Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mystery Partially Solved!

Pursuant to the last post on Gems came a comment from the good Baron, a very helpful observer of our work here. He put me in touch with a site that specializes in all manner of hot jazz and offers disco- and biographical information of a highly detailed variety to one and all. One of their listings covers a Vocalion date for a Chicago group called Lloyd Smith and His Gut-Bucketeers from 1930. The trumpet player was originally thought to be Jabbo Smith, but it is now known the horn man was one Clarence "Count" Rich. 

My man from the Maxwell Street market!

So, thanks to Baron, here are the Lloyd Smith tunes featuring the Count. His sound is certainly less aggressive and virtuosic than Jabbo's, but Rich seems to be looking stylistically beyond Poppa Louis. "I'm Going Away Just to Wear You Off My Mind" features an excellent solo by the Count, and the tenor and alto work (Faber Smith, on alto, later was part of Rich's band) is excellent for the period. The vocalizing is a bit hokey, but the scatting (a lot of it) is great. If Rich continued on in this vein, it's easy to see why he was a hit on the North Side in the mid-to-late '30s.

There are only five tunes here, but that's all they recorded. Later on Rich's band was billed as the "recording orchestra," so maybe someday we'll uncover material recorded under his leadership. Until then, enjoy!

Thanks again, Baron. The Red Hot Archive can be found here:

Chicago Hot Trumpet • Count Rich
with Lloyd Smith and His Gut-Bucketeers

Clarence “Count” Rich, tp, v; Faber Smith, as; Warren Smith, ts; Lloyd Smith, p; Jimmy Smith, bjo; Earl Roach, d, v.
Chicago, IL; October 27, November 20*, 1930

1. (Come On Honey) Rub Me Some More  |  Vocalion 1560
2. I’m Going Away Just To Wear You Off My Mind  |  Vocalion 1573
3. That’s My Stuff  |  Vocalion 1573
4. That’s My Stuff, second version*  |  Vocalion unissued
5. Wake Up Sinners  |  Vocalion 1560

Find it here:



    Take a peep David - Maxwell Street Stomp - how about that! This appeared on a Herwin lp of Punch Miller tracks.

    By the way the 2nd That's My Stuff isn't an alternative take but an alternative version - recorded at a later date.

    Is it mentioned somewhere that Rich recorded? Do we knew a possible label ? - Vocalion, Decca perhaps.


  2. Right about that second version of "Stuff." Not an alternate take, but a redo. I have one of those Herwin Punch Miller discs, but not the one with "Maxwell" on it. The Count's not on that, of course, but it's a nice tie-in with the locale for my "acquisition" of the Rich material. It wouldn't have been unusual for Chicago musicians to make reference to Maxwell Street even back in the '20s, because in those days it was also a place where players would get together to jam. Unfortunately, nowhere in the scrapbook material is there any mention of Rich's band actually recording, or record titles or labels. I did extensive research at the Chicago Public Library, going through old Down Beats, the Chicago Defender and other source material with no results. I'd given up hope that the Count had ever made records until your comment. But maybe someday something from of his own band will turn up ...