As the heat-wave continues, and just to show that yesterday’s otomatopoeic big band was (unfortunately) no mere passing fancy, no random accident, here’s a progressive-bop unit from the late-40s.
The band is fronted by a wild singer named Frieda Bagg, who would later go on to influence Betty Carter. Because it’s a ten-piece outfit, she calls it Frieda Bagg and The Decadents. Here’s the personnel:
Trumpet – Bendt Valver (He’s Swedish of course and suffers from severe diabetes, otherwise known as Stockholm Sweetnin’ Syndrome.)
Trombone – Woody Slidemore
Alto Sax – Kent Zwing
Tenor Sax – Randy Changes
Baritone Sax – Roland Thunder (Roland is in high demand, so occasionally Fillmore Cork subs in for him.)
Vibes – Otis Mantle
Piano – Thelonious Galintown (Very interesting girl pianist, but she suffers from a bad case of halitosis. When the smell gets to be too much, the band sends for Wiley Komper.)
Guitar – Al Woodshed (Sometimes, his brother Otto guests.)
Bass – Happy Walker (Once in a while, Wilbur B. Ware replaces him.)
Drums – Hy Hatchik (When Hy gets too high, the expatriate German drummer Ole Baumdropper “fills in” for him.)
They play an interesting book of charts written by such way-out arrangers as Izzy Deff, Tony Scribbler, Les Meeter and Wilbur Nout.
Their manager/payroll secretary is Lotta Graaft and the infrequently used roadie is Howie Schlepps. Arturo Versees handles their European bookings, which are understandably rare.
As boppers, a lot of them are dope-fiends, so their pusher is a slimy character named Abe Ettor.
Cheers, Chubby Lotone.
© 2013, Steve Wallace. All rights reserved.