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Bill Markas & His Orchestra
Feat. Andy Secrest
"A Secrest Soundie"
In footage taken from a 1940's "Soundie" trumpeter & cornetist Andy Secrest performs a jazz standard accompanied by "Bill Markas & His Orchestra" featuring Ed Kusby trombone, Archie Rosatti clarinet, (possibly) Jess McDuff alto sax, Skitch Henderson piano, unknown string bass, and Billy Markas drums & leader.
While many people are familiar with those short subject films from the late 1930's known as "Soundies", far fewer are familiar with the competition during the early days of the audiovisual jukebox boom. One of the more obscure production companies was "Nickel Talkies" who produced a handful of shorts (probably less than twenty) between late 1940 and early 1941. This was one of their best, featuring a jam on Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose".
The group is headed by studio drummer Bill Markas who had replaced Spike Jones in the "John Scott Trotter Orchestra". The sidemen include a number of Los Angeles based musicians the most notable being Andy Secrest. Secrest always seems to be mentioned in the same breath as Bix Beiderbecke, but here he turns in a fine trumpet solo more in the style of Bunny Berigan than Bix. -(Mark Cantor)
Andy Secrest was initially hired by Paul Whiteman in 1929 to fill in for Bix Beiderbecke who had been suspended from playing due to alcoholism. Remaining well beyond Bix's return Secrest left the Whiteman band for good in 1932, then played for a time with the Orchestra of Ted Weems before relocating to California.
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