Frank Trumbauer & Bix Beiderbecke: Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Track

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Group

Frank Trumbauer & His Orchestra (With Bix Beiderbecke)

CD

Bix & Tram (JSP Records 9133)

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Musicians:

Frankie Trumbauer (C-melody saxophone), Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Don Murray (clarinet), Bill Rank (trombone), Eddie Lang (guitar, banjo), Chauncey Morehouse (drums),

Doc Ryker (also sax), Irving Riskin (piano)

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Composed by Henry Creamer and J. Turner Layton

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Recorded: New York, May 13, 1927

Albumcoverbixandtram

Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Compared to “I’m Coming, Virginia,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” is all light and Caravaggio. It’s cheerful, down-tempo, even a bit wandering, taking its time to transition from Tram’s more languid sax to Bix’s brighter cornet. A bit more than halfway through his solo, Bix scoots up to a C-sharp, the highest note he ever recorded. This is the exception that proves the rule: Bix, whose mangled fingerings were of his own devising, liked to augment his chords but not the range of his instrument. Think of him as the playwright who creates tension by confining all the action inside a single, cramped apartment.

Reviewer: Brendan Wolfe

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 jazz.com’s Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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