In 1940 bassist Dallas Bartley (1916–1979) joined Louis Jordan’s Tympany Five. After he left Jordan in 1943 he formed his own band, Dallas Bartley’s Small Town Boys. With his band he recorded for Coral (September 1944), Cosmo (1946) and National (1947). His band also can be seen in a couple of soundies filmed in 1945.
Here they are playing “You Fine And Healthy Thing”:
The reason why I exactly choose this Dallas Bartley clip to present here, is my interest in Chicago trumpet player King Kolax who in jazz circles is mostly known because young John Coltrane played in his big band for a while in 1947 – you can find more about Kolax at the Kolax page at the Red Saunders Research Foundation. While googling around for Kolax material, I found out that it was composed jointly by Bartley and Kolax!
But what about the personnel?
Although different discographies say that the trumpeter player and singer is Walter Fuller, it definitely is Bill Martin, about whom you may learn more on the Hy-Tone page of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.
What about the alto player?
Les Fancourt’s and Bob McGrath’ “Blues Discography 1943–1970″ suggests that it is Porter Kilbert. Below you see a picture of Kilbert taken from a 1961 Quincy Jones concert clip. I would say it is well possible that it is the same man – 16 years later.
“Blues Discography 1943–1970″ does not mention the tenor player:
Who can this be? A possibility would be Joshua Jackson, who according to ”Blues Discography 1943–1970″ recorded with Bartley for Cosmo. Does anyone have a photo of Jackson and could compare it to the one above?
Following “Blues Discography”, the pianist is Bob Mosely, is that true?
Unfortunately I can not extract a better picture from the clip. So what about the drummer?
According to ”Blues Discography 1943–1970″ this is Jack Parker. But if you look at the bass drum you see a logo that seems to be made from the letters H, L and B. This points to the drummer being Hillard L. Brown, who according to this page, was a member of Bartley’s band in 1945. He later had his own band, which Bill Martin joined later.