Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

OH, PLAY THAT THING!

Jamaica Knauer captured this inspiring performance of DIPPER MOUTH BLUES at the July 2007 Bix Fest in Davenport, Iowa — with a quintet of unusual suspects gathered together as the “Flatland Hot Five”: Sue Fischer (drums), Steve Pistorius (piano), Tom Fischer (clarinet), Dave Bock (trombone), and Andy Schumm (cornet).  It’s one of those performances that makes you rethink the emphasis on “originality” in jazz improvisation — for, although hardly a note in this cherished creation is new, the effect is still stirring, uplifting.  Everything old can be new again when approached as if old and new were lively, interchangeable . . .

Perhaps this is what it sounded like when Joe Oliver took the stage at the Lincoln Gardens?

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RED HOT and BENT

I couldn’t resist the title.  Nor could I resist the music. 

Readers who have been following my Whitley Bay videos will gather that I am delighted by Swedish trumpeter / cornetist Bent Persson and by clarinet virtuoso Aurelie Tropez.  What could be better than to find them sharing a bandstand — Bent sitting in with the Red Hot Reedwarmers (including Stephane Gillot, alto, Martin Seck, piano)  on July 11, 2009.  It’s a natural blend: the Reedwarmers are inspired by the misic of Jimmie Noone, particularly of his Apex Club Orchestra, which used a similar blend of instruments.  And Bent’s hero (mine, too) — Louis — recorded with Noone a few times in the early Twenties, although Noone’s trumpet partners were usually lesser-known players, my favorite among them being Guy Kelly. 

First, the Reedwarmers perform the very sweet FOREVERMORE, wistful tremolos all over the place:

Then, after Bent had joined them and they had settled themselves, another late-Twenties hit (I think of it most often in Miff Mole’s and Ethel Waters’s versions), BIRMINGHAM BERTHA:

Bent sat out a request from the audience — the pretty LOVE, YOUR MAGIC SPELL IS EVERYWHERE:

Finally, they joined forces on LOOKIN’ GOOD BUT FEELIN’ BAD, which I associate with an explosively hot 1929 recording by Fats Waller and his Buddies . . . dare I say that this performance equals its noble predecessor:

Until next time . . . !

THE RIGHT STUFF!

Stuff_Smith

Anthony Barnett, poet / scholar / onlie begetter of compact discs that overflow with jazz violin rarities, informs us:

For those of you who are in Denmark on August 14th there will be a centenary memorial concert for Stuff Smith at the little church where he is buried: Klakring Kirkegaard, Juelsminde, not far from the provincial town of Horsens. Please note this is nowhere near Copenhagen.

Also, quite remarkably for The Strad magazine there is a good four-page tribute to him by the UK doyen of classical violin history Tully Potter in the August issue.