Frank D. Waldron Project

[Above: Frank Waldron with trumpet, Wang Doodle Orchestra, Seattle, circa 1915, With Saxophone, seattle, circa 1925, photos courtesy of the Black Heritage Society.]



“Greg Ruby has captured the spirit of early jazz by retrieving and rearranging the long lost compositions of legendary Seattle wind instrument “professor” Frank Waldron, mentor to Quincy Jones, Buddy Catlett and others. These songs are an absolute delight, a window into a joyful, rambunctious jazz past that is too often overlooked.” (Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times, Down Beat)

This project began with the curiosity of wanting to know what Seattle’s jazz of the 1920s may have sounded like, and grew into a multi-faceted endeavor to preserve and celebrate one of the city’s forgotten musical giants. Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’s Syncopated Classic is the complete collection of Frank D. Waldron’s music and history. These recordings, archival photos, biographical essay and reproductions of Waldron’s compositions are intended to both paint a picture of one of Seattle’s eminent early jazz figures and inspire musicians to perform his work. While we will never know the aspirations that lead to his self-publishing of The Kaiser’s Got the Blues in 1918 and Syncopated Classic in 1924, we can be grateful that he took such immense care to do so. The details of melody, counter-melody, harmony, dynamics, articulation and form left us a complete body of work, not only worthy of preservation and examination but also of performance and enjoyment. It is my hope that this project will help ensure that Waldron’s music and legacy remain an integral part of Seattle’s rich musical history.

Greg Ruby (October 20, 2017)

Foreward to Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’s Syncopated Classic

This project is supported in part by a grant fromimages

  1. Look Both Ways Greg Ruby Quartet
  2. Scofflaw Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  3. Inside Out Greg Ruby Quartet
  4. That’s It Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners
  5. Someone Told Me Your Secret Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  6. We Meet Again Greg Ruby Quartet
  7. Suspicion Greg Ruby Quartet
  8. Humdinger Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  9. Climb Them Walls Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners
  10. Low Down Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners
  11. Kansas Straight Winds Greg Ruby Quartet
  12. Pretty Doll Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners
  13. Go Get It Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners
  14. You Should’a Been There Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  15. Zephyr Greg Ruby Quartet
  16. That’s About Right Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  17. 14th Avenue Drag Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
  18. Hold On Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners