The Don Redman Orchestra Basel 1946

Update: This posting has become a little obsolete, for the full story of Don Redman’s 1946 european tour go here.

REVISED ENTRY: The title of Track 6 has been identified.

The 1946 european tour of Don Redman’s orchestra looms large in the memory of european jazz fans of a certain generation as it was the first opportunity to have a first hand experience of the recent developments in american jazz. Although Redman had no genuine Be Bop musicians in his band, there were a lot of creative spirits in it that did not miss the revolution that Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie had started. And with For Europeans Only Redman had even brought a Tadd Dameron composition with him. It has to be said though, that not everybody liked what he heard though. And people who did like what they heard were sometimes thrown out of their own Jazz appreciation societies and Hot Clubs because of their “progressive tendencies”.

In 1983 danish company Steeplechase published the September 15 concert from the K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen:

and in 1999 swiss company TCB released a part of the October 27 concert from Victoria Hall in Geneva (on the sleeve it reads “Eictoria Hall”):

Recently I found some more music from this tour in Otto’s archives. These come from the October 31 concert at the Küchlin Varieté in Basel, Switzerland.

The Küchlin Varieté in Basel, unknown date.
Photograph from

I have decided to put all of the surviving music from the Basel concert up here, as I think it is historically very important – and the rather bad sound quality robs it of any commercial value it might have.

The band members for Don Redman’s 1946 european tour:

Don Redman: as, voc, ldr
Bob Williams: tp
Allan Jeffries: tp
Peanuts Holland: tp, voc
Quentin Jackson: tb
Jackie Carman: tb
Tyree Glenn: tp, vib
Pete Clark: as/bars/cl
Chauncey Haughton: as/bars/cl
Don Byas: ts
Ray Abrams: ts
Billy Taylor: p
Ted Sturgis: b
Buford Oliver: dr
Inez Cavanaugh: voc

06_not_perdido.mp3 (Wahoo/Good House)

I was not able to identify the title for track 1 (unidentified riff tune). This typical swing riff tune is a sister of  Christopher Columbus.

Track 6 is called Perdido on the source CD, but well, it is not Perdido after all. From Anthony Barnett and Leif Bo Petersen we know that this is a version of “Wahoo”, the line based on Perdido that apparently was composed by bass player Ted Sturgis. There is a version of this tune in between the unreleased tracks from the Geneva concert. In Geneva this track was announced by Don Redman as Sturgis’ composition – and arrangement – called “Good House”.

Here’s “Good House” from the Basel concert:


For Anthony Barnett’s and Leif Bo Petersen’s detailed history of the “Wahoo” line on Perdido and its authorship, go to:

Thanks also to Mario Schneeberger!


5 Responses to “The Don Redman Orchestra Basel 1946”

  1. Just wanted to thank you for sharing this. This is an album that’s been on my wish list for years. Love the blog too!

  2. […] the Don Redman concerts in autumn 1946 nothing much happened in Switzerland in regard to modern jazz directly from the USA. […]

  3. […] since the day i wrote this post about the 1946 european tour by Don Redman and his orchestra, I had the pleasure to work with the […]

  4. Don Redman’s last name is not African alone. He got his last name when his ancestor took the name Redman from the masters during slavery. Red & Struggie are also black and their last name was taken from a slaveowner.

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