Masters of Jazz

Another vintage (antique?) harmonica to the Shep fish tank (empty of fish & water) situated in the Front Bar. One I hadn’t seen before, with box, in good nick and double (mouse ear) tabs. Way beyond my price range, but with a little bit of negotiation (and perhaps good fortune) I obtained this beauty at a sixty per cent reduction of the original starting price.

The Jazz Master model became popular here for a time on the back of prominent Australian player’s endorsement. Australian champion mouth organists Harold Collier (photo courtesy of Ray Grieve) and Nellie Dowdle were performing with them in 1939 after having previously been associated with F A Rauner’s Crackajack harps. Laurie Smith, renowned Chromatic player, had at one time associated his name with the Jazz Master. I wonder if this was a chromatic Jazz Master? More on Laurie to come.

The manufacturer of the Jazz Master mouth was unknown to world collectors until now. When searching through a Schlossmeinel – Hugo Rauner catalogue, there was a tremolo Jazz Master model advertised. Woo hoo! The catalogue has been dated to 1945. This was an almagamation of two companies C H Meinel, one of the oldest companies founded in 1850, and a younger company established circa 1930’s. The earliest advertisement for the Jazz Master I could find was in 1934 by Cahill’s of Bathurst NSW.

Looks like a Chromatic Jazz Master was in the marketplace in 1939. Gillam’s Music Store in Camberwell was offering them alongside their Auto Valve forty reed model. I believe this was furnished in a brown box.

Jazz Master the ten hole twenty reed in an orange box.
A sixteen double holed thirty two reed model (from John Whiteman’s collection) with the inside sticker having foreign stamped where Made In Germany is normally stamped.
An enamelled version.

All the way from Norway (via the inbox at 3MDR – thanks Tina) Eric Nielsen’s nice little boppy instrumental with dirty harp titled My Kinda Face is out now on iTunes. Sounds like a theme tune for a television show. This is the second single lifted from his upcoming cleverly named album ‘Harmonicating With Friends’.

Good buddies of HRR The Barren Spinsters (Canberran duo) have a limited edition vinyl (translucent) single set to hit the market on the 25th July. Side A is a remix of Midnight Philosophy from their recent hit album ‘Ten Steps To Cynical Thinking’ and the flip is a cover of Texas duo Jamestown Revival’s Fur Coat Blues. One half of the Spinsters (not sure if he’s the better half) Brendon told HRR, “There’s a tiny little bit of harp on the new single, not heaps, but enough to qualify. Woohoo! It’s hotter than a firecracker. Head over to Bandcamp and order your copy now. I have.

An insert from a small (plain) wooden Crackajack Display Box. Both were up together recently for auction. Went a little higher than my financial expectations. The last Crackajack advertised was the Tivoli for a 1/-. These models were first available in 1926. Check out A Crackajack Story for all the info on Crackajack harmonicas.

A hectic month here in the valley in the hills – no power for five days and then finally, after quite a few false starts, the removal of a couple of large osteophytes from the ol’ hip along with a replacement.

The hip op had several delays (it did beat our current lockdown 5.0) as has Benoit’s album The Valley, which hopefully will hit the airwaves next month. Giddy up!

Talking about airwaves tune into 3MDR for my Huff’n’Puff segment with Peej – last Toosday of the month from eight to nine am. As I’m not allowed to drive for six weeks due to the hip replacement, this months Huff’n’Puff will be recorded from Shep’s Shack in front of a live audience (family) – with the disclaimer ‘IF we’re out of lockdown.’ Archived here 📻.

Thanks to Dane Clarke from MandoHarp in Nambucca Heads, Sydney and Seydel, a Tony Eyers’ Major Cross Harmonica has been purchased for review. This will be a true Huff’n’Puff experience and Irish jigs and reels are on the way. Paternal Grandfather Paddy would be proud. An interview with Tony will feature early next month.

Cheers EssDawg

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