Sweatman, Wilbur C. - Recorded In New York 1926-1935 (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 September 2009
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Wilbur Sweatman has often been overlooked or written off in jazz history as a primitive clarinetist who, even with the passing of time, sounded like a vaudevillian. Listeners tend to forget just how far back Sweatman goes, for he was born in 1882 and performing professionally as early as 1895, making him a near-contemporary of Buddy Bolden. Sweatman worked in theater orchestras and extensively in vaudeville, learning his craft independent of the New Orleans jazz world. He became famous for playing three clarinets at once although unfortunately, he never recorded that feat. However in December 1916 he recorded two versions apiece of his "Down Home Rag" and "My Hawaiian Sunshine," two months before the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made "Livery Stable Blues," which is considered the first jazz record. Listening to Sweatman's debut (which was preceded by a long-lost 1903 cylinder) makes one wonder a bit, for he sounds as if he is improvising jazz a bit, so perhaps he was really the first to record jazz. Sweatman next recorded with a saxophone quartet in April 1917 (influenced by the Six Brown Brothers) and then made most of his recordings with a rambunctious series of groups during 1918-1920. Those performances, which are mostly all-ensemble, lack any real subtlety although Sweatman does get to show off his technique and some of the tricks that he learned in vaudeville. All of Wilbur Sweatman's recordings are on this two-CD set and they also contain later performances from 1924 (including the first of five versions of Sweatman's "Battleship Kate," which may have Duke Ellington on piano), 1926, 1929, 1930, and four final numbers from 1935. While Wilbur Sweatman would never be considered as important to jazz as such clarinetists as Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds, this two-fer inspires one to re-evaluate his standing in jazz history. He was also one of the first worthwhile jazz bass clarinetists, too. ~ Scott Yanow
Release Date: 10 September 2009
  • Disk 1
  • 1. My Hawaiian Sunshine
  • 2. My Hawaiian Sunshine
  • 3. Down Home Rag
  • 4. Down Home Rag
  • 5. Dance and Grow Thin
  • 6. I Wonder Why
  • 7. Boogie Rag
  • 8. Joe Turner Blues
  • 9. A Bag of Rags
  • 10. Dancing an American Rag
  • 11. Regretful Blues
  • 12. Ev'rybody's Crazy 'Bout the Doggone Blues But I'm Happy
  • 13. Ev'rybody's Crazy 'Bout the Doggone Blues
  • 14. Regretful Blues
  • 15. The Darktown Strutters' Ball/I'm Sorry I Made You Cry
  • 16. Good-Bye Alexander (Goodbye Honey Boy)/Oh! Frenchy
  • 17. Indianola/Those Draftin' Blues
  • 18. Oh! You La! La!/I Want Him Back Again
  • 19. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody
  • 20. Those Draftin' Blues/Somebody's Done Me Wrong
  • 21. Has Anybody Seen My Corrine/Down on Bull Frog's Isle/Livery Stable ...
  • 22. Dallas Blues/At the Funny Page Ball/Lovin' (I Can't Live Without It)
  • 23. Dallas Blues
  • 24. Ringtail Blues
  • 25. Bluin' the Blues
  • 26. Has Anybody Seen My Corrine?
  • 27. Ringtail Blues
  • 28. Rainy Day Blues
  • 29. Ja-Da! (Ja-Da, Ja-Da, Jing, Jing, Jing)
  • 30. A Good Man Is Hard to Find/Sweet Child
  • Disk 2
  • 1. That's Got 'Em
  • 2. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
  • 3. Lonesome Road
  • 4. Kansas City Blues
  • 5. Slide, Kelly, Slide
  • 6. Kansas City Blues
  • 7. I'll Say She Does (Intro: N'Everything)
  • 8. Lucille
  • 9. Hello, Hello!
  • 10. I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jellyroll/Just Leave It to Me
  • 11. But/Tiddle-Dee Winks
  • 12. Think of Me Little Daddy/I'm Going Back to My Used to Be
  • 13. Battleship Kate
  • 14. Battleship Kate
  • 15. It Makes No Difference Now
  • 16. Get It Now
  • 17. Poor Papa
  • 18. Battleship Kate
  • 19. Sweat Blues
  • 20. Jim Town Blues
  • 21. Sweat Blues
  • 22. Got 'Em Blues
  • 23. Breakdown Blues
  • 24. Battleship Kate
  • 25. Battleship Kate
  • 26. The Florida Blues
  • 27. Whatcha Gonna Do
  • 28. The Hooking Cow Blues

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Catalogue No: BDW8046