MORE BIRDLAND BLISS (March 4, 2009)

The heroes return: David Ostwald (tuba), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Dion Tucker (trombone), Anat Cohen (clarinet), Mark Shane (piano), Kevin Dorn (drums) for “one up, one down.”

The “one up” is I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME, one of those Thirties songs that can find its own identity at a variety of tempos, from ballad slow to this cheerful rock.  I like the Kellso-inspired riffs behind Anat’s solo, Mark’s playing behind the soloists, Dion’s modern guttiness, another Braffish riff, Kevin’s brushwork, and Mark’s energetic delicacy — catch what he does in the bridge of his first chorus.  Something for everyone!

A highlight of the evening was David’s calling MAYBE YOU’LL BE THERE (written, I think, by Charles LaVere) — a wistful, lonely ballad immortalized first by Jack Teagarden with the Armstrong All-Stars, later by Frank Sinatra.  It it not only a lovely song, but a wonderful performance — a true example of jazz heroism for Dion, who was not terribly familiar with its contours, but played it beautifully with one eye on the lead sheet.  In fact, Jon-Erik, Dion, and Mark do that most rewarding thing — summoning up the great forefathers Louis, Jack, and Teddy — without copying a note or a gesture.  Three cheers!

And more to come!  We expect to be at Birdland on March 18th to celebrate George Avakian’s ninetieth birthday.  You come, too . . . !

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One response to “MORE BIRDLAND BLISS (March 4, 2009)

  1. Michael, I know this is a very old post, but I must correct your information concerning “Maybe You’ll Be There”. It was written by Rube Bloom and Sammy Gallop and recorded by Gordon Jenkins in a February 27, 1947 session of three songs, all of which featured my father’s vocals. It was ignored by the disc jockeys for over a year until it finally caught on and eventually peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard charts, where it held forth for 16 weeks over the winter and spring of 1948/1949. Though they both had recorded numerous times before that, “Maybe You’ll Be There” became the first “hit” for either of them and Gordon forever thought of my father as his “good luck charm”. Secondly, my father and the Teagardens were life-long friends and Jack became familiar with the tune by way of my father’s recording of it. Many people have recorded it over the years, including Sinatra and, more recently by Carol Sloane and Diana Krall.

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