jump, Children
14. I'm Madly In Love With You
15. April In My Heart
16. Blue Interlude
17. F.D.R. Jones
18. Deep In A Dream
19. Tee-Um Tee-Um Tee-I, Tahiti
20. Angels With Dirty Faces
21. Long Long Ago
22. Afraid Of Love
23. Ratamacue
24. Ad-De-Dey
1938 - 1941

1. Rustle of Swing
2. Foolin' With You
3. Floogie Walk
4. Trylon Swing
5. Utt-Da-Zay
6. Crescendo in Drums
7. (Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin' Jive
8. Pluckin' the Bass
9. Jiveformation, Please
10. Bee Gezindt
11. Pickin' the Cabbage
12. Chop, Chop, Charlie Chan (From China)
13. Lonesome Nights
14. Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird
15. Workers' Train
16. Willow Weep for Me
17. Are You All Reet?
18. Hep Cat's Love Song
19. Jonah Joins the Cab
20. Take the "A" Train
21. Chattanooga Choo Choo
22. St. James Infirmary
1930 - 1939
1. St. Louis Blues
2. St. James Infirmary
3. Minnie The Moocher
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
5. You Rascal, You
6. Strickly Cullud Affair
7. Aw You Dawg
8. The Man From Harlem
9. Eadie Was A Lady
10. The Lady With The Fan
11. Zaz Zuh Zaz
12. Kickin' The Gong Around
13. Keep That Hi-De-Hi In Your Soul
14. Miss Otis Regrets (She's Unable To Lunch Today)
15. I Ain't Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares For Me)
16. Nagasaki
17. Jess's Natu'lly Lazy
18. Jive (Page One Of The Hepster's Dictionary)
19. The Ghost Of Smokey Joe
20. Utt-Da-Zay
21. (Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin' Jive
22. Tarzan Of Harlem

Post Updates:  Aug 8, 2010 

Le Mambo – encore appelé Afro, Cubop ou Latin jazz – est le fruit d’un mariage entre les musiques afro-cubaines et le jazz américain. Il prolonge les années swing aux Etats-Unis avant d’évoluer vers le be-bop. Cocktail explosif de gaieté, musique plantureuse entre toutes, le Mambo procure un irrésistible sentiment de chaleur teintée de nostalgie pour les années dansantes auxquelles il est indissociablement lié.
Eric Rémy & Patrick Frémeaux
Droits audio : Frémeaux & Associés - La Librairie Sonore (Notre mémoire collective à écouter).

Les ouvrages sonores de Frémeaux & Associés sont produits par les meilleurs spécialistes, bénéficient d’une restauration analogique et numérique reconnue dans le monde entier, font l’objet d’un livret explicatif en langue française et d’un certificat de garantie. La marque Frémeaux & Associés a obtenu plus de 800 distinctions pour son travail muséographique de sauvegarde et de diffusion du patrimoine sonore.
This album, issued by the world-famous publishers, Frémeaux & Associés, has been restored using the latest technological methods. An explanatory booklet of liner notes in English and a guarantee are included.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Apollo - A Rhythm and Blues Revue

 From at least 1938 to 1944 John's address in New York City was near the corner of  W. 121st Street  & Morningside Drive with Columbia University nearby.  Just a walk across Morningside Park and a couple of blocks he could be at the Apollo.  I am sure his time in New York during these creative days of music he was influenced by many of the talented artist performing at the different venues.  From "Rent Parties" to the most popular clubs it had to be an exciting place to be,  a Jumping Town.  A place that had to influence his 1941 composition,   "The Mayor of  Jump Town".

I post the following for just a taste of the Apollo,  so get with it and boot it up.

A Musical variety show filmed in 1955 at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City featuring a cast of popular African-American performers: Willie Bryant, Freddie Robinson, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Faye Adams, Bill Bailey, Herb Jeffries, Amos Milburn, Sarah Vaughan, Nipsey Russell, Big Joe Turner, Martha Davis, Little Buck, Nat 'King' Cole, Mantan Moreland, Cab Calloway and Ruth Brown.

