Part Two: THE CARDS OUTDO THEMSELVES (Feb. 27, 2010)

Blessings on their heads, one and all. That’s Tamar Korn, vocals, impromptu dancing, mouth trumpet, air violin, percussive effects; Jake Sanders, banjo; Debbie Kennedy, string bass; Marcus Milius, harmonica; Dennis Lichtman, clarinet, electric mandolin; Gordon Au, trumpet. 

I cherish them all: their passionate seriousness and rhythmic drive.  Jake’s intelligent, quiet way of shaping an ensemble rather than letting everyone take two choruses; his powerful but never noisy playing.  Debbie’s swinging pulse; her good cheer.  Marcus’s intent candor.  Dennis’s big tone and shapely phrases.  Gordon, quietly majestic, roaming around in what I think are the most beautiful registers of the trumpet.  

Tamar isn’t the only one singing in this band.   And look at what a good time they’re having! 

A thousand thanks to Paul Wegener for bringing the Cards to the Shambhala Meditation Center on 22nd Street, which will be hosting other swing dance groups in future — with the Cards scheduled for an August return (they’re the toast of Shanghai as I write this!).  That’s http://ny.shambhala.org/music.php.  The Shambhala Meditation Center Of New York is located at 118 West 22nd Street, 6th Floor, New York,  New York 10011.  Tel. 212-675-6544    Email: // info@shambhalanyc.org

Now, four more performances from February 27, presented with pleasure:

Here’s the very pretty and optimistic APRIL SHOWERS, a song that inspires Tamar to take chances (as she does beautifully in the last sixteen bars) and there’s a nice extended dialogue between Dennis and Gordon that is reminiscent in spirit of Jimmie Noone and Guy Kelly, circa 1935 Chicago:

I had never heard the verse to SUGAR BLUES.  Another thing to be thankful to the Cards for!  It’s always a good sign in a band when musicians are smiing at what their colleagues are playing, and joy is contagious here.  Perhaps emboldened by Gordon’s utterly perverse reference to “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” at the end of his first chorus, Tamar embarks on her own chorus of mouth trumpet, sounding like a particularly expressive Siamese cat:

What happens when the beat gets to you?  CRAZY RHYTHM, of course.  Honors here might go to Marcus and Jake, as well as the Korn Percussion Section.  But be patient: there’s a rocking out-chorus to come:

A jaunty reading of I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME, featuring an adventurous exploration by Gordon and Tamar and her Magic Violin (or the 101 Strings, made much more personal):

Delicious!  And there’s more . . .

3 responses to “Part Two: THE CARDS OUTDO THEMSELVES (Feb. 27, 2010)

  1. Pingback: Part Two: THE CARDS OUTDO THEMSELVES (Feb. 27, 2010)

  2. Hearing the Cards for the first time (wow-thank you) brought me back to Donna’s, a tiny place in the French Quarter where I heard Meshiya Lake and the Loose Marbles for the first time. They’re a wandering group of musicians and dancers, playing the streets, with vocalist Meshiya at the helm, followed that amazing night, by the likes of Tom McDermott on piano,and Evan Christopher
    For some marbles : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUeI4Q9ePEg&feature=fvst

  3. One marvelous little band! Ms. Korn- the Ace of Hearts. “Surrender” was a gem. What a voice and presence! I’ve been following them on your blog since when and they are always fresh and all sooo talented no matter who becomes a Card (or how the deck is shuffled?) Thank you!
    As for your health, Michael- Let’s call a heart a heart… take good care of that pump. Happy to learn that you are OK. Kindest regards. mb

    ps- Please tell me what type/name brand recorder you’re using. You were always a crackerjack A&R man… now video!

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