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Charleston is the Best
Dance, After All

Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra


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"Harlem's Best"


Recorded in New York City on January 24th 1928 featuring Jabbo Smith and Leonard Davis trumpets, Charlie Irvis trombone, Benny Carter clarinet, alto, & tenor sax, Edgar Sampson clarinet & alto sax, Elmer Harrell clarinet & tenor sax, Charlie Johnson piano, Bobby Johnson banjo, Cyrus St Clair tuba, and George Stafford drums.

*"Charleston is the Best Dance After All" was composed by Charlie Johnson and Arthur Porter.

The Paradise Orchestra led by pianist Charlie Johnson was the house band for the popular Harlem club, Small's Paradise, during the 1920s. This side features Jabbo Smith just after he had played a session with Duke Ellington ('Black and Tan Fantasy) and before he recorded his classic Brunswick sides in 1929.

Hardly known outside of a small Jazz coterie, this small band contrived to create an ensemble effect much like the Fletcher Henderson outfit. Charlie Johnson played at "Small's Paradise Club" in Harlem (229 1/2 7th Avenue at 135th Street) on and off from approximately the mid-twenties to mid-thirties.

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