"Sweet Georgia Brown" - TBC Brass Band

“Sweet Georgia Brown” (PDF) from the TBC Brass Band album, To Be Continued.
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Brother Bones & His Shadows recorded the music that became the soundtrack for the Harlem Globetrotters pre-game warmup at center court; the round ball cuttin’ ‘n struttin’ through the air in cool stride with the soulful whistle and fingersnaps.  But Brother Bones’ name wasn’t “Brother Fingersnaps,” and his bones weren’t trombones, either.  That infamous rhythmic pulse was the sound of his rattling musical bones (literally).

Here’s another creepy fact: “Sweet Georgia Brown” is believed to be dedicated to the daughter of Georgia State House Representative, Dr. George Thaddeus Brown, who publicly declared on her birthday in 1911 that she would be named in honor of the state.  When the tune was first recorded in 1925, the debutante thus would have only been around 14 in age.

And in the spirit of celebrating young talent, similarly to the honorable tradition of Danny Barker and his brass band boys, I can only assume that “Sweet Georgia Brown” was introduced to Carver Senior High School’s TBC Brass Band through the guidance of Dr. Michael White, who takes a clarinet solo on this version.  Here, the TBC bones play a game of shadow as they trade fours (or eights, in cut-time), often repeating phrases over the modulating dominant harmony.

Here is a YouTube video of TBC performing at the Red Bull Street Kings brass band competition.  Also check out Matt Sakakeeny’s NPR article about the event.

Recommended reading: The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire by Ted Gioia.  Published by Oxford University Press.