Bix v. Pops: And the Winner Is... - JazzWax

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September 01, 2008


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Albert Haim

Eekhoff on Sep 5, 2008 at 11:32 am
"Mr. Haim hopes that the source can't be found because there is NOBODY in the entire world who values Mr. Haim's opinion above Nichols' own and even Mr. Haim realises that it might go a bit far to claim to know more about Bix'influence on Red than Red himself!"

Eekhoff is wrong again. Not only I did not hope that the reference couldn't be found, but I spent a lot of time searching for it. I found it and it turns out that Red Nichols himself said, "I'd be the last to deny that his playing had an influence on me..."

This is what I, and other musicians/historians have been saying all along. But of course, we are all idiots with no understanding of music. Eekhoff holds the monoply in understanding jazz, Bix and Red Nichols.

Eekhoff is now moving from being a ridiculous figure to being a pathetic one.

Albert Haim

Hans Eekhoff

It is interesting to notice that Mr. Haim has nothing more to say to the previous postings. He is no longer denying the main objections against his ridiculous opinions. As usual he keeps quiet when he realises that he is licked and has nowhere to go.
But, in his usual ill-mannered way, he still raises a feeble protest against Nichols' statement "Only a person who is musically ignorant finds any similarity between my work and Bix's."
Therefore, unless he knows more about Red Nichols than Nichols himself, Mr. Haim is musically ignorant. QED. We have known this for a long time but it has now been scientifically proven - with sources; thanks Sergio.
At the same time Mr. Haim admits that "we are all idiots with no understanding of music". He means himself of course, but the plural suggests that he wishes to include others as well - probably some of his gullible flock in the Haim Forum.
The man would be just laughable if this were all, but alas he harms the legacy of Bix Beiderbecke and therefore he has to be continuously monitored and challenged - especially now that he apparently aims to pollute not only his own Forum but this one as well. We have to remain alert - he may still give a feeble reaction.
But, again, time is on our side.

Albert Haim

It is hard to believe that Eekhoff actually read the Red Nichols’s statement that I quoted in its entirety, not a selected excerpt, as Calve had done. In the first sentence of his statement, Nichols explicitly asserted that "Bix made a tremendous impression on me, and I'd be the last to deny that his playing had an influence on me, but I did not imitate him."

How much clearer can this be? Red Nichols himself asserts that he was influenced by Bix Beiderbecke. That is precisely what I said in my first posting in this thread, “Red Nichols and Jimmy McPartland, just to give two examples, were influenced by Bix.” Schuller, Hadlock, and Sudhalter also noted the influence of Bix on Red Nichols.

Eekhoff chooses to bury his head in the sand and contradicts Nichols’s crystal clear statement. On Sep 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm Eekhoff asserted, “I do not hear any influence of Bix on Red Nichols.” This is in direct opposition to what Red Nichols himself stated.

Now Eekhoff is no longer a pathetic figure, he is delusional.

Albert Haim

Sergio Calvé

As usual, when a simple, direct and “uncomfortable” question is presented, Haim ignores it. Typical Haim.
Mr. Haim, could you please respond specifically to my previous question, before extract selectively parts of my comments and make more questions? Show us what is, to your understanding, a "documented fact". Please don’t answer with another question again. I’m tired.

Hans Eekhoff

As usual, all Mr. Haim can do is write more insults - I now add "delusional" to the list, which I will publish in its entirety in due course.
And again, he uses part of a statement to suit his theories. When Nichols says "I'd be the last to deny that his (Bix') playing had an influence on me", Mr Haim uses that as proof that Red Nichols was influenced by Bix to a degree that he adopted his style and sounded like him.
The fact that Nichols also says "I did not imitate him (Bix)" and "Only a person who is musically ignorant finds any similarity between my work and Bix's." is irrelevant to Mr. Haim because it does not suit his opinion that Red sounds like Bix.
However, Red is perfectly right - Mr. Haim IS musically ignorant!
And I repeat what I wrote earlier and what Nichols scholars and musicians agree with: except on a few titles that Red Nichols recorded with the Whiteman band in early 1927, there is no similarity between his and Bix' playing. That Red copied a few Bix solos here and there in no way weakens that fact. Those solos illustrate what Nichols meant when he said "Bix made a tremendous impression on me".
And the similarity between Red and Bix on those Whiteman sides may not be entirely coincidental, just as the similarity between the two in Bix' playing on "There'll Come A Time" might not be coincidental.
However, once again, there is no similarity in style between Red Nichols' cornet playing and that of Bix Beiderbecke. Only to the "musical ignorant".

