Squire Gersh

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If questions arise how an affiliate of traditional New Orleans jazz bass playing wound up with a name that sounds like a squashed Monty Python's Flying Circus character, one obvious answer is that Squire…
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If questions arise how an affiliate of traditional New Orleans jazz bass playing wound up with a name that sounds like a squashed Monty Python's Flying Circus character, one obvious answer is that Squire Gersh was associated with the same trad jazz revival scene in San Francisco in which working professionals utilized monikers such as Turk and Mutt. Gersh, real name Squire Girsback, indeed worked alongside Turk Murphy and Mutt Carey as well as in bands with Lu Watters, Bob Scobey, and most notably Louis Armstrong. The latter connection represents the keys to Gersh's discographical kingdom, be it The Best of Louis Armstrong, The Very Best of Louis Armstrong, Pops Satchmo, Jazz Satchmo, or any other choice in which one of the bass credit slots will be the property of Squire Gersh.

The bassist's roadhog days with hard-working Satchmo, replacing Arvell Shaw, included a South American tour in the fall of 1957. During the end of that decade Gersh was also part of a superb tour of Europe undertaken by New Orleans jazz maestro Kid Ory, rhythm section partners including Alton Redd on drums and Cedric Haywood on piano. Gersh tempered the trad jazz timekeeping with ethereal glimpses of Jimmy Blanton's mysticism, like a chef following red beans and rice with peach cobbler.