Wilbur, Beware

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.

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