Hans Eekhoff

I have always maintained that the only records on which Red Nichols sounds like Bix are those made by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in April and May 1927 (in particular "Love And Kisses"). However, with this ongoing discussion and attempts to make an old man use his ears, I suddenly realised that it is acually the other way around!
Nichols recorded these solos well before Bix had waxed such a wonderful "lonely relaxed cornet over large background" style; Bix did not record a similar styled solo until September 1927 on Goldkette's "Clementine".
It is therefore much more feasable and logical that it was Red Nichols who set the example which Bix followed and later developed in the Whiteman band.

Albert Haim

As usual, Eekhoff misquotes me. He writes, "When Nichols says "I'd be the last to deny that his (Bix') playing had an influence on me", Mr Haim uses that as proof that Red Nichols was influenced by Bix to a degree that he adopted his style and sounded like him." Wrong again.

I challenge Eekhoff to find in any of my postings the phrase "he adopted his style and sounded like him." I never claimed that Red adopted Bix's style. Those are Eekhoff's words. My exact words were "We can hear Bix’s characteristic sound in several of Red’s and Jimmy's recordings." I stand by that statement. In fact, Eekhoff repeatedly stated that Red sounds like Bix in Red's recordings with Whiteman.

As far as I am concerned, the case for Bix's influence on Red Nichols has been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. There is conclusive, documented evidence (Red Nichols's own words) that Bix indeed influenced Red Nichols. Those who have written here denying this fact are welcome to live in their world of fantasy, a delusional world where Bix did not influence Red Nichols.

Albert Haim

PS A brief comment about Red Nichols's statements, "I did not imitate him" and "Only a person who is musically ignorant finds any similarity between my work and Bix's."

In his own recordings, Red Nichols copied, almost note for note, two of Bix's solos. This is a clear example of imitation. I remind readers that The American Heritage Dictionary defines "imitation" as follows, "Something derived or copied from an original."

The phrase "any similarity between my work and Bix's" in Red Nichols's statement has a much broader implication than a simple similarity in sound in some recordings. "My work" is the entire body of Nichols's musical legacy. And let us not forget Jean Pierre Lions' comment, "The influence of the Wolverines' leader [Bix] on Red Nichols was greater than the latter would ever acknowledge."

Sergio Calvé

It’s really regrettable that the main thread on Bix and Louis degenerated into an out of topic though necessary discussion after the unhappy meddling of an individual called Albert Haim and his usual stupidities.
After Haim’s sudden but predictable silence, I’ll explain what I understand as Bix’s “influence” on other contemporary musicians, by quoting Philip Evans in his Prologue for “Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story”:

“One cherished moment I’d like to mention took place in Davenport in 1974. Bill Rank and I were walking down the staircase of a Davenport hotel, on our way to breakfast. He was stopped by a young lady who said she was gathering information on Bix and asked if he had time for a few questions. Bill agreed to help her. She asked if it was true that Bix was ahead of his time? Bill replied this was the case. Then she asked: “If Bix was ahead of his time, how were you able to play with him?” Bill answered with a straight face: “We played a little faster!”

That’s the kind of “influence” Bix impressed on the rest, including Red Nichols: HE MADE THEM PLAY BETTER. Simple. But Haim believes that “influence” is copying note-for note a solo in a single recording (that is a “tribute”, or perhaps a “joke”, no more than that), and considers others’ opinions as “documented facts”.
Music is an Art, and Chemistry is a Science. Albert Haim should learn to discern the difference.
I wish to thank the Webmaster for his patience and space. I hope the “Bix or Louis?” thread go ahead. I’d like to see here more opinions about it.

Hans Eekhoff

Just to prove what a miserable man Mr. Haim is; I just received a message fom Sergio Calve in which he informs me that he has been banned from looking and contributing to the Forum of Albert Haim's website.
This clearly illustrates the way Mr. Haim thinks and acts - when he can no longer counter the arguments of those who do not agree with him he simply isolates these critics from his own website. At the same time he withdraws from those Forums where he has lost the argument.
Mr. Haim has proved once more that he knows nothing about jazz music and Bix Beiderbecke, that he has no musical knowledge to support anything he says about these subjects and that he is a vindictive little man who, as a last resort, abuses people and blocks their access from his website.

