Delmark has continued its issuance of some classic jazz with its latest release, The Ohio Theatre Concert, by Terry Waldo’s Gutbucket Syncopators with special guest Edith Wilson. This concert from Columbus, Ohio dates from April 13, 1974 and includes some solo piano performances by Waldo along with some Dixieland styled classic jazz from Waldo’s band with a number of vocals from Edith Wilson along with one by William B Saxbe, then Attorney General of the US and who was a long time fan of the group.
There is some marvelous traditional jazz including the opening “ Some of These Days, taken at a nice walking tempo and some exceptional trombone from Jim Snyder, followed by a lively I Would Do Anything for You, with sparkling muted trumpet by Roy Tate and the tenor sax of Frank Powers whose heavy vibrato is characteristic of the better tenor players in the 30s. Eubie Blake was originally supposed to perform, but was ill so Waldo did several solo piano pieces including Maple Leaf Rag, which is taken at too brisk a tempo for these ears and Twelfth Street Rag, which starts off at an exaggerated slow tempo much to the audience’s delight before midway he accelerates to a breakneck tempo. A fun performance.
There is a lovely rendition of The Entertainer. Waldo handles the vocal on the novelty How Could Red Riding Hood, backed by stride flavored piano. A lively traditional jazz Sweet Georgia Brown, is followed by seven vocals from Edith Wilson. Wilson was one of the earliest black women to record. Her first Columbia session was a year and a half before Bessie Smith. Fats Waller wrote Black and Blue for her as part of the 1929 revue Hot Chocolates, which she is heard singing here along with the twenties standard Am I Blue, a lively There Will Be Some Changes Made, and W.C. Handy’s St. Louis Blues. Another notable performances the rendition of Duke Ellington’s The Mooche.
This was originally issued on Blackbird Records, and the Delmark reissue contains 9 unissued performances including two of the piano solos and 5 Edith Wilson vocals.
My review originally appeared in the December 2009 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 322). I received a review copy from Delmark Records.