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Six Brown Brothers (2)

Six Brown Brothers (2)

Profile:

The Six Brown Brothers who recorded for Victor and Emerson between 1914 and 1920 evolved from a saxophone quartet in the 1906 edition of Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows.
1. Tom Brown
2. Percy Brown
3. Vern Brown
4. Alec Brown
5. Fred Brown
6. William Brown

Another musician who is possibly on all the 1911-1920 discs is Harry Fink (1889-1951), who was born Harry Finklestein in Poland but used the name Harry Brown.

The Six Brown Brothers’ emphasis on hot repertoire was another big factor in their rise to fame, but, despite the titles of some of their pieces (for example, “Lazy Jazz Waltz,” “Smiles and Chuckles (A Jazz Rag),” and “Sweet Jazz o’ Mine”), their released discs contain very little that approximates jazz, except for Tom’s variation on the melody of “That Moaning Saxophone Rag,” his bluesy reading of one of the strains of “Down Home Rag,” and some playful duets with brother Fred on various tunes (foreshadowing the Clyde Doerr-Bert Ralton duets on the records of Art Hickman’s Orchestra in 1919-20). Their main influence on jazz seems to have been indirect, via the popularizing of the saxophone. They were primarily theatrical entertainers, on a different track from the cabaret and dance bands whose music coalesced into the jazz of the 1910s and 1920s.

Sites:redhotjazz.com , Wikipedia , adp.library.ucsb.edu
Members:Charles Clapp, Fred Allen (6), Guy Shrigley, Harry Brown (14), Harry Cook, Harry Finkelstein, James "Slap Rags" White, Tom Brown (22), William Brown (15)
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