Dud Bascomb


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Dud and Paul Bascomb were integral members of the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, which developed from the 'Bama State Collegians band that Paul had led in the early '30s. After contributing charts and solos to Hawkins highlights like "Tuxedo Junction" and "Sweet Georgia Brown," the brothers formed their own band in 1944 and were booked into Minton's Playhouse and, on 52nd St., the Down Beat Club. Between 1945 and 1947, they also recorded for a succession of smaller labels: DeLuxe, Alert, Sonora, and Manor. Their live show was jumping, but the brothers Bascomb reserved most of their record dates for sedate material -- led by either anonymous vocalists in a Billy Eckstine mode or Dud's expressive trumpet. Classics' volume in its Blues & Rhythm Series on the Bascombs includes each of the 18 sides they recorded together; except for a few instances of extroverted big-band swing ("Let's Jump," "Not Bad, Bascomb"), this septet spent most of its studio time recording blues titles like the self-penned "After Hours" and "Walkin' Blues," the latter with an excellent blues vocal by Dud. (Both of those sides are among four from 1946 that feature guitarist Tiny Grimes, drummer Big Sid Catlett, and pianist Avery Parrish.) Only those who saw them play can speak to the live quality of this band; their recorded output, while intriguing, doesn't say as much about what they were able to accomplish.

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