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SMUGTOWN STOMPERS ~ STEPPIN' OUT

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The Music Jazz -- America's music. Born in New Orleans in the late 1890s. Moved to Chicago later, when the notorious Storyville section was shut down so as to redirect the attention of US Navy personnel toward the winning of World War I and away from the various definitions of "jass".

New Orleans was a progressive, cosmopolitan city where "people of color" were allowed more means of expression than in most places. That environment welcomed the combination of African polyrhythms and European song structure. In a word -- Jazz.

Almost simultaneously, jazz bands sprang up everywhere and became the forefront of popular music. Their music became the roar of the roaring 20s.

There is no question that New Orleans was a major factor. The first jazz record was made there by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in 1917. Jelly Roll Morton (who claimed to have invented jazz) was a native of New Orleans. Other New Orleans musicians, especially Louis Armstrong, moved up river to Chicago and beyond. New Orleans jazz went nationwide.

You will hear many of these early influences on this recording. With respect to the originators' talents, we offer echoes of their jazz.

The Band Since 1958, the Smugtown Stompers have been preserving the heritage of early jazz. Named for hometown Rochester, NY (Smugtown, USA, according to the name of a book about Rochester society), the band performs blues, ragtime, dixieland, and pop tunes from the 1890 - 1930 period.

The band was formed by the late Rochester cornetist and interna- tionally known record collector, Bob Fertig. His massive record collection and many friends in the jazz scene are the sources of the band's music. This recording is a tribute to Bob and the band's co-founder Dave Sweet for their three decades of vision and leadership -- a legacy we continue to this day.

Music history has entwined the band's story. One of the most prestigious events for the band was its 1984 performance at the induction ceremony for Bessie Smith into the National Women's Hall of Fame, teaming with singer Margaret Wilson in a concert honoring Bessie, "Empress of the Blues." Previously, Bob Fertig had supplied Columbia Records with the only complete collection of Bessie Smith records in existence, after Columbia's archives yielded only 55 of the 160 recordings she had made. The effort was called "the single most important re-issue project in Columbia's history."

Today's band continues that tradition: The International Ragtime- Jasstime Festival, the Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash, the International Dixieland Festival and many others are on the Stompers' yearly schedule. The goal of the band is to build a wider public enthusiasm for America's early jazz and ragtime heritage. The tunes are associated with many musical innovators of the 1890- 1930's period.

Traditional jazz is fun music which is rediscovered every few decades by young people listening to records in a collector's attic. The Smugtown Stompers can still be heard, bringing this music out of the attic and in front of appreciative audiences. This recording is largely a response to many friends of the band who have clamored for a permanent sound portrait.

The Players Most of today's band members played when founder Bob Fertig was leader and cornetist. They bring to this music a wide variety of experience , and at the same time, keep an ear tuned for the sounds of the players who preceded them.

Doug Sinclair (first played with band in 1962) clarinet, sax: Doug came from Boston, where he developed his enthusiasm for traditional jazz from clarinetist Stan McDonald, who leads the Blue Horizon Jazz Band and played with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band at its inception. Doug moved to Rochester to earn his Doctorate and teach at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics. He now heads his own business, which provides optical design software.

Bud Taylor (1963) tuba: Bud is an engineer/inventor for Kodak in the field of three dimensional imaging. He began playing tuba in the Newfane, NY, school band when its director declared that there were one too many trumpets and one too few tubas. Bud played in the Wright's Corners Fireman's Band under the direction of Herb Ludwig, a principal Metropolitan Opera cornetist who decided instead to guide high school musicians in Barker, NY. Continuing at the University of Rochester, and then many local marching bands, Bud grew weary of the marching regimen. He heard the Stompers at the Last Chance Saloon in 1963, volunteered his services, and has been a mainstay of the band ever since.

Walt Fullerton (1966) cornet: A Kodak retiree (marketing and advertising). A multi-instrumental player with the Stompers (trombone, piano, cornet, arranger), his musical background includes the USAF Band, University of Maine Band and Orchestra, and a local folk singing group. Walt has tran- scribed many of the band arrangements from original recordings.

Dave Sturmer (1970) trombone, leader: Originally from Portland, Oregon, home of the Castle Jazz Band. In high school, Dave played with the TV Band, a jazz-swing ensemble featured on bi-weekly local broadcasts. He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he led a dixieland band. Two universities later with doctorate in hand, he moved to Rochester and had a successful career as a research chemist at Kodak, specializing in advancing the company's chemical patent portfolio. Dave took over the leadership of the band in 1990 and is dedicated to maintaining the legacy.

Bob Worden (1986) banjo: Bob came to the Stompers after a notable term playing tenor banjo in the Upstate String Band. He is the director of business research at Eastman Kodak. As a youngster, he listened to his dad's dixieland records and began banjo lessons with Lloyd Hagadorn, a versatile vaudevillian who played during the 1920s and '30s. Bob eventually teamed with Lloyd at Happyland in Wayland, NY, a place which once featured a little known country singer -- Hank Williams.

Al Santillo (1987) drums, banjo: another multi-instrumentalist, Al also played banjo in the Upstate String Band and with the Stompers. As the need for a drummer came up, he admitted to having played drums in a rock & roll band some years before and has become the sparkplug of the Stompers' rhythm section. Retired from Kodak, he now operates his own remodeling business. His early music training came from his father, Al Sr., who played on the Keith vaudeville circuit and in several regional bands.

Bob Fuller (1991) piano: Bob has devoted his life to music from the age of seven and progressed to the achievement of a Masters degree in Music Education from Ithaca College. He taught music in the Rochester Public Schools for 34 years and now has a private teaching practice. Bob has discovered a new love for ragtime and dixieland. At every concert the Stompers play, Bob provides the piano as the heart of the rhythm section, and you'll hear him featured on several ragtime songs.

