Daily Archives: March 4, 2009

JAZZ HEAVEN: ANDY, BRAD, DAVE, JOSH (2008)

That’s “My Blue Heaven,” played sweetly and almost lazily by Andy Schumm on cornet, Brad Kay on piano, Dave Bock on tuba, and Josh Duffee on drums.

It was recorded on March 14, 2008, at the Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Tribute in Racine, Wisconsin.

This foursome understands that capturing Bix’s essence — simultaneously sad and ebullient, musing and propulsive, has less to do with playing the notes and copying the familiar phrases than with understanding his spirit, which they do with reverence and affection.  All four of them have wonderful musical pedigrees, and I would call your attention to Brad’s winding, thoughtful piano — harmonically deep but always mobile.  Josh Duffee keeps splendid time in a timeless way.  Dave Bock I knew only as a trombonist, but here he wields his tuba with grace.  He and Andy impressed me tremendously at last year’s Jazz at Chautauqua, where they were billed as “the Bixians,” which they are.  And Andy?  Andy Schumm has got it.  No question there, and the music, thanks to Walter Donaldson and other gracious spirits, is as near to heavenly as we will get.

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