This is the third time I'm featuring “Four Or Five Times”, one of my all-time favorite songs. This version sounds differently, though.
Four Or Five Times
Personnel: Muggsy Spanier – trumpet, Sidney Bechet – soprano sax, Carmen Mastren – guitar, Wellman Braud – bass.
Francis Joseph Julian “Muggsy” Spanier (Nov. 9, 1906 – Feb. 12, 1967) was a solid cornet player cultivating the Dixieland style. Some say he was a bit predictable but always enthusiastic and expressive.
He started playing the drums, switching to cornet at age 13. Two years later, he started playing professionally. His style was influenced by King Oliver and Louis Armstrong.
In the 1920s, he was part of the Chicago jazz scene, then he played with Ted Lewis for seven years (1929-1936), before joining Ben Pollack‘s big band from 1936-1938.
He became seriously ill and had to stay in hospital for three months. After recovering, he formed his octet, the Ragtimers. They recorded 16 sides in 1939. The band was set up too early, although they inspired the Dixieland revival a few years later, they didn't get enough jobs.
Spanier joined Bob Crosby‘s orchestra in 1940 and one year later, he led his own big band during 1941-1943. After breaking up the band, he spent the rest of his career in Dixieland settings, mostly as a leader.
What do you think about this version? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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