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GEORGE LEWIS (1900-1968) Very Rare New Orleans Jazz Autograph with 5 Others on LP(SOLD!!!)

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The great New Orleans jazz clarinetist, George Lewis, not unlike Johnny Dodds before him, had modest technical skills but so wildly imaginative and innovative that he inspired virtually every clarinetist to come after him. He died in 1968 - just when he was beginning to receive national recognition for his great talent, so his autograph is especially hard to find. Below I have borrowed Scaott Yanow's excellent short bio of Lewis from the All Music Guide to Jazz:

George Lewis never tried to be a virtuoso soloist. He loved to play melodic ensembles where his distinctive clarinet was free to improvise as simply as he desired. When Lewis was inspired and in tune, he could hold his own with any of his contemporaries in New Orleans and he always sounded beautiful playing his "Burgundy Street Blues." To everyone's surprise (including himself), he became one of the most popular figures of the New Orleans revival movement of the 1950s.

It took Lewis a long time to achieve fame. He taught himself clarinet when he was 18 and worked in the 1920s with the Black Eagle Band, Buddy Petit, the Eureka Brass Band, Chris Kelly, Kid Ory, the Olympia Orchestra and other New Orleans groups. He played with Bunk Johnson in Evan Thomas's group in the early '30s but had a day job throughout most of the decade. When Bunk was discovered in 1942, Lewis became part of his band, playing with him on and off through 1945 and getting opportunities to lead his own sessions during 1943-45. However Johnson was difficult to get along with and a homesick Lewis returned to New Orleans by 1946. He played locally with his own group (featuring trombonist Jim Robinson) and in 1950 was portrayed in an article for Look. That exposure led to him recording regularly and by 1952 Lewis was in such great demand that he was soon working before crowds in California and touring Europe and Japan. In addition to Robinson, Lewis's band in its prime years often featured trumpeter Kid Howard, pianist Alton Purnell, banjoist Lawrence Marrero, bassist Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau and drummer Joe Watkins. George Lewis, who recorded for many labels (a Mosaic box set of his Blue Note sessions is one of the best reissues), became a symbol of what was right and wrong about the New Orleans revival movement, overpraised by his fans and overcritized by his detractors. At his best he was well worth hearing. -- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

This LP has been signed boldly by George Lewis as well as Billie and DeDe Pierce, Chester Zardis, Jim Robisnon and Josiah Frazier.

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