Daily Archives: October 11, 2009

THE ART OF THE BALLAD

Bobby Hackett is supposed to have said of Louis Armstrong, “Do you know how hard it is to make a melody come alive?” 

Dan Barrett knows so much about making the notes on paper come alive while honoring the composer’s intentions.  Here he is at the 2009 Jazz at Chautauqua, offering an early-rising audience Meredith Willson’s TILL THERE WAS YOU, with great affection and sublime skill.  He’s accompanied (in every way) by pianist Keith Ingham, bassist Frank Tate, and drummer Pete Siers:

Hackett would surely have admired this performance.

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“ECHOES OF HARLEM” with MICHAEL McQUAID

One of my loyal readers, Trevor Hutchison, let me know that Michael McQuaid and a troupe of enthusiastic dancers had created a Cotton Club show — with several performances of Ellington songs posted on YouTube.  Here’s “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo,” performed in front of an audibly enthusiastic audience.  Shades of the Savoy Ballroom in the glory days!

For the record, the dancers in this clip are Cam Mitchell, Noni Clarke, Evan Hughes, and Francine Jeffery.  Other clips feature Andy Fodor, Shob Nambiar, Keith Hsuan, Shaz Callaghan, Anthony Wheaton, Sarah Farrelly, Harry Doan, Loz Yee and Nicole Smith.  Swing,you cats!