Jazzin' Magazine

Jazzin' Magazine
Jazzin' Magazine

domingo, 1 de noviembre de 2009

Ralph Escudero

Ralph Escudero

Sometimes credited as Ralph Escudero, this Puerto Rican musician was a valuable rhythm section member in some of the most prominent of the larger classic jazz ensembles, such as the bands of Fletcher Henderson and the popular McKinney's Cotton Pickers. These bands featured challenging arrangements and the leaders depended on players who could swing with an accurate sense of time, such as Escudero, to keep things from falling apart in all possible confusion between sections. When the audience for this genre began to dry up, he opted to return to Puerto Rico rather than remain on the American jazz scene and finished out his career as a musician in his homeland. He originally started music as a bassist at the age of 12 and came to New York to play professionally under the auspices of the New Amsterdam Musical Association. His first recordings were classic blues or jazz numbers featuring vocalists Ethel Waters and Lucille Hegamin, recorded in 1920-1921. He was working a gig with the hard-working Wilbur Sweatman at the Howard Theatre in Washington when bandleader Fletcher Henderson, always with an ear out for new talent, heard him and recruited him on the spot. He became one of the hearty rhythm section men who were able to handle this particular boss's adventurous musical undertakings up through 1926. "The Stampede" from 1926 is a good example of the Henderson rhythm sound when the composer was attempting to create the effect of all hell breaking loose. He appeared with McKinney's Cotton Pickers under the musical leadership of reed artist Don Redman in 1926 as well and stayed with this band for five years, appearing on many of their recordings. The historic jazz drummer Kaiser Marshall used Escudero on tuba in his band the Bostonians, and he also toured with W.C. Handy as part of a traditional-sounding classic blues combo. Into the late '30s, he was based out of both New York and Los Angeles but returned to Puerto Rico where he worked as a jazzman through the '60s. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide

Appears On:
Bessie Smith (Box + 10xLP, Comp) CBS Special Products 1977

Giants Of Jazz (3xLP, Comp) Copenhagen Time Life Records 1980

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man: 1923-1934 (4xCD, Comp + Box) Sugar Foot Stomp, Alon... Columbia 1994

The Quintessence . New York Camden Londres Paris Chicago 1926 - 1944 (2xCD, Comp)
The Stampede Frémeaux & Associés 1995

The Empress 1923 - 1933 (2xCD, Comp) Frémeaux & Associés 1997

The Essential Bessie Smith (2xCD, Comp, RM) Cake Walkin' Babies Fr... Columbia, Legacy 1997

The Rough Guide To Classic Jazz (CD, Album, Comp) Sugar Foot Stomp World Music Network 1997

L'Histoire Du Jazz Vocal - The Story Of Vocal Jazz: Part 1 (1911 - 1940) (10xCD, Comp) Beadle-Um-Bum (1929-0... Le Chant Du Monde 2004

Intégrale Louis Armstrong Vol. 1 - Chimes Blues 1923-1924 (3xCD, Comp) Frémeaux & Associés 2007

I Ain't Got Nobody (2xCD, Comp) History
In New York 1924 (LP) Napoleon (2)

McKinney's Cotton Pickers 1929-1930 (LP, Mono) Do Something, Nobody's... RCA Victor
Odeon Swing Music Series Vol. 2 (LP, Comp) Star Dust (New York, 1... EMI Electrola

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