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Published on Nov 15, 2009
Meet me in Chicago - Pee Wee Russell 1968
In a jam session under the musical leadership of pianist Art Hodes two important jazz icons played a freely improvised blues. Pee Wee Russell (1906 -1969) had a distinctive way of improvisation. He once said: Each solo is approached if it was the last one you were going to play in your life. The secret is what notes to hit and when to hit them. You can make aparticular phrase with one note, maybe at the end, maybe at the beginning. He would jump the right chord and use what seems wrong to the nect guy. He would know it was right for him. He played in 1926 with Jean Goldkette and with Bix Beiderbecke and his idol Frank Teschemacher. His greatly imaginative improvisations became an inspiration for later jazz clarinetists, Cornetist Jimmy McPartland (1907-1991) was one of the original members of the Austin High School Gang who together with Gene Krupa, Eddie Condon, Benny Goodman, Jack Tegarden and other jazz veterans was one of the originators of the Chicago Jazz style. I played for a few weeks with Jimmy in Toronto in 1977 and he was always full of stories of his past experiences. A remarkable and very popular player. The other musicians in this session are Rail Wilson bass and Harry Hawthorn drums.