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Smeet Soft Plenty Rhythm
... I might name some of the other great hot men operating around New Orleans at this period and a IMe later. There was Emmanuel Perez, played strictly ragtime, who was maybe the best trumpet in New Orleans till Freddie Keppard came along. John Robechaux probably had the best band in New Orleans at the time, a strictly all-reading, legitimate bunch. Before him, there was Happy Galloway. Both men had the same type seven-piece orchestra—cornet, clarinet, trombone, drums, mandolin, guitar, and bass. A guy named Payton * had a band that played a very lowdown type of quadrille for the lowclass dance halls. Also a lot of bad bands that we used to call "spasm" bands, played any Jobs they could get in the streets. They did a lot of ad-libbing in ragtime style with different solos in succession, not in a regular routine, but just as one guy would get tired and let another musician have the lead.
None of these men made much money—maybe a dollar a night or a couple of bucks for a funeral, but still they didn't like to leave New Orleans. They used to say, "This is the best town in the world. What's the use for me to go any other place?" So the town was full of the best musicians you ever heard. Even the rags-bottles-and-bones men would advertise their trade by playing the blues on the wooden mouthpieces of Christmas horns—yes sir, play more lowdown, dirty blues on those Kress horns than the rest of the country ever thought of.
All these people played ragtime in a hot style, but man, you can play hot all you want to, and you still won't be playing
* See Louis Nelson's story, Interlude II, p. 90.