7 May 2015

Post 204: 'MABEL'S DREAM'

One of the good old traditional jazz classics was Mabel's Dream (perhaps originally Maybelle's Dream). It was recorded by King Oliver and his great band in 1923. You may hear the Oliver recording: CLICK HERE. As far as I can tell, it was written that year by someone called Ike Smith, about whom nothing seems to be known for certain.

Nor do we know who Mabel was. A real lady known to Ike Smith? And what did she dream?

Whatever the background, it is a fine piece and - until about 1990 - was played a great deal by the traditional jazz bands. Today only a few bands still play it.

I worked out a version in a key to suit me (i.e. for the Bb trumpet). As usual, I noted it down in my mini filofax, so that I could learn it during a bus journey.

Section (C) is a clever bridge leading to a change of key at (D), on which solos are traditionally taken.