Oct. Song Of The Month--Avalon

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-30, Altamira M-10
in History Posts: 389

This month's tune is often called in my town, which makes sense because its simplicity means you can play it with anyone, regardless of how advanced they are with playing this music. It was written in 1920 by Al Jolson, Buddy De Sylva & Vincent Rose and appeared in several early musicals. Interestingly, it also makes an appearance in the classic movies Casablanca & It's A Wonderful Life. It was written about Avalon, California.

Django recorded it with Coleman Hawkins in February of 1935 and again with the Hot Club in July of the same year

I like both versions, although I always thought Django's tone was rather thin on the Coleman Hawkins stuff. Other notable versions of the tune include those by Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole, Chet Atkins & Les Paul & Pearl Django. It's usually played in F, I'll post the chart my trio uses for it later.



  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    I really became familiar with this tune thanks to Pearl Django's recording from the album of the same name back in the early 2000s. Just the other day we were busking and looking for simple tunes to play. Later that day, I heard this Tcha version from the Foix concert and thought we should add it to the list.

  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-30, Altamira M-10
    Posts: 389

    Great version, Billy. Interesting rhythm guitar technique from the guy on the archtop. But as Buco would say, "as long as it swings". And swing it does.

  • MarkAMarkA Vermont✭✭✭ Holo Epiphany, Gibson L-5
    Posts: 108

    I agree, a fantastic version of a great song. The rhythm player alternating between playing near the neck and the bridge was done by Freddie Green and others. It adds a subtle but nice variation to the archtop’s tone.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    Yeah, that's the one and only Dave Kelbie from the UK. He's played rhythm for just about anyone starting from Fapy on the Lejazz recordings forward through Angelo, Bireli, Lollo Meier, and more including the cats above (Mozes & Tcha). He also runs lejazzetal records. Great player.

  • edited October 2022 Posts: 4,812

    Never mind below, had this page opened for a while and by the time I got time to write, Bill was already there...

    That's Dave Kelbie. He's a rhythm guitar legend in European circles and played with a lot of the top players. He also runs Lejazzetal label. He played with Fapy for a long time and they released those Fapy's lo-fi recordings.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-30, Altamira M-10
    Posts: 389

    Great stuff on Dave Kelbie, what a talent. If we ever run out of tunes for Song Of The Month, maybe we could do Player Of The Month and start with him. Here's the chart my band uses (from DFB), it couldn't be simpler but that always opens up the possibilities for hip chord modifications:

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