The British Trumpet player Keith Smith went to New Orleans in 1964 trying to find Alton Purnell, who had moved to Los Angeles after the set-to with the George Lewis band in 1956.  No one seemed to know where Purnell was, and anyone who did wasn’t telling. (A Life of Jazz, Mississippi Rag November 1999.) […]

  Den 23 mars 1953 skrevs jazzhistoria: en gudstjänst med svarta jazzmusiker från New Orleans i en vit kyrka i nordöstra USA. Hur var detta möjligt? I denna bok berättas om * Jazzens rötter: blues, spirituals, gospel, brassband, begravningsmusik… * Kristna inslag i jazzmusiken * Religiöst/moraliskt motstånd mot jazz, rock mm… * Jazz och religion […]

    Gota River Jazzmen 2014: Ragnar Tretow trumpet, Karl Kronqvist bass, Ingemar Wågerman piano, Anders Alm clarinet and alto sax, Göran Möller banjo, Tomas Håård drums, Gunnar Boräng trombone (Photo Bengt Johansson). CALENDAR 2014: Thursday May 29th 10.00: Church service, Brunnby church, Skåne Friday May 30th 19.00: Church concert, same. Saturday June 14th, 19.00: […]

ALTON IN CALIFORNIA In 1956 Alton Purnell left George Lewis’ band and settled in California. His first job there was at  Ben Pollack’s club.”The Pick-a-Rib”, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, with ”The Roaring 20s Creole Jazz Band”: George Orendorff tp, Keg Johnson tb, Barney Bigard cl, Alton Purnell p, Johnny St. Cyr bj, Buddy Burns b, Minor […]

Alton Purnell played with George Lewis from 1948 to 1956. They made numerous recordings (See: Lennart Fält -Håkan Håkansson: Hymn to George). In 1956 George Lewis’ band was beginning to disunite: In March the band was booked at the Hunt Club in Chicago and in Oxford, Ohio.. Kid Howard and Jim Robinson stayed in New Orleans […]

After the break with Bunk Johnson, George Lewis continued playing with Jim Robinson, Lawrence Marrero, Alton Purnell and Slow Drag Pavageau. Joe Watkins replaced Baby Dodds and Kid Howard was the new trumpeter from 1952 on.  On October 10, 1952, the musicians who had gone to New York under the leadership of Bunk Johnson played […]

Spencer Williams’ “Tishomingo Blues” has a special place in my heart and is one of the main reasons that I play and write about jazz. It started in 1957. At a cafe on Hönö in the northern archipelago of Gothenburg there was a jukebox, where you could enjoy the pianists Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, […]


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