Portrait of Juan Tizol (Podcast #20-005)

Valve trombonist Juan Tizol (1900-84) was an important member of the Ellington band. Besides instrumental duties, he was a composer, arranger and copyist.

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“Juan Tizol was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and suitably named after the saint, San Juan. He studied and mastered every instrument in the orchestra, but finally settled down to specialize on the valve trombone. He came to Washington, D.C., about 1920 in Marie Lucas’ orchestra, and played the Howard Theatre and the T.O.B.A. circuit. When we decided to add a valve trombone, [Arthur] Whetsol took the responsibility of convincing him to join us at the Cotton Club in 1929. He was a tremendous asset to our band….”

– Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress


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Juan Tizol


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Charles Mingus played for a brief stint in the band of his hero Duke Ellington. Juan Tizol, Ellington’s longtime trombonist and sometime arranger, asked Mingus to play a certain solo, which the bass player decided to change slightly. The alteration so infuriated Tizol he threatened Mingus with his bolo knife. Mingus responded by attacking him during a performance. Here, according to Mingus in his Beneath the Underdog, is what the Duke said to him afterwards.

“Now Charles,” he says, looking amused, putting Cartier links into the cuffs of his beautiful hand-made shirt, “you could have forewarned me–you left me out of the act entirely! At least you could have let me cue in a few chords as you ran through that Nijinsky routine. I congratulate you on your performance, but why didn’t you and Juan inform me about the adagio you planned so that we could score it? I must say I never saw a large man so agile–I never saw anybody make such tremendous leaps! The gambado over the piano carrying your bass was colossal. When you exited after that I thought, ‘That man’s really afraid of Juan’s knife and at the speed he’s going he’s probably home in bed by now.’ But no, back you came through the same door with your bass still intact. For a moment I was hopeful you’d decided to sit down and play but instead you slashed Juan’s chair in two with a fire axe! Really, Charles, that’s destructive. Everybody knows Juan has a knife but nobody ever took it seriously–he likes to pull it out and show it to people, you understand. So I’m afraid, Charles–I’ve never fired anybody–you’ll have to quit my band. I don’t need any new problems. Juan’s an old problem, I can cope with that, but you seem to have a whole bag of new tricks. I must ask you to be kind enough to give me your notice, Mingus.”

From the blog “Billy and Dad’s Emporium”


Juan Tizol’s Oral Jazz History Interview can be found here





The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

***UNDER CONSTRUCTION!***

 

small groups

Caravan (CD:”The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions” Mosaic Records #235)

Recorded 19 December, 1936 in Los Angeles

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Juan Tizol – valve trombone; Barney Bigard – clarinet; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

Juibiliesta

 

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Juibiliesta (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

 

 

 


Highlights

Conga Brava/Moon Over Cuba (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid, AMSC1143)

 


fabulousKeb-lah/The Sphinx/Zanzibar/You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It (CD: “The Fabulous Ellingtonians” Mercury 830 926-2)

Recorded 7 April 1946, Los Angeles

Dick Cathcart – trumpet; Juan Tizol – valve trombone; Willie Smith – alto sax, vocal; Babe Russin – tenor sax; Arnold Ross – piano; Irving Ashby – guitar; Ed Mihelich – bass; Nick Fatool – drums.


on the air

Bakiff  (LP: “The Duke is On the Air” Aircheck Records #4)

Recorded 30 July 1952 in Chicago

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Hilton Jefferson, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Louie Bellson – drums.


 

jazz after midnight

 

Caravan (CD: “The Complete After Midnight – The Complete Session” Capitol Jazz 7243 5 20087 2 8)

Recorded

Nat “King” Cole – vocal, piano; Juan Tizol – valve trombone;

centennial editionPerdido (CD: “Duke Ellington, The Centennial Edition” RCA Victor ‎– 09026-63386-2)

 

maison du dukePyramid (CD: “The Great 1963 Paris Concert, Unissued Material” Maison du Duke MDD 009)

Recorded

Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope; Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.

 


— Our closing music —-

0000120517It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.

 


When Cootie Left the Duke, Pt. I (Podcast #17-009)

After 11 years with Duke Ellington, Cootie Williams leaves to join Benny Goodman. Continue reading

benny goodman sextet

A Benny Goodman recording session, with Georgie Auld – tenor sax, Benny Goodman – clarinet, Artie Bernstein – bass, Cootie Williams – trumpet, Charlie Christian – guitar.