Carol Mulligan (1992) vocalist: Carol sings. Folk, religious, Irish, pop, and now traditional jazz. She sings them all -- to the delight of her audiences. Back in her Pittsburgh days, she started singing at Holy Family Church. Moving to Rochester, she joined a folksinging group at Our Lady of Mercy church. (At that time, the group raised some eyebrows as being quite progressive.) In 1975, she formed Mulligan Stew, a group popular into the 1980s. She also developed an interest in Irish music with the trio, Mulligan, Dolan & Parnell. Carol joined the Stompers in 1992 and provides the band with a fine jazz singer with great audience rapport.

The Songs Of the 175 tunes in the band's active book (and an equal number in the drawer waiting to be played some day), only sixteen could be squeezed onto this recording. Even so, we are excited to share these with you.

1. Panama (1900, Tyers). An ensemble tune associated with New Orleans' marching society; features Doug Sinclair's fine clarinet in the middle.

2. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home (19l9, Williams-Warfield). A Bessie Smith classic. We all love the way Carol Mulligan puts this across.

3. Come Back, Sweet Papa (1926, Barbarin-Russell). From a Louis Armstrong Hot 5 recording; we've always had fun with their tunes.

4. I'm Stepping Out (With A Memory Tonight) (1940, Wrubel-Magidson). A cabaret number. Our sheet music from 1940 notes: "Originally introduced by Kate Smith". Carol makes it equally popular.

5. Oriental Strut (1926, St. Cyr). Written during America's era of fascination with the Far East, this is a great Hot 5 tune by Johnny St. Cyr, the talented banjoist for King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band and Louis Armstrong's Hot 5. Years ago, Bob Fertig traded his cornet solo for Bud Taylor's tuba solo (to keep peace in the band). We still do it the same way. Plus a stop-chorus for the trombone.

6. Black and Blue (What did I do to be so) (1929, Wailer-Brooks-Razaf). A vocal often done by Louis Armstrong. Arrangement by our cornetist Walt Fullerton was written especially for the band and Carol.

7. The Wolverines (Wolverine Blues) (1923, Morton-Spikes-Spikes). Written and recorded by "Jelly Roll" Morton, named for a Detroit barbershop (The Wolverine) run by one of his good friends. Banjoist Bob Worden and Drummer Al Santillo are featured.

8. You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night (1922, Conrad-Rose). Listen carefully! Some good advice in Carol Mulligan's version of this fun song.

9. Creole Belles (1900, Lampe-Sidney). An early cakewalk, one of the more jazz-adaptable compositions by parlor piano arranger J. Bodewalt Lampe. Relaxed clarinet solo by Doug Sinclair; a nice tuba break by Bud Taylor leads into the final chorus.

10. Oh Daddy (1921, Russell-Herbert). Bessie Smith recorded this one in 1923. A great fit with Carol Mulligan's style.

11. Original Dixieland Onestep (1917, LaRocca-Robinson-Crandall). From the first recorded Original Dixieland Jass Band (New Orleans, 1917). We've sidestepped the vocal on this one. A fun instrumental to play.

12. Singin' the Blues (Till My Daddy Comes Home) (1920, Conrad- Robinson-Lewis -- Young). Reminder of the great Bix Beiderbecke legacy, from when Bix played with the Goldkette/Whiteman/Trumbauer Orchestras. The classic solo played lyrically on the soprano sax by Doug Sinclair.

13. Harlem Rag (1897, Turpin). Tom Turpin was a successful St. Louis tavern owner. This is the first published rag by a black composer. Pianist Bob Fuller gets the honors; the band chips in. Arrangement by Walt Fullerton.

14. Buddy Bolden's Blues (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say) (1915, Morton). Celebrates early cornetist and legendary New Orleans bandleader Buddy Bolden. We've always liked this one.

15. Tishomingo Blues (1917, Williams). Named for a town (and county) in Mississippi. A great, much recorded standard. The solo clarinet line begins this fine interpretative musical selection featuring Doug Sinclair.

16. Cakewalking Babies (From Home) (1924, Smith-Troy-Williams). Bessie Smith made this number popular in 1925. Carol has folks on their feet and marching around the room with her energetic version.

Acknowledgments A hearty thanks to the many alumni of the Stompers without whom no band would exist today to carry on the tradition. And we especially thank our spouses, families, fans and friends who have supported this project. May the echoes go on forever. Dancing Girl/Smugtown Stompers: drawing and lettering on bass drum head was a gift (that has become our signature trademark) in the mid-60s to the band and drummer Dick Westburg. Caricature (front cover): Tim Akin, Niagara Falls, NY, 1993 Band Photograph (back): Bill Symmons, photographer; a recent picture at the Ragtime-Jasstime Festival in Alexandria Bay, New York. Used by permission of The Grand International Ragtime-Jasstime Foundation, Scarborough, ON, Canada Smugtown Stompers registered, Monroe County Clerk's Office, Rochester, NY Smugtown, U.S.A., by Curt Gerling (Plaza Publishers, Webster, NY 1957) Recorded live at Dynamic Recording, Rochester, NY www.dynrec.com/smugtown All rights reserved.
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CD 16 Tracks, 74 Minutes ~ 17.70 (includes S&H)
Cassette 16 Tracks, 74 Minutes ~ 11.50 (includes S&H)

Prepaid in US Funds to:
Dynamic Recording - Dept. TJ
2844 Dewey Ave.
Rochester, NY 14616
Or order online at:
http://www.dynrec.com/smugtown
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