ONE MORE FOR BIX: Bern, 1993

The “New York All-Stars” were Randy Sandke, cornet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Ken Peplowski, clarinet; Scott Robinson, C-melody and bass saxophones; Mark Shane, piano; Marty Grosz, guitar / vocal . . . and a bassist and drummer I don’t quite recognize: Gregor Beck and Dave Ratajczak?  Someone will enlighten me.  This concert from 1993 in Berne was televised, and “michaelsjazz” (that’s cornetist Michael Supnick) on YouTube has posted clear videos on YouTube.  Possibly familiar . . . but how young they all look, and how nicely they balance the Bix “originals” with their own inspired improvisations!

Let’s begin with a hot reading of MY PRETTY GIRL, which shows why the Jean Goldkette band scared its competitors (including the Henderson band) to bits:

Here’s SORRY:

And a fast RIVERBOAT SHUFFLE, which easily moves into Fifties Condon territory to good effect:

Ken Peplowski hates the obligatory comparison to Goodman, but here, he, Mark Shane and the rhythm tear through CHINA BOY in a way that does recall the great 1936 trio:

Since very little could be faster than that, here’s Mark Shane’s quietly respectful solo IN A MIST:

And a nice minor THERE AIN’T NO SWEET MAN THAT’S WORTH THE SALT OF MY TEARS, with Marty Grosz stepping in for young Mr. Crosby:

Something more positive in the name of Romance — Walter Donaldson’s jaunty BECAUSE MY BABY DON’T MEAN MAYBE NOW with neat interludes from Shane and Dan Barrett:

Dan Barrett goes beyond the superlatives, as far as I’m concerned: here he takes the pretty but little-played WAIT ‘TILL YOU SEE ‘MA CHERIE’ as his feature:

And a feature for Marty Grosz, whose mixture of Hot, sincerity, and mockery is irreplaceable — CHANGES:

Then, an instrumental version of CANDLELIGHTS (does this draw upon Joe Lippman’s arrangement for Bunny Berigan, I wonder?):

I’m not wild about the idea of running SINGIN’ THE BLUES and I’M COMIN’ VIRGINIA together, but perhaps that is the only way to handle two ground-breaking ballad masterpieces (and Randy’s playing of Bix’s solos is beyond compare — as is Marty’s Eddie Lang):

And FIDGETY FEET, paying homage to Bix and to the generations that came after, doing him honor on the bandstand and in the recording studios:


4 responses to “ONE MORE FOR BIX: Bern, 1993

  1. I will check the clips on a better quality screen later but Gregor Beck is a really good drummer from Germany who was on the tour I was on in 2008.
    Not only a good drummer but very friendly and joined in with us and liked to stay talking until late. He crops up on a number of Nagel Heyer discs – like people one suddenly ‘discovers’ he is on more discs than you would think.

    Will report back later

  2. Thanks Michael, I am a big fan of all these guys, but especially love Marty and his “Changes.” He is just so delightful.

  3. We await your analysis, Sir Robert!

  4. Analysis complete!

    The bass player is Linc Milliman and drums, Dave Ratajczak.

    My suspicions were that this was part of a tour of Germany in ’93 – possibly one of Mannie Selchow’s many great tours.

    There is a terrific Nagel Heyer CD ‘Randy Sandke meets Bix Beiderbecke’ # 3002 (actually a remastering of NH’s second ever issue ‘The Bix Beiderbecke Era’ #002) of the same group in Musikhalle, Hamburg May 1, 1993.

    I am now sure this is the case and there is another clip of ‘Because My Baby….’ on YouTube giving this line up.

    Linc Milliman is a Maynard Ferguson man and Dave Ratajczak plays with Mulligan, Herman Rosemary Clooney and Joe Williams.

    I actually bought both discs not knowing the second was a reissue but gave the original to my brother in law who heard a slightly different line up play Bix at Norwich Jazz Party under Randy Sandke (Randy is a great asset in any group)


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