The Last Session


Tommy Ladnier’s last recording session on February 1, 1939 had vocalist Rosetta Crawford and an orchestra under the direction of pianist James P. Johnson. In Stop It Joe, Mezz Mezzrow plays a good 18 bar clarinet solo backed by Tommy’s supporting trumpet, sounding as if he wants to help Mezz through this solo. Tommy then breaks in with an 18 bar solo starting with a remarkable crescendo call. This solo is magnificent, with long bent notes, completely different from all his previous solos. He is much more varied in tone and intensity here, exhibiting his wonderful trumpet tone. His playing is much heavier but also more emotional. During his solo, Rosetta is calling some of the lyric lines. It is hard to tell if this disturbs Tommy or not, but the listener is brought to the point of wanting to shout “Please, please, stop it Rosetta.”