Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

ALBERT NICHOLAS / CHARLIE BEAL, 1966

Here’s a sprightly version of I FOUND A NEW BABY, recorded in Italy in 1966 — Albert Nicholas (clarinet), Charlie Beal (piano) and an unidentified but highly competent bassist and drummer.  Thanks to Michael Supnick (“Michaelsjazz” on YouTube) for sharing this with us — not only for Albert’s luscious, sweet-tart tone and Charlie Beal’s two-handed piano, but for the happy young audience behind them, having a good time!

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SURPRISED BY JAZZ (IN OAK CREEK CANYON)

The Beloved and I are taking a holiday in Sedona, Arizona, land of astonishing red rock formations and much more that we haven’t encountered yet.  On the road north through Oak Creek Canyon, we spotted a green-and-white sign for GARLAND’S INDIAN JEWELRY, and decided to pull over to take a look.

Garland’s is a beautiful store — more museum-quality silver than one can initially take in.  While the Beloved engaged a cheerful blonde woman in conversation about a particular purple stone from South Africa — a conversation that eventually managed to wend its way through the woman’s recently departed father-in-law, whose business it was (he had died recently at 92), the stress of being a war veteran, vegetarian and vegan diets . . . and more.

I confess I had been giving everything in the store, even the surprisingly deep conversation, only half of my attention — because they were playing my song.  And my songs.  From an Artie Shaw record to someone’s WOLVERINE BLUES to more Swing Era hits, I was pleased and surprised.  In a century where the background music, even in elaborately outfitted restaurants, strikes me as oppressively loud and aesthetically alien, this was a relief.  No, better.  It was balm. 

Cynically, I thought to myself, “Well, they want to attract the upscale market of people old enough to recall Artie Shaw — retirees with beau koo jack, sizable amounts of disposable income. 

But then the music shifted into the hard stuff: the Creole Jazz Band’s SNAKE RAG.  Billie, Lester, and Teddy in 1937.  Louis singing and playing ALL OF ME in 1931.  And my cynicism melted.  I apologized for intruding on the conversation to say, “Who chose the CD for this store?  That’s my music?”

The blonde woman — her name is Tricia Garland — smiled and said, “That’s Pandora, a free download channel: we set it to New Orleans Jazz.  Yes. today is Mardi Gras, but that’s not the reason.  We enjoy the music!” 

I told her a bit about this blog, and she said, “Jazz crosses all boundaries, doesn’t it?”

Truer words were never spoken.  Thanks to Tricia Garland for making sure that Hot jazz follows us wherever we go.  And it’s truly a lovely store: see for yourself at www.garlandsjewelry.com.  You can trust anyone who plays SNAKE RAG!

J.H. by J.H. (JAKE HANNA by JOHN HERR)

Atlanta Jazz Party 2005