Bill Bardin San Francisco Bay Area Trombone Player
BILL BARDIN (1924-2011)
11.16.80 Photo by Ed Lawless
For six decades around San Francisco Bill Bardin played expressive, eloquent trombone in a style that moved easily between Classic, small combo Swing, and Traditional jazz.
He often made statements to the effect, "I was the first of the Turk Murphy imitators. And though I no longer am, they are now legion."
Bill's lodestar was swing trombonist Dickie
Wells. Late in life the two became acquainted, met a couple of times and exchanged occasional letters and
This page profiles Bardin in interviews, musical rarities, and exclusive live concert tapes. It was a privilege to interview him; Bill was a great source of San Francisco jazz history, a fine musician and a sincere man.
A JAZZ RHYTHM tribute to Bill Bardin with and in-depth interview and wide ranging selection of music.
Bill Bardin Pt. 1A.mp3 All of Me -- Magnolia Jazz Band, live 1988 Riverside Blues -- Earl Sheelar’s Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Willie the Weeper -- Earl Sheelar’s Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Dippermouth Blues (excerpt) -- Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band, 1942 Kansas City Stomps (excerpt) -- Lu Watters’ YBJB, 1942 Muskrat Ramble -- Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band, 1942 New Orleans Joys -- Burt Bales, piano solo, 1949
Bill Bardin Pt. 1B.mp3 Mecca Flat Blues -- Dick Oxtot & Co (Jam session c. 1966) Jazzin’ Babies Blues -- Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band Creole Love Call -- Earl Sheelar’s Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Mama Don’t ‘Low -- Magnolia Jazz Band, live 1988 Darktown Strutters’ Ball -- Magnolia Jazz Band, live 1988
Bill Bardin Pt. 2A.mp3 St. James Infirmary -- Magnolia Jazz Band, live 1988 Bogalusa Strut -- Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Ooh! Looka tHere Ain’t She Pretty? -- Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Moonlight and Roses -- Dick Oxtot’s Golden Age Jazz Band, 1980 Gatemouth -- Dick Oxtot & Co (Jam session c. 1966) It’s Foxy -- Dick Oxtot’s Golden Age Jazz Band, 1980 All The Girls Go Crazy -- Dick Oxtot & Co (Jam session c. 1966)
Bill Bardin Pt. 2B.mp3 My Lovin’ Imogene -- Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 MMRC CD-5 My Josephine -- Funky New Orleans Jazz Band, 1971-72 Sister Kate -- P. T. Stanton’s Stone Age Jazz Band, 1975 Move the Body Over -- P. T. Stanton’s Stone Age Jazz Band, 1975 Shake That Thing -- Magnolia Jazz Band, live 1988, private tape
Bill evokes the jazz personalities and vivid night life of Baghdad by the Bay in the 1940s and ‘50s: * the Musicians' Union after-hours speakeasy; * subbing at the Dawn Club with Benny Strickler; * playing ‘clip joints,’ ‘taxi dances’ and 90-second songs at the ‘dime jigs'; * musician rivalries, boozing, and the Jazz bars of the Bay Area: Victor & Roxie's, Burp Hollow, The Ordinary, CIO Hall, Tin Angel and the longest running Dixieland gig in the Bay Area, The Point.
Note: This Vintage JAZZ RHYTHM program proceeded the Bardin retrospective above by a decade. It’s based on longer clips of the same interview, and is more San Francisco-centric with a more limited selection of complete tunes.
Forthcoming: The best and rarest of the archival jazz recordings
heard on these pages will soon be available for purchase on CD or
downloads (Amazon, i-tunes, etc) from Frisco Jazz Archival Rarities, a
partnership between Dave Radlauer and Grammercy Records.
Frank “Big Boy” Goudie, Bob Mielke, Bill Erickson combo in Stereo Hi-fi Live at Monkey Inn, 1961-62. (3 CDs) Five hours of music from the legendary Monkey Inn combo of Bill Erickson.
Frisco Jazz Archival Rarities offers unissued historic
recordings from live performances, jam sessions and private tapes.
Recorded mostly in the Bay Area 1940-75, this is lost sound from a
boisterous musical culture that created an independent jazz style of its
As titles become available links to sellers will be provided.
