What does it all mean? Don’t ask me, ask the composer (or leave that to Al Rose):
"Wang Wang Blues" from I REMEMBER JAZZ by Al Rose
Thanks for reading.


4 thoughts on “Wang!

  1. John says:

    Will somebody tell me what Diddy Wa Diddie means?

  2. Albert Haim says:

    On Feb 15, 1945, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra walked into the Capitol Records studio in Los Angeles and waxed two numbers: “San” and “Wang Wang Blues.”

    Whiteman recorded “San” and “Wang Wang Blues” three times each. The recordings of interest here are those of “Wang Wang Blues.”

    – Aug 9, 1920. Of four numbers recorded , only “Wang Wang Blues” was released. Arranged by Grofe with two solos, one by Johnson (tb), one by Busse (t), two of the composers. This was also the first ever recording session for Whiteman.

    – Sep 22, 1927. According to Whiteman’s specialist Don Rayno, “a re-recording of the 1920 classic.”
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    – Feb 15, 1945. Acording to Rayno[, “The small ensemble attempts to recreate the original with five of the original members.” .

    Paul Whiteman did in 1945 what current bands, such as Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, are doing now: go back to the 1920s recordings and recreate as faithfully as possible the 1920s arrangements.

    This is jazz repertory at its best. Perhaps the first examples of jazz repertory are the 1931 recordings of “Singin’ the Blues” .by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra: they follow very closely the arrangement played by Bix and Tram in 1927.

    • Andrew J. Sammut says:

      Thanks for all of this information and music, Albert. The 1927 performance is very interesting to me: just seven years after the original record and you can already hear the Dorseys’ shift away from the earlier, clipped “rag-a-jazz” feel, especially Jimmy’s clarinet. Their inflection and phrasing still blends, and the ensemble sections are very much in the style of the 1920 record but even the subtlest improvisations make a difference. Ditto for Tommy Gott’s slightly-but-tellingly-smoother-than-Busse trumpet on the 1945 recording.

      Having said all of that, I really like all of these performances, just for different reasons. Listening to them, I don’t at all get the feeling of hearing the same tune, but of appreciating a compositions through three different lenses. Amazing!

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