William Thornton BLUE: the creative but forgotten clarinettist

Listen to Cab Calloway’s recordings from the early 1930s ... If your ear is dominated by a hopping, acrobatic and remarkably creative clarinet sound, you are enjoying one of the great forgotten musicians in the History of Jazz who spent more than 30 years in an asylum: William Thornton BLUE. It is my good friend the late Christian Bonnet (1945-2017) — whose ear was particularly demanding - that made me discover the talent of this clarinetist and alto saxophonist whose solos give a unique sound to the first Calloway shellacs... The Hi De Ho Blog will tell you the almost unknown story of the man who nicknamed himself “The reputed Blue”. Read the full story →

Cab Calloway: the freemason and his brothers musicians

  This is a topic that can not be found at the front of French magazines like L'Express and Le Point even if they too oftenly deal with Freemasons! And because there is little study on jazz and Freemasonry. More reason to welcome the research Raphaël IMBERT who, more than being an accomplished saxophonist, has undertaken to initiate the uninitiated that we are the relationships between jazz and Masonic lodges. By empowering African Americans, Freemasonry also allowed jazzmen to create a new corporatism close to a fraternity. The Hi De Ho Blog is particularly focused on Brother Cab Calloway, introduced to the masonry by his musicians. The recent parution of "Jazz Supreme: initiés, mystiques et prophètes" (2014, L'éclat) is the reason for us to update this 2008 article.   Read the full story →

Lockwood Lewis: the forgotten Missourians’ bandleader before Cab Calloway’s coup

Lockwood Lewis is associated with Cab Calloway’s rising fame at the moment the latter took over the baton of the Missourians after a famous (and supposedly) battle of bands at the Savoy in 1930. This event has overshadowed Lockwood Lewis’ long career that spanned from an admired teacher, to one of the Harlem’s favorites and a respected Union man and circus bandleader. Meanwhile, he was one of the Black Devils during World War One. What a life. What a forgotten artist! Not anymore, thanks to The Hi De Ho Blog. Read the full story →