Charlie Johnson: You Ain't the One


You Ain’t The One


Charlie Johnson’s Original Paradise Ten


Harlem Big Bands (Timeless CBC 1-01)

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Charlie Johnson (piano), Jabbo Smith (trumpet), Sidney De Paris (trumpet), Charlie Irvis (trombone), Benny Carter (reeds), Edgar Sampson (alto sax, violin),

Leonard Davis (trumpet), Elmer Harrell (tenor sax), Bobby Johnson (banjo), Cyrus St. Clair (tuba), George Stafford (drums), Monette Moore (vocals)


Arranged by Benny Carter. Composed by Charlie Johnson and Arthur Porter


Recorded: New York, January 24, 1928


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

This recording offers one of the very few aural glimpses we have of this fabled and pioneering Harlem big band. The composition, by Charlie Johnson and Arthur Porter and arranged by Benny Carter (one of his first on record) is an insouciant melody with a hip lyric almost irresistibly tossed off here by Monette Moore (with some engaging fiddling by Edgar Sampson behind her). Perhaps the thing most will remember about this recording is the stabbing, biting trumpet of Jabbo Smith, then only 19 years old and with so much to say musically. But we also should not ignore the inventive drumming of the little-recorded George Stafford. Uneasiness pervades, however, due to the band’s rushing the tempo. In just over three minutes, they pick up about 24 beats per minute by the end of the performance, a tendency heard also on their equally fine recording of “Charleston is the Best Dance After All.”

Reviewer: David Sager

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