CD The Story of Joseph "Fud" Livingston (CD 6238834), Audio Other
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The Story of Joseph "Fud" Livingston

  • 1. Red Hot
    2. 'Deed I Do
    3. He's the Last Word
    4. Feelin' No Pain
    5. Imagination
    6. Humpty Dumpty
    7. Sax Appeal
    8. Alexander's Ragtime Band
    9. Oh, Baby!
    10. And a Little Wiggie
    11. Old Fashioned Girl
    12. Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere
    13. Doin' Things
    14. Cool Papa
    15. Sunday Afternoon
    16. High Hattin' Hattie
    17. Easy
    18. Dixie Drag
    19. Baby's Coming Back
    20. Singapore Sorrows
    21. Nobody's Sweetheart
    22. Choo-Choo
    23. I'm Thru With Love
    24. Blues Danube, The
    25. I've Found a New Baby
    26. Moo
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8060

  • Credits
    ProducerColin Bray; John Wilby

    Audio Remasterer: Hans Eekhoff.
    Liner Note Author: Brad Kay.
    Whereas a truly overarching examination of the triumphant and tragic career of reedman, composer, and arranger Fud Livingston would require more than 26 tracks on one CD, Jazz Oracle's meticulously researched and thoughtfully annotated salute to this overlooked character is entirely unprecedented, for nobody has bothered much about Fud over the years. More generally, this is also a fascinating and highly recommended survey of vintage hot jazz, popular dance music, and early swing. The Joseph Anthony Livingston story begins in Charleston, South Carolina where he was born on April 10, 1906. True to form, Jazz Oracle delves back to what must be among the earliest surviving examples of Fud on record, for it is doubtful that he pressed any platters with Talmadge Henry back in Greensboro in 1923. The retrospective opens with a previously unreleased test pressing made in Los Angeles during the summer of 1924 by Ben Pollack & His Californians. Two sides cut in Chicago for Victor in December 1926 document the Pollack band as it sounded when the lineup included Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Fud Livingston. Vocals are by Pollack and the band on "'Deed I Do," and Dorothy and Hannah Williams on "He's the Last Word," a harmless pop tune by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn. The Livingston saga picks up again with five consecutive examples from 1927, beginning with one sole example by the Charleston Chasers, a friendly little mob that included Red Nichols, Miff Mole, and Pee Wee Russell. "Feelin' No Pain" is the first of four sequential Livingston originals. In title and substance (so to speak) this number appears to have been somewhat of a self-portrait. Fud's "Imagination" is done up by Miff Mole & His Little Molers, his "Humpty Dumpty" features Bix Beiderbecke with Frankie Trumbauer's Orchestra, and "Sax Appeal" stems from a visit to England. On this rare Zonophone recording, Livingston is heard alongside trumpeter Frank Guarente with Bert Firman at the helm of the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band. Next Fud is heard with three different All-Star Orchestras under the leadership of Nat Shilkret, then with fiddler Joe Venuti and guitarist Carl Kress in a quartet led by pianist Leonard "Lennie" Hayton. He reappears with the Dorsey Brothers in a zippy group billed as Joe Venuti & His New Yorkers, then alongside Glenn Miller in a Dance Orchestra fronted by trumpeter Toots Mendello.
    The year 1929 is represented by two lively little records cut in London at a point when Fud, trumpeter Chelsea Quealey, and the Rollini Brothers were all sitting in with Fred Elizalde & His Music. After "Singapore Sorrows" is played by a 19-piece orchestra, the unit is pared down to an octet for "Nobody's Sweetheart." The next three tracks place the artist's livelihood squarely within the context of U.S. pop culture during the '30s. Fud is heard with Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby and, in a segment from the soundtrack of the RKO motion picture That Girl From Paris, coloratura soprano Lily Pons. This charmingly historic portrait album closes with a Victor test pressing of "I've Found a New Baby" played by pianist Bob Zurke's short-lived 14-man big band in 1939 (using an arrangement by Livingston) and a hitherto undiscovered 1932 ARC test pressing of Fud singing while accompanying himself at the piano. The rest of Livingston's career saw him working in the music publishing business and Hollywood, where he drew up arrangements for the orchestras of Andr Kostelanetz and Freddie Rich. His final decade was a difficult one, and a pernicious addiction to alcohol ultimately took him out ahead of schedule. Until shortly before his death on March 25, 1957, Fud Livingston could periodically be seen playing piano at the back of various bars in certain sections of New York City. The producers of this particular Jazz Oracle collection deserve highest praise for illuminating selected portions of this man's underappreciated legacy. ~ arwulf arwulf

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