Bix Beiderbecke: Davenport Blues


Davenport Blues


Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers


Bix Restored, Volume 1 (Origin Jazz Library BXCD 01-03 )

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Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Don Murray (clarinet), Paul Mertz (piano),

Tommy Gargano (drums)


Recorded: Richmond, Indiana, January 26, 1925


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

This is Bix’s first recording under his own name and includes musicians from the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, an organization that had just given Bix the boot for his poor sight-reading skills. On this date, though, sight-reading wasn’t even an option. Bix was composing the piece as he went along and his friends did their best just to keep up. Although Bix’s long, laid-back solo boasts nothing of the martial precision that would mark his best years, his grasp of melody is perfect. Even while improvising, he lends the tune wonderful shape and clarity. Don Murray provides effective counterpoint and, unfortunately, Tommy Dorsey doesn’t have much to do. Still, the dreamy swing of Bix’s playing undoubtedly helped to shape the Sentimental Gentleman’s future.

Reviewer: Brendan Wolfe

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Related Links

Bixology, an excerpt from a book by Brendan Wolfe
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Bix Beiderbecke Performances by Brendan Wolfe

Remembering Bix by Ted Gioia
Bix Beiderbecke from’s Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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