For a link to video source and more information click here .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jack Robbins & Tin Pan Alley

In 1967, Billboard Magazine devoted much of their September 2nd issue to acknowledging the 70th anniversary of Robbins-Feist-Miller Music Publishers, known in the music industry then as "the Big Three". Due to copyright a link to that original Billboard Magazine September 1967 issue and a look back at The Big Three.  Its early roots started in 1897 when Leo Feist opened an office in New York City to print his own songs after being turned away by existing publishers.  In 1916,  Jack Robbins arrives in New York City and joins his Uncle Maurice Richmond, a pioneer in the music industry.  In short time Robbins, a tiger of Tin Pan Alley, becomes a driving force in musical publishing building an ever growing roster of talent. Jack Robbins in time merged and absorbed other musical publishing businesses,  leading to his close involvement with MGM and the placement of musical talent & scores in the motion pictures of the day.

 In 1935, a young Judy Garland auditioned for  Ida Koverman, Louis B. Mayer's influential secretary and  Jack Robbins MGM's talent chief. Once hearing her they brought in the studio rehearsal pianist, Roger Edens, and sent for Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM studios, to hear her. He listened quietly and after she finished singing, he immediately said, "Please prepare a contract for the services of Judy Garland as an actress."  Other sources state Burton Lane brought "Frances Gumm aka Judy Garland" into see Jack Robbins that day.

Billboard Magazine published an article in their July 8th, 1946 issue based on a letter they had received from Mr. Robbins.  His letter & remarks refer to the May 25 issue that contained a review of the Machito Orchestra,  and the Arranger John Bartee.

Due to copyright of Billboard I will allow the article & letter from Mr. Robbins,  along with the original review of Machito speak for themselves.  (NOTE - click on the word,  page in the document to see the complete review)

John's arranging work for Machito is further noted on page 5 "New York Doings" in the Nov/Dec 1945 newsletter  The Score  of ASMA  (American Society of Music Arrangers) now know as ASMAC American Society of Music Composers & Arrangers

JOHN BARTEE scored a Columbia short
for Noro Morales and is making up .arrangements
for Pepi Campellio's new band, while
still continuing his regular arranging for Machito's
Orchestra, of the London Club

The "Sound" of Machito was important for it was the Fusion of Big Band Swing / Jazz with the Cuban/Latin elements. This was the basis for much of modern day " Latin" music, or as Mr. Mario Bauza preferred  terming, "Afro-Cuban" music. Another over looked individual that was a decade ahead of others in the idea of this fusion was Don Aspiazu who always had it in mind that Cuban music would intermarry with American music, as it happened later with the mambo. He returned to Cuba about 1940 where in 1943 he died in obscurity.

On December 17, 2001 in Gallup, New Mexico... John Bartee also died in obscurity.  

Given the longtime involvement & place Mr. Robbins has in  music industry history.  I  find his review of the facts as they actually existed in 1946 compared to the recognition that John Lewis Bartee  receives today is very much out of balance,  given the weight of Mr. Robbins words.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jimmy Dorsey - So Rare


In the last years of his life Sister Gonvaque said John spoke of two individuals,  the son he hadn't seen since the boy was 8 .  And a man that he felt was a truly good person,  Jimmy Dorsey.  This blog page I am dedicating to the memory of Mr. Dorsey for the respect and admiration I believe John had for him as musician and man.

This is one guy that seemed to be liked by all.

"So Rare" 

Don't miss the movie, 

  The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) 

                                     at the bottom of post


 Had to make sure you saw this last one for sure,  it had to be fun!


Double Click on All YouTube Links for Source of Video Feed & Information

The Fabulous Dorseys (1947)                   Movie

For a link to video source and more information click here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Artie Shaw... Complicated yet Amusing

Yeah... I like his music, some of it.  I do understand his desire to evolve.  One can see this in just about any type of creative individual, especially one that is working along side of other creative souls.  Your break throughs & small discoveries feed the energy in you &  those around you. They return that energy of ideas back to you that allows you to stretch beyond your previous boundaries.   And then like Mr. Shaw you have other goals and desires in life.  It's only as individuals that we can honestly admit to ourselves when we have successfully reached the goals we set.  Just because the groupies and fans want more, its not their life... it was his and he seemed to have no trouble changing when he was ready for change. That included wives,  I understand the appearance of morality and marrying the girl.  But after a couple of  miss matched unions you'd think maybe a short test drive was in order, or maybe forget about marriage and just take the bus.

