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Literary speed dating is popping up at select libraries across the city. Toronto bookworms are going back to basics when it comes to dating.5 Johnny Dodds: Definitive Dodds (Retrieval 1926-7) £10.76, RRP £11.99 Skirling and insistent in the upper register, plumy and fluid in the lower, Dodds’s clarinet was among the most compelling voices to emerge from New Orleans.6 Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Columbia 1925-9) deleted The Old Testament of jazz in which the youthful Louis Armstrong emerges like a prophet, filled with power and glorious eloquence.To absorb and assess even a substantial proportion of it requires a lifetime of listening.
Those are all qualities that I’m looking for in a friend.”The night: “There’ve definitely been some candidates,” she said.
It’s worth noting that early jazz, and a great deal of the classic middle period, too, is now out of copyright and sometimes available in a bewildering variety of permutations. Bessie Smith’s recording of the Twenties – accompanied by such musicians as Louis Armstrong, James P Johnson and the sweet-toned trumpeter Joe Smith – have a matchless stateliness of delivery and monumental vocal strength.
3 Bix Beiderbecke: Bix & Tram (JSP 1926-29) £16.62, RRP £17.99 Beiderbecke was the doomed Scott Fitzgerald of music.
The night: Blackshaw said he felt sparks fly with a few ladies.
“The best conversations were the ones where the book was not needed,” he said.