The Black Egg
was a bar in San Mateo where some of the East Bay revival musicians
played briefly. All the musicians sound very good on this session
especially Frank Goudie, though Oxtot’s one vocal is off mic.
surprising is the presence Pearl Zohn playing piano on this session
Previously unknown to me she was apparently sister of trumpet player, Al
Zohn and trombonist, Joe, both of whom worked in the wartime Yerba Buena band, local ensembles, and studio orchestras.
a notable tribute to the origins of the West Coast jazz revival
movement, the group closed with the Yerba Buena theme, “Friendless
Blues.” P.T. Stanton (cornet) Frank Goudie (clarinet) Bill Bardin (trombone) Dick Oxtot (banjo and vocal) Pearl Zohn (piano)
Note on recordings: The archival recordings heard on these
pages are offered as historic artifacts. They contain many musical and
technical flaws, or are incomplete or poorly balanced in places.
Personnel are listed as available, or as deduced from educated guesses.
From liner notes to the Stomp Off record by Mike Duffy: “Introducing
the listener to the Stone Age Jazz Band is no easy matter, for they are
so thoroughly odd. One cannot, for instance quite imagine them being
invited to a standard traditional jazz festival. And they weren’t. But
they had their fans (musicians typically, and a collection of the
Bohemians of the diverse, tolerant, notoriously goofy communities
across the Oakland Bay from San Francisco), and for a good stretch they
even had a steady gig at the old Berkeley Square bar a mile or so from
the University of California campus.
The Stones were something
of a reaction from the beginning. Their name, for example, was chosen
as a gentle way of teasing their old pal Dick Oxtot, leader of the
Golden Age Jazz Band. And their book was very small (maybe eighty
tunes) -- in spite of the fact that they rehearsed weekly and could
easily have played hundreds of things. But their motto was “less Is
More.” They never used a drummer because they wanted neither the
heaviness nor the cluttering of their carefully worked-out colors.
Almost everything they did was deliberate of course, and much of it
gleefully calculated to be appropriate to their ‘Stone Age’ sound.”
Bardin with P.T. Stanton’s Stone Age Jazz Band Old St. Hilary’s Church, Tiburon, CA, 1977-78 P.T. Stanton (cornet) Earl Scheelar (clarinet) Bill Bardin (trombone) Peter Berg (guitar) Paul Boberg (banjo) Peter Allen (string bass)
These unissued items were taped 9/77 & 1/78 under favored
conditions -- a minimalist recording of a live but relaxed performance.
Similar material -- including the first track below -- was issued on Stomp Off 1228 (LP or
cassette only) .
Bardin with Earl Scheelar's Funky New Orleans Jazz Band:
GIVE ME SOME MORE featuring Bob Helm Original issue, 1972. Reissued with seven tunes added, Merry Makers MMRC-CD-5.
Wrote Earl in the liner notes: “The
recording was done on several Sunday afternoons in 1971 and 1972 at the
New Orleans House. There
were no written arrangements . . . the acoustics at
the New Orleans House were ideal. The band was hot and sometimes
FUNKY FANTASY, 1997, GHB BCD-367 From liner notes by Marshall Kent: “Twenty
five years later Earl Scheelar has brought together essentially the
same musicians back into the studio to record this CD. Scheelar’s
vision in forming the Funky New Orleans Jazz Band was to play New
Orleans jazz with veteran musicians who loved the music and could play
with the inventiveness that was central to this musical tradition.
Furthermore he wanted that small band makeup of three lead instruments
with rhythm that would allow room for solo improvisation and ensemble
playing that was clean and un-muddied. These musicians have all played
New Orleans style with their own bands and with others for many
Earl Scheelar (cornet, vocals, leader) Bob Helm (reeds) Bill Bardin (trombone) George Knoblauch, Frank Tateosian, or Eliot Kenin (banjo) Peter Allen (Strong bass, vocals) Don Marchant (drums)
Launched in the late-1980s, Zenith was
successor to Scheelar’s earlier bands, utilizing some of the same New
Orleans repertoire and personnel including Bob Helm, Bill Bardin and
Pete Allen. Zenith shared the New Orleans sound, style,
and relaxed pulsing beat of the earlier New Orleans House and Funky New
From Zenith Jazz Band featuring Bob Helm, Merry Makers MMRC-CD-21.
Earl Scheelar (clarinet, leader) Bob Helm (reeds) Robert Young (conret, saxes) Bill Bardin (trombone) Frank Tateosin (banjo) Peter Allen (Strong bass) Henk Wagner (drums) Genny Haley (vocals) Tom Barnebey (guest pianist, vocals)