“It was 1929 when Cootie came into the band, and he soon became one of our most outstanding soloists. He began to use the plunger mute, one of our major tonal devices, and he used it very well, right up to one night eleven years later, when he took me for a ride all around Chicago in his car. He wanted to tell me that he had a very lucrative offer to go with Benny Goodman for a while. “Well, okay,” I said.”

–Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress


bg sextet close up

Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams, Georgie Auld, Benny Goodman


Bill Crow’s lengthy article on his stint with Benny Goodman during his 1962 tour of the USSR, To Russia Without Love, gives an insightful insider’s look at Goodman’s notorious personality.



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

Highlights

Concerto for Cootie (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid AMSC1143)

Recorded 15 March 1940, Chicago

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

raymond scott

When Cootie Left the Duke (CD: “Toonerville Trolley” Jasmine JASMCD 2605)

Recorded 6 January 1941, Chicago

Jack Walker, Graham Young, Jack Hall – trumpet; Charles MCamish, Pete Lofthouse – trombones; Benny Lagasse, Charles Spero, Frank Callador, Stanley Webb – reeds; Don Tiff – piano; Art Ryerson – guitar; Mike Ruben – bass; Carl Maus – drums.

(Note: At the time the podcast was recorded, I had not been able to determine the identity of the trumpet soloist on this track. Thanks to the efforts of Jean-Marie Juif, we now know it was Jack Hall. Thanks, Jean-Marie!)


 

charlie christian(CD: “Charlie Christian – The Genius of the Electric Guitar” Columbia / Sony Legacy
88697930352)

Wholly Cats

Royal Garden Blues

Benny’s Bugle

Recorded 7 November 1940, New York City
Cootie Williams – trumpet; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Georgie Auld – tenor sax; Count Basie – piano; Charlie Christian – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Harry Jaeger – drums.

Breakfast Feud

Recorded 19 December 1940, New York City

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Georgie Auld – tenor sax; Kenny Kersey – piano; Charlie Christian – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Harry Jaeger – drums.


 

hawkins

(CD:” Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 Mosaic Records 251)

Recorded 16 January 1941, New York City

Bugle Call Rag

 

 

One O’Clock Jump

 

The Metronome All-Star Band

Harry James, Ziggy Elman, Cootie Williams – trumpet; Tommy Dorsey, J.C. Higginbotham – trombone; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Toots Mondello, Benny Carter – alto sax; Coleman Hawkins, Tex Beneke – tenor sax; Count Basie – piano; Charlie Christian – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Buddy Rich – drums.


 

bg mosaic(CD: “Classic Columbia and Okeh Benny Goodman Orchestra Recordings (1939-1958) Mosaic Records 240) 

Fiesta In Blue 

Recorded 27 March 1941, New York City

Jimmy Maxwell, Billy Butterfield, Irving Goodman, Cootie Williams – trumpet; Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall- trombone; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Gus Bivona, Les Robinson – alto sax; Georgie Auld, Pete Mondello – tenor sax; Skip Martin – baritone sax; Johnny Guarnieri – piano; Mike Bryan – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Dave Tough – drums

Moonlight On The Ganges

Recorded 18 December 1940, New York City

Jimmy Maxwell, Irving Goodman, Alec Fila, Cootie Williams – trumpet; Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall – trombone; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Gus Bivona, Skip Martin – alto sax; Bob Snyder –  alto and  baritone sax; Georgie Auld, Jack Henderson – tenor sax; Bernie Leighton – piano; Mike Bryan – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Harry Jaeger – drums.

Let The Door Knob Hitcha 

Recorded 14 January 1941, New York City

Jimmy Maxwell, Irving Goodman, Alec Fila – trumpet; Cootie Williams – trumpet & vocal; Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall – trombone; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Gus Bivona, Skip Martin, Bob Snyder – alto sax; Georgie Auld, Jack Henderson – tenor sax; Teddy Wilson – piano; Mike Bryan – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Dave Tough – drums.

Superman 

Recorded 18 December 1940, New York City

Jimmy Maxwell, Irving Goodman, Alec Fila, Cootie Williams – trumpet; Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall – trombone; Benny Goodman – clarinet; Gus Bivona, Skip Martin – alto sax; Bob Snyder –  alto and  baritone sax; Georgie Auld, Jack Henderson – tenor sax; Bernie Leighton – piano; Mike Bryan – guitar; Artie Bernstein – bass; Harry Jaeger – drums.


 

0000120517

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.