I keep returning to these two YouTube videos. One reason is my fondness for Donaldson’s sweet song, written to mourn the death of his young wife, and how beautifully it lends itself to jazz improvisation. (Benny Carter recorded it memorably in the late Thirties, as did Lionel Hampton.)
Another is my admiration for this variety of loose-limbed Australian jazz — here exemplified by the heart-on-sleeve playing of Neville Stribling and Bob Barnard, among others. Barnard makes what he does seem so easy while he is pulling off breathtaking marvels. Ask any trumpet player! The rhythm sections rock; the soloists create friendly, cohesive ensembles.
The first clip features Neville Stribling’s Jazz Players at the Eureka Jazz Festival in Ballarat in 1986: Ian Smith (tpt), Neville Stribling (rds), Ade Monsbourgh (rds), Graham Coyle (pno), Joe McConechy (bs), Peter Cleaver (bjo/gtr), Allan Browne (dms).
The second version, from the same place, features “The Australians”: Bob Barnard (cnt), Stribling, Monsbourgh, Coyle, Conrad Joyce (bs), Cleaver, and Browne.
Thanks to Simon Stribling, himself an extraordinary trumpeter (catch his own sessions and his CD with Jon-Erik Kellso, KELLSO’S BC BUDDIES, on Gen-Erik Records, for evidence) for these clips. And he’s living proof that children of artists do sometimes grow up to be wonderfully creative: he’s Neville Stribling’s son.