Jazz Bugs

I’m bugged: you all look like insects In your brand new sunspecs.

So sings XTC, and here are some more photos to illustrate our anthropomorphism.

Mohammed Ali floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, while others are as slow as a snail or snug as a bug in a rug. Insects inevitably crop up in music titles. An early example is Poor Butterfly, now a pop and jazz standard, which was inspired by Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, and was published in 1916 for a Broadway show.

Then there was the 30s Jitterbug dance craze …


01. Valaida Snow – I Can’t Dance (I Got Ants In My Pants)*
02. George Shearing – Samba Da Borboleta (Butterfly Samba)
03. Benny Goodman Sextet w. Charlie Christian – Poor Butterfly
04. Oscar Moore w. Inez Jones – Poor Butterfly
05. Jim Hall – Poor Butterfly
06. Radka Toneff – The Butterfly
07. Nguyên Lê – Butterfly Dream
08. Ray Brown & Jimmy Rowles – A Sleepin’ Bee
09. Cassandra Wilson – Sleepin’ Bee
10. Lionel Hampton & Gerry Mulligan – Blight Of The Fumble Bee
11. Alain Caron – Flight of the Bebop Bee
12. Palle Mikkelborg – Beauty M. & Free Bee
13. Leszek Mozdzer – Chasing Moth~Evening
14. Nina Simone – Funkier Than A Mosquito‘s Tweeter

*The African American Valaida Snow (1904 -1956) was a multi-instrumentalist, although primarily a trumpeter, singer and all round entertainer. She would be better known if she hadn’t travelled extensively through Europe, Russia and Asia. From 1926 to 1929 she toured with Jack Carter’s Serenaders in Shanghai, Singapore, Calcutta and arrived in Batavia in 1928.

My original title was Women Jazz Singers of the 1920s and 30s, but that’s too long. And it’s taken me a long time to assemble the 20 tracks of 20 different singers I invite you to download.

It’s been an interesting ‘journey’, not least because I didn’t know that Cab Calloway modelled his act on that of his older sister Blanche. I’d also forgotten that before Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire recorded with his sister Adele. However, I ‘dropped’ her and him because he’s still famous. Few will have heard of, let alone heard, most of the others, so I’ve given links for your further interest: they deserve to be remembered.

Billie Holiday is widely labelled as ‘The First Lady of Jazz’: in fact, numerically speaking, she wasn’t. It’s easy to say that Bessie Smith was one of her inspirations, but then she too had someone, the ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey to show her “the way of the world“.

It is known that Valaida Snow came to Batavia with the Jack Carter Orchestra in 1928. Given that most jazz bands in the Dutch East Indies and the immediate post war era of Indonesia relied on sheet music and ‘imported’ 78rpm platen, one may reasonably wonder if some of the music you’re about to listen to has been heard here before.

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1920. Mamie SmithCrazy Blues (the first jazz record with female vocalist)
1921. Lucille HegaminArkansas Blues
1922. Brox SistersBring on the Pepper
1923. Ida CoxI’ve Got the Blues for Rampart Street
1924. Alberta HunterNobody Knows The Way I Feel Dis Mornin’
1925. Eva TaylorCake Walking Babies from Home
1926. Bertha ‘Chippie’ HillPratt City Blues
1927. Bessie SmithAlexander’s Ragtime Band
1928. Sophie TuckerHe’s Tall, Dark And Handsome
1929. Helen KaneI Want To Be Bad (She claimed to be the inspiration for Betty Boop but …)
1930. Lee MorseCooking Breakfast For The One I Love
1931. Blanche CallowayCrazy Song
1932. Connee BoswellSay It Isn’t So
1933. Valaida SnowMaybe I’m To Blame
1934. Ethel WatersI Ain’t Gonna Sin No More
1935. Elsie Carlisle I’ve Got An Invitation To A Dance
1936. Billie HolidayA Fine Romance
1937. Maxine SullivanLoch Lomond
1938. Una Mae CarlisleHangover Blues
1939. Mildred BaileyMoon Love

Well Worth A Listen Dept.
Five streamed programssurveying the often overlooked Jazz Blues and Swing Women of Jazz.”

We’d already made our selection when we discovered this page. So, if you want to learn more about the jazz guitarists of the late 20s through to the early 40s, please read it.

In short, you’ll have heard of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, but possibly not of the earlier and contemporary, pre-WWII, guitarists, most of whom, like Charlie Christian, made their reputations in the bands of others.

Unfortunately, no live footage of Charlie Christian has surfaced, but this video has photos of him plus Lester Young (tenor saxophone) Count Basie (piano), Harry Edison (trumpet) Benny Goodman (clarinet), Arthur Bernstein (bass) and Nick Fatool (drums) at Carnegie Hall, NYC, on December 24, 1939. We bet you can’t keep still!


