Fred Petty, the fellow who ran those monster jam sessions of the past few months, has joined forces with the Ken. The new regime starts Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, with Coleman Hawkins, Bill Coleman, and George Johnson's house band.
Hawkins' tenor you probably know by now. Ben Webster was originally scheduled but fell ill. For a change, I'd personally rather hear Ben.
The other Coleman, however, is rather saturated in obscurity unless you follow jazz very closely. One reason is that he was in Europe for a long while until the war broke out. He has since played trumpet with Andy Kirk, Joe Sullivan, and is now with his own trio in some New York night club that I can't remember at the moment. I've never had much opportunity to hear Bill, but judging from "Bill Coleman Blues," made in France he is a remarkable soloist.
George Johnson is the fine altoist who used to play in Frankie Newton's original band at the Savoy. He was a mainstay of the band, and is certainly one of the top altoists of the day. The three stars should make for a very pleasant afternoon. There are the usual drawbacks of between-the-sets backers who try to play too, but the assets should outweigh the liabilities.
Speaking of the Savoy, which has never reopened since the Grove disaster, the manager has finally got a permit to open the Royal Palms, which was where the Savoy was going to move when the Grove fire occurred. The policy will be the same as the Savoy, plenty of good jazz and no floor show, and right now it seems as if George Johnson will move in as soon as the Ken engagement finishes. The Royal Palms is or are, next door to the Little Dixie, on Massachusetts Avenue near Columbus.