CAPTAIN VIDEO! KELLSO AND FRIENDS, NOV. 9, 2008

Here’s a sampling of the remarkable jazz that Jon-Erik Kellso and Friends (Peter Reardon-Anderson, tenor and clarinet; Rossano Sportiello, piano; Kelly Friesen, bass; Andrew Swann, drums) played last Sunday at Sweet Rhythm, 88 Seventh Avenue South (5-7 PM).  I’m still a novice cinematographer — someone who accidentally cuts off the top of heads — but the sound is good, so perhaps that counts for more?

First, the lovely Harry Barris song, immortalized by Bing and Louis, “I Surrender, Dear”:

Then, the Twenties pop hit, “Linger Awhile,” a jam tune much beloved of Forties players (Dicky Wells, Lester Young, and Bill Coleman did it magnificently on Signature).  This version has a wonderfully twisty line, courtesy of Master Kellso, who calls his creation “Stick Around.”  Somehow, that line summons up the 1945 band Coleman Hawkins led, with Howard McGhee, Sir Charles Thompson, Oscar Pettiford, Denzil Best, and (memorably) Vic Dickenson.  Do you agree?  (Wily man that he is, Jon-Erik quotes Mingus’s “Fables of Faubus” on his first bridge, but I had to have it pointed out to me by another listener.)

and

And here’s that lively Sophie Tucker warning, “Some of These Days.”  This performance isn’t fast or loud, but it is the very definition of propulsive fun.  Everyone in this quintet has his own sound, but the ghosts of Louis, the entire Basie band, Ed Hall, Milt Hinton, and Jo Jones were grinning, too:

The next two performances take us back to the glory days of 1938 — the hot summer when the Basie band appeared at the Famous Door, jammed in next to one another.  Here’s Eddie Durham’s “Topsy,” a minor blues with a bridge:

From the same blue-label Decca period, here’s Herschel Evans’s “Doggin’ Around,” taken at just the right tempo:

Finally, in quite a different mood but just as impassioned, here is bassist Kelly Friesen’s eloquent version of the Ellington classic “All Too Sooon”:

If you’re looking for more of the same on YouTube, Jim Balantic (jazz fan and DVD videographer) captured this group doing a swinging “Limehouse Blues.”  His account is called “recquilt,” and it should come up when these videos are selected.

And on November 16 (that’s this coming Sunday) we should all extricate ourselves from our computers to meet up at Sweet Rhythm and see Jon-Erik, pianist Ehud Asherie, trombonist John Allred, Kelly Friesen, and Andrew Swann.

As rewarding as these video clips are, isn’t it better when the musicians are life-size?  I think so.

P.S.  That being said, look for my postings of video clips from Kevin Dorn and the Traditional Jazz Collective and two from the Cangelosi Cards with members of the TJC sitting in — captured at Banjo Jim’s on Monday, November 10, 2008.

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5 responses to “CAPTAIN VIDEO! KELLSO AND FRIENDS, NOV. 9, 2008

  1. Bless you and your…how does that expression go?
    Well, bless you and yours!
    Thanks a mil’.

  2. Is the expression I was hunting for
    “bless you and your village?”
    Is that a lyric from a religious and/or folk song?

  3. Bill Gallagher

    All this great music and no cover charge! A charge that I would gladly pay, by the way, except for the airfare from California. Watching and listening to this group is a real treat.

  4. Since I had to move to CT to take care of my 100 yr old aunt, I’m eating my heart out that I can’t take advantage of all the great OKOM now available in NYC, so I am truly indebted to you for your marvelous site!! I pour a cool one, or build a more substantial libation, turn up the sound on my computer and send a gazillion blessings to you as I savor each you tube clip. Thanks again for all you do. Next gig at Fred’s Farm I’ll give you a many extra hugs!!!!

  5. Dear Nancie,

    That was a real cyber-hug: I felt it right through the monitor! I truly appreciate your appreciation. But is Connecticut really that far away? So far, I find rewarding jazz gigs are popping up just about every night of the week — come down and visit us whenever you can!

    Cheers and thanks,
    Michael

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