Al Casey – Buck Still Jumps
Allan Reuss – I Never Knew
Bernard Addison – Toledo Shuffle
Carl Kress – Peg Leg Shuffle
George Barnes – Blue Lou
George Van Eps – I Wrote it For Jo
Ikey Robinson (aka Banjo Joe) – My Four Reasons
Jimmy Shirley – Jimmy’s Blues
John Cali & Tony Guttuso – Satan Takes A Holiday
John Trueheart – Lonesome Moments
Les Paul – Moten Swing
Nick Lucas – Teasing The Frets
Remo Palmieri – Blues a la Red
Sarane Ferret et Le Quintette de Paris – Surprise Party
Ted Tinsley – Gravel Pit Stomp
Teddy Bunn – Blues Without Words
Wilton Crawley – She’s Forty With Me

And the last shall be first: note that these are listed in alphabetical rather than chronological order

This compilation is posted in response to recent events here in Indonesia.

Jazz started out as dance music, then became a staple of concert halls, an entertainment.

That simplistic line omits one important ingredient: improvisation. When musicians are so completely in their zone that audiences have little choice but to follow, then magic happens. Such moments can be truly spiritual, albethey sadly rare.

The first time I went to a Pat Metheny gig, in London in 1982 (?), I didn’t know what to expect. We got sublime, saudade spine tingling melodies played acoustically, heard the fingers slide up the strings, loud synthesised orgasmic group singalongs, and Ornette Coleman free-formish what was that?

Being British, we applauded politely after each piece, some of which we recognised from the then few albums. None of us waved cigarette lighters (now camera-phones) in the air to say “Look at me, I’m at a Pat Metheny gig”, something which Americans posing as audiences are prone to do.

When they finished playing some of the tightest ensemble playing I had ever been privileged to witness ~ whoosh ~ the entire audience stood as one and roared for more. I still get goosebumps recalling that magic moment.

The group came back and stood at the front of the stage looked around, looked up, their arms around each others’ shoulders and you could almost hear their mutual thought ~ “What the f**k have we done here?” ~ as they realised that we had given them the ultimate accolade. They played another half an hour and seemed to surpass themselves. They knew we could take it.

More recently here in Jakarta, at the Tuslah gig when central Jakarta was in lockdown because Prabowo was having a hissy fit having lost the presidential election, and just last November at the Freedom Jazz Awards I felt similarly spiritualised. Tuslah played for themselves, were in their zone and we joined them. At the latter gig, Tesla Manaf, alone, got lost in his playing and we were lost with him, like rabbits caught in headlights, we were hypnotised.

As audiences, we’d been captured; entranced we entered the separate heavens created, not by gods, but by musicians seeking theirs through their playing.

Yes, there are many gods, and those who threaten us for not following their creed need to be told that they are worshipping a false idol … which is forbidden by their god!

©Terry Collins

It’s the fifth day of the fifth month …

for this compilation from IndoJazzia’s archives.

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01. Sidney Bechet – Four or Five Times
02. Hersal Thomas – The Fives
03. Jimmy Yancey – Five O’Clock Blues
04. Jack Duff Band – Five Miles Blues
05. First Avenue – Band Five
06. Guthrie Govan – Fives
07. Lenny Breau – Five O’Clock Bells
08. Giacomo Gates – Take Five
09. Pete Erskine – Jive Five
10. Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra – Fifth Thread
11. Neil Ardley – Rainbow Five

Trivia fact: fives is an ancient wall sport similar to squash, but hands, not racquets, are used.

While selecting tracks from the archives for the Jazz Waltzes For … compilation, several Blues For … tracks popped up.

And here they are:

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01. James P. Johnson – Blues for Jimmy
02. Tete Montoliu Trio – Blues for Perla
03. Sri Hanuraga – Blues For McCoy
04. Red Norvo – Blues For WRWA
05. Dorothy Ashby – Blues For Mr. K
06. Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster – Blues For Yolande
07. Kenny Burrell & Jimmy Smith – Blues For Del
08. Count Basie – Blues for the Count & Oscar

09. Joe Pass – Blues For Basie
10. Herb Ellis – Blues For Janet
11. Charlie Byrd – Blues For Felix
12. Gerardo Núñez – Blues for Pablo
13. Django Reinhardt – Blues For Ike
14. John McLaughlin Trio – Blues for L.W.
15. NKRO Quartet – Blues For Wilarene
16. Joe Diorio – Blues For Jim Hall

fr. Wikipedia: The waltz (from German: walzer) is a ballroom and folk dance, normally in triple time, performed primarily in closed position. A jazz waltz is a waltz in jazz style, thus played in a syncopated 3/4.

Shocking many when it was first introduced, the waltz became fashionable in Vienna around the 1780s, spreading to many other countries in the years to follow. According to contemporary singer Michael Kelly, it reached England in 1791.

Given that early jazz was intended for dancing, it was inevitable that many of the first jazz recordings were based on foxtrots (video) and waltzes brought the previous century from Europe. Many dance crazes during the jazz age (the ‘Roaring Twenties’), such as the Charleston, were derived from dances brought from Africa by slaves shipped to America. Other dances arrived from Latin America: these included the tango, rumba, and samba.

