Frank Trumbauer: I Never Miss the Sunshine

Track

I Never Miss the Sunshine

Group

Frank Trumbauer (with The Benson Orchestra of Chicago)

CD

Tram, Volume 1 (TOM MB 107)

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Musicians:

Frankie Trumbauer (C-melody saxophone),

Walter Zurawski (trumpet), Herb Carlin (trumpet), Art Weiss (trombone), Stuart Williams (reeds), Marvin Thatcher (tenor sax), Myron Fischer (violin), Don Bestor (piano), Joseph Miller (banjo), Pierre Olker (tuba), George Brommerberg (drums)

.

Composed by Norman Jay Harvey

.

Recorded: Camden, NJ, June 14, 1923

Albumcoverftram1

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

When this record was released in 1923, other sax players quickly took notice. Trumbauer stretches out for a full chorus solo on his C-melody sax, and his mixture of melodicism and light swing was different from the hotter styles of New Orleans jazz then sweeping the nation. (Louis Armstrong and King Oliver had made their first recordings exactly ten weeks before this Trumbauer date.)

With the passage of time, we can see this record as a key moment in the birth of "cool jazz," but that term didn't exist back in 1923. Nonetheless other sax players didn't need a label to hear how they could learn from this solo, and adapt its lessons to their work in countless dance bands gigging across the nation. Trumbauer's most famous student was Lester Young, who memorized Tram's solos and tried to emulate his sound. Young offers more eloquent testimony than any critic could muster, and often testified in word (and song) to the importance of this largely forgotten soloist. "Trumbauer was my idol," Young noted years later. "When I had just started to play, I bought all his records. I imagine I can still play all those solos off the record. He played the C-melody saxophone. I tried to get the sound of a C-melody on the tenor. That's why I don't sound like other people. Trumbauer always told a little story."

This track is a good starting point for jazz fans who want to hear one of the most influential of these little stories from the early period of Trumbauer's career.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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