Jazz Classic of the Month
Ernest “Punch” Miller (1894-1971) was an exciting New Orleans cornetist who never really made it big despite his talents. He moved to Chicago in 1926 where he worked with Tiny Parham, Freddie Keppard and Jelly Roll Morton among others. His decision to stay in Chicago rather than move to New York in the late 1920s was probably the main cause of his relative obscurity for Miller could hold his own with most other cornetists and trumpeters of the era. He was part of the local Chicago scene for many years, playing with jazz and blues groups until returning to New Orleans in 1956. Although he made recordings in his later years, Miller was largely past his prime by then.
Punch Miller & Albert Wynn: Complete Recorded Works 1925-1930 is a CD on the RST label that contains the trumpeter’s finest recordings, nearly everything that he recorded in the 1920s except for his dates with Tiny Parham. Miller is featured with the vocal team of Bill and Mary Mack, trombonist Albert Wynn’s Creole Jazz Band and Gut Bucket Five, Jimmy Wade’s Dixielanders, King Mutt’s Tennessee Thumpers, Jimmy Bertrand, Frankie “Half Pint” Jaxon, and Frankie Franko’s Louisianians. Among the other key musicians heard on these mostly hot sides are drummer Sid Catlett, clarinetists Arnett Nelson and Darnell Howard, and pianists Alex Hill, Jimmy Blythe and Zinky Cohn. Two numbers are by trombonist Wynn’s group with the talented Dolly Jones on trumpet rather than Miller.
Fans of hot late 1920s Chicago jazz will want to acquire this imported CD.
Punch Miller & Albert Wynn: Complete Recorded Works
RST Records (JPCD-1517-2)