Tubby Hall

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Alfred "Tubby" Hall (October 12, 1895 – May 13, 1945) was an American jazz drummer.[1]

Hall was born in Sellers, Louisiana; his family moved to New Orleans in his childhood. His younger brother Minor "Ram" Hall also became a professional drummer. He played in many marching bands in New Orleans, including with Buddie Petit.[2]

In March 1917 Tubby Hall moved to Chicago, where he played with Sugar Johnny Smith. After two years in the United States Army, he returned to playing in Chicago mostly with New Orleans bands, joining Carroll Dickerson's Orchestra (recording with it in 1927) and later with the groups of King Oliver, Jimmie Noone, Tiny Parham, Johnny Dodds.[3] Noted swing and big-band drummer Gene Krupa said that Hall and Zutty Singleton "were great! They knew every trick and just how to phrase the parts of the choruses behind the horns, how to lead a man in, what to do at the turn-arounds, when to use sticks and when to use brushes, when to go for the rims or the woodblocks, what cymbals are for."[4]

He is seen in Armstrong's movies of the early 1930s, including the live action and Betty Boop cartoon I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You (1932) and A Rhapsody in Black and Blue (1932), made by Paramount.[5] Only Armstrong and Hall got closeups in the two films, and both get their faces transposed with those of racially stereotyped "jungle natives" in the cartoon. Hall morphs from a jazz drummer to a cannibal stirring a cooking pot with two wooden sticks.[6][7]

His drumming style was forceful and sober, generally maintaining constant tempo on the snare. Jazz critic Hugues Panassié considered him one of the three greatest jazz drummers of his generation, along with Zutty Singleton and Warren "Baby" Dodds.[8]

Tubby Hall died in Chicago.[2]


  1. ^ [1] Levin, Floyd, Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians, University of California Press, 2002, p. 34. ISBN 978-0-520-23463-5. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  2. ^ a b [2] Chilton, John, Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing Street, Da Capo Press, 1985, p. 132. ISBN 978-0-306-80243-0. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Biography by Scott Yanow at allmusic
  4. ^ Klauber, Bruce H. World of Gene Krupa: That Legendary Drummin' Man. Pathfinder Publishing, 1990, p. 22. ISBN 978-0-934793-28-5. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  5. ^ [3] de Toledano, Ralph Frontiers of Jazz Pelican Publishing, 1994, page 75. ISBN 978-1-56554-043-9. Retrieved May 20, 2010
  6. ^ [4] Goldmark, Daniel, Tunes For 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon, University of California Press, 2005, pp. 90, 91. ISBN 978-0-520-23617-2. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  7. ^ [5] Slobin, Mark, Global soundtracks: worlds of film music. Wesleyan, 2008. pp. 18, 19. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  8. ^ [6] Panassié, Hugues, The Real Jazz, Smith and Durrell, Inc., 1942. Second printing August 1943, pp. 154, 155. Retrieved May 20, 2010.

External links[edit]

  • [7]"A Rhapsody in Black and Blue" (1932) at Google video.
  • [8]"Betty Boop: "I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you" (1932) at Internet Archive.