Years ago... after I found the physical John Bartee,  I began the long frustrating search for who John was.  The man that was estranged from his extended Southern family.  A family that for the most part had lost track of him or maybe had just given up on him living his life in their world.  I put together a letter and some information about John and I sent it to Mr. Shaw.  I received notice back that his assistant & caretaker,   Larry Rose (a man that should get sainthood) had signed for it.  I hoped he might know something of John,  Artie Shaw could have been the local bum it really didn't matter,  if I had a clue that someone had crossed paths with John I tried to contact them.  I knew he was old and having health problems,  but he was still alive and so many of those I tried to contact always seemed to have just died before I was able to question them.

I was shocked that he answered the phone himself that Sunday afternoon.  It really did set me back,  not like an awestruck fan but more like a case of nerves before you give a speech and you drop your notes.  Your mind just gets mixed up with what you had planned to ask.  The day of the phone conversation  I wrote a short script of the brief conversation we had and posted on a big band forum where I had been posting for information.  A few fans were upset, claiming I had no right to bother the man and it was low of me to tape the call,  I didn't tape the call.  Once the phone was down I  wrote out the short conversation.   If I had just posted that I had reached him by phone the old farts would have ask me , "What did he say?".   For a while after the call ended I couldn't believe I actually got him on the phone,  easy as if I had called a friend.  I think many of the long-time hard core fans were jealous that for a few minutes I had spoke with the MAN himself.  I know I  got a couple of emails from guys on the forum that wanted the phone number, saying they were so and so,  they could get him to open up.  Right...  I wouldn't send them the number, I just told them how I went about getting it; not where it was,  let them do their own homework. You know all those years they dreamed of his music they could have picked up the phone themselves to tell him of their favorite song.. They didn't do it because they knew he HATED the groupies & the fans.  He played the music for himself, the cash & the women... who wouldn't given the chance & ability.  I do know I must have pulled myself together quick after the initial shock, I introduced myself asking if he had received my package. He didn't seem as mad,  as he was irritated that I might be a star struck fan going to drool over him,  he actually gave me a little of his time in retrospect. The more time that has past I think he was quite like many short tempered men of his generation that had even bigger old cusses as role models.  Add to that a hearing aid which is an unknown frustration but to those that depend on them.  He just has always had a reputation for a short fuse regarding what he saw as meaningless people; to him, in his life.

Fact is... maybe if we had a few Artie Shaw's walking around today we wouldn't  have so many little boys with their head up their ass running the country.  Grumpy old men of the past didn't allow a younger generation of men to sit still and relax, because something was always wrong.  If  something was wrong then it was your fault and you better make  it  right to suit them.  I believe his son, Jonathan might refer to it as The Puckered Asshole Effect,  you stay wide awake...  able to think & react swiftly around these type guys,  you don't let down your guard.  If you do... they will get you right where you think... in some creative way.     Mr. Shaw let me know his health was not good and he was dealing with all the crap that goes along with that.  He said he didn't know anything about John but, it was more like how one responds when you can't remember the simplest thing and a crowd is watching your every move.  You are more pissed at yourself that you can't remember anything than you are at those that are watching  & questioning you.  I don't think I liked him that day, but he began to grow on me.

Through people like Keith Pawlak, curator of the Artie Shaw Archives, along with Kevin Ritter who has done hands on research with the Archive  I have gained some iinformation on John's work for the Shaw bands.  Then there are  the many faithful followers of the Big Band sound,  through their work  to keep its memory alive I have found assistance in my search for John Bartee, along with a growing appreciation for the Music, the era and its participants.

Tom Nolan has also shed new light on the life of Artie Shaw through his newly released book,  Three Chords for Beauty's Sake.  It is a very good and balanced account of many  of the details, along  with many  first hand accounts of Mr. Shaw's life.  I had to reference the book for an ongoing difference of opinion with a big band librarian on the tune, Back Bay Shuffle composed by Teddy McRae with the liner notes of Mosaic Records giving credit to John Bartee for the original arrangement that was done about 1937/38.  Christopher Popa states Mosaic did a bad job at researching for the notes they included.  He is partially right,  they give no real credit to people like Keith Pawlak & the University of Arizona for doing all the work.  They took most of the information straight from the online inventory we all can access.  But in the past few weeks, Mr. Pawlak has confirmed to me that the original arrangement is indeed  by & in  John Bartee's hand,  he had some working relationship with the 37/38 band.  This is further supported by his "known" arrangements for Shaw of  Hold your Hats  recorded on April 28, 1937 &  I Fall in Love with you Everyday  1937 unrecorded ArtieShaw #206/104.  All of this was made very clear with the research material Kevin Ritter posted on the Big Band Forum back in the Summer of 2003 regarding many facts about the Shaw Music based on actual documents. 

In regards to the account I was asked to review as proof that John couldn't have arranged "Back Bay Shuffle".  Its a nice story from Teddy McRae  about how the Webb & Shaw Bands were in Boston at the same time & spent time observing each other perform. I am not sure if it was told first hand to Mr. Nolan or if it was taken from McRae's interview which is part of the Jazz Oral History Project, now cared for by The Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.   McRae jokes with Shaw how he is going to write a Hit tune for him.  The idea is said to have come from how after the bands finished playing in Boston on Saturday night they had to make a mad dash for Back Bay Station to get the 1:05 AM train back to New York City.  If they missed that train they were stuck in Boston all day Sunday because nothing moved on Sunday in those good old days.  Part of the sound McRae was trying to create was the sound  that came off the wheels of the train on the tracks as it rounded the last bend into the station, as the musicians were racing / shuffling to get to the platform in time. I am sure that is a true piece of the puzzle in some form,  the story  will be better each time you repeat it yourself.  The story doesn't prove John didn't do the arrangement for the band's recording.

I believe Mr. Popa had only seen John's name associated with the 1949 band so he drew the conclusion that John could have only reworked Back Bay Shuffle in 49.   What would have been the point?  John was brought in for the 5 Latin Compositions, 3 which were recorded.  Why John....  because since 1941 he was the lead arranger for Machito the top Latin Dance band and Artie Shaw like other band leaders wanted the Afro-Cuban or Latin scores for their books.  It was,  what was Hot at the time.   Prior to Machito, John was an arranger for Cab Calloway while Mario Bauza & Dizzy Gillespie were part of the band.  I wrote Mr. Popa  that I had no problem with anything he writes.  I can't it is his opinion, but I believe you need to know some facts about an individual before you state whether they could or couldn't have done something.

My search is not  just seeking opinions based  on 70 year old stories. Sometimes you need a little physical proof at times to pull the story together.  Memories change...  just as the story of why the Shaw Band started playing "Begin the Beguine" in Tom Nolan's book,  a dozen different versions of the story.  So, Mr. Popa can write what ever he likes... he can state there is no way that John had a hand in that original BBS score but it will be a lot harder to show that he didn't given the documents created over 70 years ago.  Kevin Ritter stated years ago that John Bartee was an unexpected piece to the puzzle,  so because of unknown events he was not well documented at the time, do we ignore he existed?  If I stated that one of John's brothers told me John had worked on arrangements for some band leader that died in a plane crash during WWII.  Would you say it could have never happen or would you look into the connection that John may have developed with Jerry Gray who moved on from Shaw to be the arranger for Glenn Miller.  Then its not too far  to Eddie Sauter's door and creative individuals inspire each other.   John existed and was an overlooked participant in the music industry. History does not always allow for a complete understanding of the original event & players.  But when one speaks of History they must put forth all the pieces they can find even if it involves re-writing the History they previous wrote.  If not... there is no true History or at least a true presentation of the know facts,  we are left with an illusion.

I want to add one last thing to this post.  Artie had two sons and like John neither man for what ever reasons had long term relationships with their sons.  Artie's son Jonathan has grown into a very colorful  individual but, unlike his father... I believe you are more likely to be smiling when you walk away from a conversation with  him.  Jonathan shares some very insightful revelations of his father in Tom Nolan's book which I think most Sons will understand.  A few years back he was working with Johnny Depp to do a film based on Shaw's life,  well Artie was still around and seems he might have drained all the excitement out of what could be a great film project .  A film that... if  at least co-scripted by Jonathan who has a gift for painting a very honest and vivid picture of life.  Added,  to a creative director that can tell a story that would have the old fans to the young who have no clue who Artie Shaw was lining up at the theaters.  If  the complete Shaw is presented.with Mr. Depp as the unpredictable Artie Shaw,  where he is allowed to show his true ability to become the character.  Shaw would be re-born to a completely new generation.  And you older fans that are getting up there in years you are going to want to find a new generation to take care of those great record collections you have in the den.

Here is a look into the mind of Jonathan Shaw,  you may be shocked... but if you can't smile at the picture he paints you need to start watching more Lawerence Welk.     "Dinner with Artie Shaw"

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