Music: Phuff?

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The beat and blare of the fervid little quintet seemed familiar and so did most of the names: Ingle, Estes, Williams, Bodtkin. But behind the trumpet, instead of the famous "Red" Ingle, Hollywood jazz fans saw a curly-haired youngster of 18—Ingle's son Don. At the traps, in place of "Ace" Estes, was Estes' skinny, long-nosed boy Gene, 18. They counted off the same way right around the stand. Last week, devoutly following in their fathers' solid-beat footsteps, the famous sons' five were the hottest band in Hollywood.

They were playing only three nights a week; schoolwork kept them from doing more. Since July they had been packing fans into Van Nuys' elaborate, teenagers' Ciro's, the Dri-Nite Club, and making more than pocket money doing it (about $45 a week). By last week, they had spread out to playing one-nighters here & there, for fraternity dances and Hollywood high-lifers such as Columnist Jimmy Fidler. But the surest sign that they were really arriving was the hushed way the fans listened when the boys sat in with jazzbos like Drummer Zutty Singleton out at the Club 47, a Ventura Boulevard bistro where the best of Hollywood's radio and movie musicians go after work to jam.

The five first got together in a North Hollywood High School dance band. When it began to look more like a rut than a groove, 17-year-old Piano Player Johnny ("Curley") Williams (named after his drummer father) broke away and formed his own quintet. He took with him Mel Sidney, a bullfiddle slapper like his dad, Al Pollen. Other recruits were 16-year-old Perry ("Bunny") Bodtkin, the trombone-playing son of Bing Crosby's guitar accompanist, and Gene Estes and Don Ingle. "Boy," says Curley, "we yanked the nucleus right out of that Hollywood High band."

As Curley, the boss of the juvenile jazzbos, puts it, "We were pretty rough at first—everybody fighting for their own salad." Now, when they play together, they like to "get casual." Don Ingle does some of the arranging. Sample: their Show Me the Way to Go Home consists of 17 bars of written music, followed by the words "sing chorus" scrawled across the middle of the score sheet; at the end it demands a "jam out." They don't worry about programing. Says Ingle: "We play half what the audience wants, which is Dixieland, and the other half what we want, which, it happens, is also Dixieland." But they are already thinking about a new kind of music.

"Dixie is a happy music," says Bunny. "Swing makes you want to bounce, and guys that listen to bop drool at the mouth, get red-faced and excited. If we can get a combination of all three . . . we'll have something we'll call phuff."