On a cold winter day in the Windy City eighty-seven years ago, one of my favorite jazz records was recorded. The only record made under this band name, it is by a racially integrated group made up of some of the finest, if rather obscure, Chicago jazz musicians.
Victor V-38023 was recorded December 10, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. The band includes the superb talent of Jimmy Cobb on cornet, Junie C. Cobb on tenor sax and clarinet, “Kansas City Frank” Melrose on piano, and Jimmy Bertrand on drums and xylophone. Some sources claim it’s Punch Miller on cornet, but Cobb seems like the more likely candidate. The artist credit is listed in Victor’s ledgers as “Junie C. Cobb and his Corn-Eaters”, it was changed to the “E” that appears on the label for unknown reasons (or at least unknown to me); perhaps someone misheard “Junie” as “Eunie”, though he was given correct composer credit on the label.
“Barrell House Stomp” is one of my all-time favorite sides. Pay special attention to the duet between Kansas City Frank on piano and Jimmy Bertrand on xylophone.
“Transatlantic Stomp”, a composition by reed man Junie C. Cobb, doesn’t disappoint either.