The Jazz Age Waltz had a less directional and kinetic style with partners swaying back-and-forth or moving in a linear manner rather than pivoting around a circle. But partners still embraced.

It was inevitable that variations in dance steps would be developed, and given names as the waltz craze adapted to the cultures of the countries it passed through, However, it requires research beyond IndoJazzia’s competence to discover why there should be a French waltz called La Java.

In brief, the Java was a distinctly French Waltz variation danced to a bouncy 3/4 beat. The distinction between a Java and a Waltz was not a clear bright line. Bouncy moderate tempo Waltzes, which sound a bit like a Victorian Waltz-Mazurka, were definitely ‘Java’, but the film evidence suggests that individual styling and step choices were all over the map, with a lot of dancers doing their own particular favorite style to most any tempo, whether it be a Java type step or something else. (video)

With the excitement engendered through the twirling while dancing in an embrace, there is a romantic ambiance to the music. This is made even clearer when one looks at the titles; the composers often have someone in mind to compose for.

Perhaps the most famous jazz waltz of all is Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby which was written for his niece. It was a track on his debut album New Jazz Conceptions released in 1957, and he continued to play it throughout his career. It continues to be an inspiration for jazz musicians and, indeed, is the reason for our compilation.

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Richard Thompson – Waltzing’s For Dreamers
02. Oscar Peterson – Waltz For Debby
03. Dudley Moore – Waltz For Suzy
04. Kenny Barron & Dave Holland – Waltz For K.W.
05. Tete Montoliu – Waltz For Nicolien
06. Iiro Rantala – One More Waltz For Michel Petrucciani
07. Eddie Palmier – Waltz For My Grandchildren
08. Gary Burton & Julian Lage – Waltz For A Lovely Wife
09. Ian Bellamy – My Waltz For Newk
10. Maurizio Brunod & Miroslav Vitous – Waltz For Joe
11. Mahavishnu John McLaughlin – Waltz For Bill Evans
12. Tony Bennett & Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby
13. Viktoria Tolstoy – Waltz For The Lonely Ones
14. Art Lande & Jan Garbarek – Waltz For A

Bill Evans, piano, with Chuck Israels, bass, Larry Bunker, drums

My title may suggest that you’re going to be invited to download a compilation of tracks by the likes of Balinese jazzers Dewa Budjana, Erik Sondhy, I Wayan Balawan and Kulkul, and those jazzers now resident on the island such as Indra Lesmana and Sandy Winarta.

But no, given that the ‘holiday island’ has long had a mystique among westerners, I’ve packaged up four versions of the Rainer Brüninghaus composition Bali.


1980. Eberhard Weber – Little Movements
Eberhard Weber: bass
Rainer Brüninghaus: keyboards
Charlie Mariano: soprano sax, flute
John Marshall: drums percussion

1983. Rainer Brüninghaus @ Neuwied, Germany 18.6.83
Rainer Brüninghaus: keyboards
Markus Stockhausen: trumpet
Fredy Studer: drums

1986. Masqualero – Bande À Parte
Arild Andersen: bass
Jon Christensen: drums
Jon Balke: piano, electric piano
Tore Brunborg: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Nils Petter Molvær: trumpet

2002. Jan Garbarek Group @ Grieg-Hallen, Bergen, Norway 25.05.02
Jan Garbarek: sax, flute
Marilyn Mazur: percussion
Eberhard Weber: bass
Rainer Brüninghaus: keyboards

If you want more examples of Indonesian place names used in titles by westerners, there’s a compilation of exotica and prog-rock entitled Indonesiania posted here.

Seminal rock and jazz guitarist
6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017

Holdsworth has been cited as an influence by many renowned rock and jazz guitarists. Frank Zappa once lauded him as “one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet“, while Robben Ford has said: “I think Allan Holdsworth is the John Coltrane of the guitar. I don’t think anyone can do as much with the guitar as he can.”

Although he rarely remained a group member for long, his playing enhanced the music of many outstanding groups including Nucleus (1972), Tempest (1973), Soft Machine (1975), (Bill) Bruford (1979) …… discography

His restless soul, a quest for expressing himself through his talent, means that for many he was a difficult man on a personal level, yet it is his playing in performance which marks his true eminence and how he should be remembered.

IndoJazzia is saddened by his passing, but his music will live on, with a short-term boost to album sales. For completists, you are welcome to download a live set from our archives. The recording date is unknown, but this was broadcast on BBC Radio 1, presumably Jazz Club, on 25th May 1980.

Pat Smythe Quintet
Pat Smythe: piano,
Ray Warleigh: alto sax, flute
Allan Holdsworth: guitar
Chris Laurence: bass
John Marshall: drums

1. Letters of Marque (Holdsworth)
2. Announcer (Peter Clayton)
3. Reflection (Smythe)
4. Announcer
5. Out From Under (Holdsworth)
6. Announcer
7. Steppes (Pat Smythe)