Hans Eekhoff

And furthermore, there are no recordings known of Red Nichols where he sounds anything like Bix Beiderbecke - except the aforementioned recordings of Red with Whiteman which were made BEFORE Bix did anything of that nature and are therefore examples of purely Red's style which Bix adopted and developed later. Thus, Red doesn't sound like Bix here, no Bix, from about 4 months later, adopts that style which he got from Red.
Mr. Haim can talk and argue until he is blue in the face - the facts (and his lack of musical knowledge) prove him wrong.
Nichols was NOT influenced by Bix to a degree that he imitated him or ever sounded like him. Even if Red copied a few Bix solos here and there (AS BIX PLAYED VERY MUCH IN RED'S STYLE ON AT LEAST ONE RECORDING) Mr. Haim has continuously stated the contrary (although he now tries to weaken his statements) and is therefore, in Red's own words, "musically ignorant" - something we all knew long before.

Hans Eekhoff

And another thing - Mr. Haim has always criticised (from the beginning and in a very unpleasant way) Jean-Pierre Lion's fantastic book about Bix which puts Richard Sudhalter's sentimentalities very much in the shadow.
That Mr. Haim now seeks a quote from that book (of which he otherwise thinks so little) to substantiate his twisted views says much about this little chemistry teacher's character. Besides, much as I likie Lion, who says that, in this case, he is right? Few of us agree!
And again, Mr. Haim's complete lack of knowledge of musician's feelings prevents him from understanding that when one musician copies a solo of another musician, once, twice or even 20 times does not mean that he is influenced by that musician. He merely thinks "this is a nice solo, let's do it too".
The final word is Red's. "Only a person who is musically ignorant finds any similarity between my work and Bix's."
Therefore Albert Haim is musically ignorant. We have all known it for years but the proof is here. QED.

Albert Haim

I thought the argument was over in view of the conclusive evidence presented in Red Nichols' quote.

But, no. Eekhoff ans his cronies do not seem to understand or do not want to understand the clear meaning of what Nichols said. Eekhoff and Co. must be totally frustrated -in fact, by now, desperate. They don't know what else to do, and keep on repeating over and over the same arguments. They turn to insults. Well, they can write whatever they want about me. Insults from mentally inferior creatures mean nothing to me.

These guys can't face reality. And the reality is that Red Nichols was indeed influenced by Bix. The words of Red Nichols himself demonstrate this beyond any doubt, "Bix made a tremendous impression on me, and I'd be the last to deny that his playing had an influence on me, but I did not imitate him."

Eekhoff and company close their eyes and minds, and deny what Red Nichols enunciated so glaringly. In denying this documented fact, all Eekhoff and his followers are able to accomplish is to demonstrate what utter fools they are.

Albert Haim

I am the founder and owner of the Bixography Forum. As such, I decide who has access to it.

Sergio Calvé

Mr Haim: let me tell you that my name is not “his cronies”, “and co.”, “these guys”, “and company” or “his followers”, but SERGIO CALVE. Please don’t be coward and use my name when you refer to me.
“They turn to insults”. Excuse me, Mr. Haim: I did not insult you. Not yet.
This discussion looks like an endless one. That’s what happen when one is dealing with an old conceited idiot (in this case, his name is Albert Haim). Here you have your insult.
As a “mentally superior creature” he claimed that “West End Blues” is not “a blues composition”.
As a “mentally superior creature” he is unable to answer straightly a straigh question (whose possible answers are: “Yes” or “No”).
As a “mentally superior creature” he claims that he supports his idiocies with “documented facts”. They are just opinions from other people. No matter how competent or learned they are. Opinions are not facts.
As a “mentally superior creature” he states that a copy note-for-note is “relevant information” to state that there is an influence. Following that “avant garde” reasoning, Bud Freeman was “influenced” by George Johnson!!! (“Copenhagen”).
As a “mentally superior creature” he says that I “can't face reality. And the reality is that Red Nichols was indeed influenced by Bix.”. His “superior” mind prevents him to read and understand my previous comment, where I say that Bix indeed influenced Red, but in a subliminal way. Why? Obvious. It does not fit with his narrow-minded statements.
As I said before, “his comments here, there and everywhere speak for themselves”.
Finally, the fact that Albert Haim blocked my access to his mediocre Forum is anecdotal. That site is, long ago, at the bottom of my list of priorities.

Boss Jim Geddes

Thanks guys for a most amusing exchange. Will this clever parody of dueling 20's jazz fans ever appear in book form?

KCSM Jazz 91.1 fan

Seems Richard Hadlock is both a respected jazz scholar AND a musician:

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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