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Toenniges siting

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jeff Bollbach, Jul 21, 2005.


  1. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Just caught a few moments of a movie, circa '44 called "Sweet and Lowdown" that has a lot of footage of Goodmans band. They are in some afterhours "jam session" and all of a sudden the camera focuses on the bass for a whole chorus of walking[thumping] solo. I was expecting to see a Kay or something but there are these freaky diamond effs. Then I see the diamonds in the c-bout and I realize what it is. Killer flame and a Panormo shape.It looke very cool. Does anyone know who this bass player was? I'd guess that PW prolly knew him. ??
     
  2. I've got a Toenniges bass, but it lacks the diamond F-holes. I tried to find a listing of members of the Benny Goodman Orchestra, but a bassist's name didn't pop up.
     
  3. Jeff, i'm not that old. I was only 2 in 1944! Gimme a break! There's the new version of Sweet and Lowdown. I didn't know about the old one. Sombody posted about the bassist in the newer version.

    I sent my copy of the ISB with the Toenniges article in it to Paul Cannon because his bass was in it and he couldn't get a copy...he still hasn't sent me the $500.00.
    Seriously....maybe Paul can see if it might say something in the history part of the article.
    I know Benny's brother played bass on the band as well as several other guys.
     
  4. Howard Goodman, Tommy Cecil, Sid Weiss, Artie Bernstein, Slam Stewart... lots more, I'm sure.
    I think around that time Harry Babasin might have been the guy. Black or white man, Jeff?
     
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    The whole band was white and sounded it.
     
  6. Johnnythekid

    Johnnythekid Guest

    Dec 20, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Haha, gotta love it. My jazz director always emphasized that we had to be as black as possible...So black that we could have an old black guy in the audience bobbing his head.
     
  7. Johnnythekid

    Johnnythekid Guest

    Dec 20, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Fixed it! Sorry :scowl:
     
  8. I remember reading something that explained who owned it, but I don't have it in front of me. Ask me again in September when I'm back home.

    As for the money, I could have swore I mailed it weeks ago. Must be in the mail.
     
  9. You're a sick MF Jeff....I agree.
    I had a dream last night, that Benny's brothers name was Harry.
    I just Googled it...I was right. Not Howard. Where'd you get your info Eric?
     
  10. From memory, which is obvously not infallible...

    I love big band music. I'm certainly no authority but I try to absorb as much trivia about the bands, the players and the music as I can, from radio, print, recordings, the web, guys I play with.

    Occasionally I retain something I've learned... I think I'm suffering from CRS.
    Can't Remember Sh**.

    Jeff: Waddaya mean "the band sounded white"?
     
  11. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny

    My big mouth and not PC way of answering if the bassist was white or black. Just a flavor thing, mostly. More syrup, more sweet, by rote and society appropriate. Obviously there was a time when the prominent bands were not yet very influenced by the jazz innovators.
     
  12. Gotcha. There were worse bands, IMO, like Guy Lombardo.
    Do you not think guys like Goodman, Ellington, Basie etc. were the "jazz innovators" of their pre-bop era? (Not that I want this to evolve into another discussion of "what is jazz?".)
     
  13. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Don't you think that we are gonna get a little too far off topic if we go down that road? BTW, I used to wax the floors in Guy Lombardo's house!
     
  14. ispider6

    ispider6

    Jan 30, 2005
    No doubt you were humming the tune to Auld Lang Syne as you waxed on and off. Are you serious? Where did he live?
     
  15. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Guy lived on Grove street[now Guy Lombardo Blvd.], Freeport, NY. A stone's throw from where I live now. I waxed the floors and cleaned the carpets in the mid '70's. The mansion was conceived in art deco style and hadn't been changed since it was built. It was very trippy in there.
     
  16. http://home.earthlink.net/~vonbabo/harrybabasin.html

    http://www.emusic.com/album/10601/10601995.html
    Here are some pictures of Harry Babasin. Unfortunately, the C-bouts aren't visible, but you can get some sense of the shape of the bass, as well as Harry's distinctive appearance.
    John Feeney played his Toenniges as a guest soloist with my orchestra, but I'll be damned if I can remember the details of the bass.
     
  17. Harry Babsin didn't join Goodman's group till 1945, so that was likely Harry Goodman, Benny's bro on bass. He would have appeared in both of the films from the Wartime period. That's all I could find. I am going to try to rent a copy of that DVD if I can find it. Pic's of Babasin from the early 50's show him playing a French or Czech type bass with Gamba corners, Quarterplate, and no outside lining.

    Jon
     
  18. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Thanks for the research, Jon and all. Jon-another perc to getting the DVD is Linda Darnell[the female lead].Lots of times in those old movies the women look so dated that it is hard to imagine their appeal today. Not so with Linda.
     
  19. Ok, I haven't got the film yet, but while flipping through a book entitled "Jazz on Film", I found an entry for this movie. They list the bassist in the Goodman's combo as being Sid Weiss. I guess that is the final word. Sid is pretty well known I think. Sorry for any confusion.

    Jon
     
  20. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    mmmm....Linda Darnell.....

    sorry, what were we talking about?....