NEVILLE is the splendid stride and swing pianist Neville Dickie.
HAL is the swinging drummer Hal Smith.
And TOM is Tom Warner — dedicated videographer who caught them at the 2009 West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, California. These clips originated on YouTube, where Tom’s channel is “Tdub1941,” a jazz and ragtime cornucopia.
The marvels of technology — and the marvels of Hot.
This duo’s interplay reminds me of James P. and Sidney Catlett, of Tut Soper and Baby Dodds, of Joe Sullivan and Zutty Singleton, of Jess Stacy and George Wettling, of Willie the Lion Smith and Jo Jones. In the ideal world, I’d want all the young pianists to study Neville’s left hand and the rollicking interplay between his treble and bass lines. I’d want all the young drummers who think that surrounding themselves with mountains of cymbals and tom-toms is the answer to observe the marvelously varied sounds Hal gets out of his snare, wire brushes, sticks, and cymbal. Less is indeed more!
Here’s STRUT MISS LIZZIE, a song I associate with late Bix and early Commodores:
IF I HAD YOU (with verse) becomes a gliding rhythm ballad with hints of eight-to-the-bar:
CANDY LIPS (whose subtitle is “I’m Stuck On You”) is from the Clarence Williams repertoire. Here, Hal switches to sticks:
Finally, here’s STREAMLINE TRAIN — an answer to our mass transit problems!
Thanks so much to the players — generous in their creativity and swing — and to Tom, for sharing these treasures with us. Rock that thing!