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David H. Silverman: Blue Grass Blues

March 31, 2010

A stereoscopic view of the Grand Opera House in St. Louis. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

David H. Silverman and His Orchestra
Blue Grass Blues

Recorded in 1923

David H. Silverman’s orchestra seems to have been a St. Louis group, and apparently Silverman himself was the piano player. Beyond that I know nothing about the group, but the discography at this “early St. Louis recordings” page lists the personnel of the band. (Silverman also appears in the rosters of some other bands on the page, suggesting that he was a fixture in the St. Louis jazz scene in the early 1920s.)

This performance, then, is all I have to judge by. The band was a good one, jazzy enough to be interesting but professional enough to satisfy the dancers. The cornet player has obviously been listening to King Oliver, learning from the best. The tune, in spite of the title, is not what we’d call a “blues” today, but rather a blues song, a standard 32-bar song with a bluesy inflection. Dominic Sala gives us a few bars of good jazz clarinet in the second chorus.

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From → Hot Dance

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