I've just found this recording of the great Harry Reser playing "Christopher Columbus", a standard for the "swing bands" of the 30's and 40's. I guess that record has been done at that time. There are many banjoists that practice swing music today, but it's the first time I can hear an iconic banjoist directly ferried from the '20s banjo craze to the swing era and how much good it happened!
Hope you enjoy!
Great find Marco.....Harry is swinging like mad isn't he.....yes indeed!
Hey Marco....was there overdubbing in those days? I hear two banjos playing the same line in one spot, and I don't think Harry is playing both at once.
David, you are right! I also noticed that thing. I guess dubbing was possible even in the 78rpm's era. The other option should be the presence of a second banjoist in the Reser's band...who had to be a very "alter ego". I remember that Sidney Bechet dubbed himself in an old record (The Sheik of Araby, 1941), don't know if anybody ever foretasted that technique.
Thank you for your intriguing comment!
I think I may learn the whole of Resers solo on this one Marco.......it's good stuff. Maybe even take a shot at transcribing it.
The Cliquot Club Orchestra usually had 2 or 3 banjos.
Cool! Who were they John?.......they and Harry would have had to work this up way before hand....
I don't know who the other banjoists with Reser were. But I did look up some images and there are pictures of the band with 3 to 4 banjos including a small piccolo style banjo. They banjo trios or quartettes are featured on many of the recordings including "At Sundown", check it out. They are pictured in the old Paramount Banjo catalog too.
Thank You John, I'll check out "At Sundown" for sure. Great stuff...I'll try to look into who may have played in that band, and try to find some of those pics.
The Christopher Columbus recording which sparked this thread was cut from the live broadcast of the re-formed Eskimos in 1951. The cut was made in wax and privately for Mr. Reser. He was the only banjo player in the band, except.... Unfortunately, when his daughter Geraldine and I worked on bringing out a CD of those 1951 broadcasts she did not have a musicians list and could not identify this second banjo. Best wishes, Juergen Kulus
Much thanks! I just downloaded the album from iTunes. Study time!
Fascinating! 12th Street Rag and Lollipops recall such as George Barnes and Les Paul.
'Bent tailpiece hook' 17 min
'Just looking' 2 hrs