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Updates

Additions, deletions and corrections to The John Coltrane Reference, for the year 1950.

50-0301
  The ¬†Discography entry (p. 376) is revised as follows:
add to session 50-0301, Issue Data 3:
  CD Proper Records (UK) 2002136 (John Coltrane/Early Trane) (4 CD) <see also pp. 385, 418, 426, 432, 437, 449, 452, 458, 461, 463, 464, 467, 470, 476, 479, 480, 484>
(8/21/08 WS)

50-1228.

  • The December 28, 1950–ca. January 2 or 3, 1951, Chronology entry (p. 57) is revised as follows:

December 28, 1950–January 3, 1951 (Thursday through Wednesday, one week). Casino, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Queen St. at Bay).
            “Starts Today / The Renowned DIZZY GILLESPIE his Orchestra / and Popular GUY MITCHELL Columbia Records Great New Singing Sensation! / Duke Alden and his little folk / Winter Sisters in acrobatic antics / The Slate Bros. harlequins of howls / On Screen ‘Rookie Fireman’ / Coming—Thurs., Jan. 4th Delta Rhythm Boys / CASINO” (advertisement, Toronto Daily Star, Thursday, Dec. 28, 1950, p. 11). This was Jimmy Heath’s last week with the Gillespie band. Specs Wright may already have been replaced by Carl “Kansas” Fields on drums (Porter, 1998, pp. 347–348), although Art Blakey was with Gillespie in January 1951.

           Act for act, there’s more entertainment on the Casino’s bill this week than here has been during the last half dozen programs presented in the Queen St. variety house. Running close to 90  minutes—about half an hour longer than usual—it’s headlined by Dizzie Gillespie and features the Slate Brothers, Guy Mitchell and three other acts. Don’t know what the budget runs on this collection of talent, but you can bet it represents a good chunk of dough.
            The Gillespie group, coming on to close the bill, are probably one of the better-known of such aggregations now touring the continent, and although their style is not our own personal dish of tea, there are plenty of people jamming into the Casino who find them top drawer stuff. Diz puts plenty of wind power behind his trumpet, and his quintet is right in there behind him giving their all in a session that’s loud and brassy and full of bop. When they do swing into something in which the melody can be followed it’s fairly sweet stuff, but you get the feeling Gillespie himself is a lot more at home in the jazz range.
            The Slate Brothers, old hands at vaudeville and the musical stage, occupy the next-to-closing spot with their zany antics and earn themselves a lot of laughs. Most of their material is pretty rough, but the boys carry it well and, after bedevilling a girl singer, swing into a couple of old vaudeville dance routines that go over well with the hands out front. Especially like the impersonations with which they open their act—John L. Lewis, Aly Kahn, and a couple of others.
            In the pop singing field, Guy Mitchell is coming right along, and from the showing he’s making here this week, there’s a big future for him. At least Mitchell has none of the coyness of a lot of the current crooners and seems to be remarkably free of stage mannerisms. On top of which, the guy has a pleasant voice.
            Others on the bill include the Winter Sisters, who get proceedings away at a smart clip with their acrobatic dances, and Duke Alden who’s back with his clever puppets. Bob Goodman stays in the m.c. spot and the house band works on stage for all acts with the exception of Gillespie’s.

             The Casino ran four stage shows a day (at 1:00, 3:50, 7:00, and 10:00 p.m.), plus a special midnight show on New Year’s Eve. Art Tatum was featured at the Casino the week before Gillespie.
            [Data from Toronto Daily Star: 12/22/50, 13; 12/28/50, 11; 12/29/50, 15, 19; 1/3/51, 25. (We thank Chris Sheridan for his research assistance.)]

(2/6/08)