Daily Archives: November 9, 2009

“WE’RE ONLY HERE TO HAVE FUN”

I celebrate Flemming Thorbye again for sharing this clip from Danish television (October 2008).  In it, Joe Muranyi talks about Louis Armstrong and plays YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, warming up with the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys.  Joe’s candid recollections of Louis and WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD are priceless, as is the music.  If American television was like this, I would still have my set.

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DARK RAPTURE (AT THE EAR INN)

My title comes from a 1939 Count Basie Decca record featuring sweet Helen Humes, wondrous Lester Young, odd lyrics, and a difficult arrangement that Jo Jones said that gave the band trouble.  But this post is about the DARK RAPTURE found Sunday nights at the Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, 8-11 PM) when Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri (or their friends) co-lead The EarRegulars.  Last night was an extra-special quartet: Jon-Erik and Matt, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Neal Miner.  And the Ear is very dark, the jazz often rapturous.  Here are three performances by this intimate, intuitive group. each player visibly and audibly inspiring the others.   

After a trotting Buck Clayton blues, SWINGIN’ AT THE COPPER RAIL, Jon-Erik suggested a song by another trumpet player named Louis, SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY, at a bouncing tempo:

One of the great virtue of the EarRegulars is their broad and deep repertoire: they know many songs that aren’t SATIN DOLL.  Matt loves to play TISHOMINGO BLUES, and Jon-Erik likes LOUISIANA, AIN’T CHA GLAD? and HAPPY FEET — the latter associated with Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys, but recorded most memorably by the 1933 Fletcher Henderson band (the magical group with Henry “Red” Allen, Dicky Wells, Coleman Hawkins, Hilton Jefferson, and Walter Johnson).  It’s one of those songs that, played properly, rocks by itself.  (Incidentally, must I point out that it has nothing to do with a recent animated film about penguins?):

And the last few days in New York (or perhaps the Northeast) have been atypically warm and balmy — so Jon-Erik said, “We really have to play INDIAN SUMMER,” and they did, beautifully:

(I stopped recording at ten minutes — attempting to placate YouTube — so that viewers must imagine a few more notes of the coda.)

Such music makes the darkness shine!

“TINKLE TIME,” EXPLAINED

tinkelsong1009Readers may recall my post about this Harry Woods song — the sheet music a recent eBay purchase whose cover has Bobby Hackett looking solemn.  The music itself came today (the melody is truly dumb) and I now understand Hackett’s expression, the face of a man wishing to be far from this song. 

Maestro!  Let’s all sing!  

(Verse)

Look at me, look at you, Here we are, feeling fine, There’s no rhyme or reason to be this way.  There’s a place that I know, Where all happy people go, Wait’ll you hear them singing, You’ll laugh when you hear them say,

(Chorus)

All night long the glasses tinkle, While outside the raindrops sprinkle,

Do you think a little drink’ll do us any harm?

I love you and you love me, The world is flat and so are we,

So do you think a little drink’ll do us any harm?

In a corner just for two, a sparkling glass before us,

With a spoon we’ll play a tune then all join in the chorus,

All night long the glasses tinkle, While outside the raindrops sprinkle,

Do you think a little drink’ll do us any harm?

Now . . . rhyming “tinkle” and “drink’ll” isn’t Larry Hart.  I can find “The world is flat and so are we,” funny, but it takes effort. 

Here’s the COMPOSER’S NOTE, which takes up the inside front cover.  Crucial!

To get the most out of this song, it is important to obtain the “Tinkle” effect while performing or playing this number.  It will not only brighten the distinctiveness of the song but will also prove to be highly entertaining.  Place two glasses (or liquid receptacles) on the table a few inches apart.  Tap with a glass mixer (kinfe, fork, spoon or muddler) keeping time from one to the other — one tap for each note — keeping time with the music.  This gives the “Tinkle” effect.

Did the Hackett band take up their liquid receptacles and tinkle away?  The mind reels.  This goofy song makes an ounce more sense when you realize that it dates from 1931 — intended for people drunk on bootleg liquor.  But “Poor Bobby!” is what I think.