I don’t usually celebrate jazz birthdays. Then again, Buster Bailey would have turned 114 today, and there is “Log Cabin Blues,” featuring Bailey with Clarence Williams’s Washboard Five:
He’s witty in response to Ed Allen’s cornet, pensive in solo and tasteful in his obbligato around Allen’s lead in the last choruses. Throughout, he crafts in earthy scoops, baroque runs, brilliant execution and a sense of nervous animation: every note seems to spiral in place, every run pushes at the beat, not quite like Bailey is fighting the ground rhythm but more like he’s teasing it. Clarence Williams’s band, with Allen, tubaist Cyrus St. Clair, percussionist Floyd Casey and Williams’s piano and spare but smart arrangements, always makes for glorious jazz.
That’s all in a little over three minutes! I guess a little recognition is okay. Happy birthday to the late Buster Bailey.