Here are four more performances from the Cangelosi Cards’ Feb. 27, 2010 evening at the Shambhala Meditation Center in New York.
Everyone knows or should know by now who the Cards are, but if you’ve come late to this particular version of swing enlightenment, they are Tamar Korn, vocals; Jake Sanders, banjo; Dennis Lichtman, clarinet and electric mandolin; Marcus Milius, harmonica; Gordon Au, trumpet; Debbie Kennedy, string bass. Thanks to Paul Wegener for booking the Cards at Shambhala for what I hope is a long series of memorable evenings.
I first saw the Cards perform amidst dancers, who reflected the music in their ecstatic, sometimes homegrown spins and dips. At the Shambhala, however, they turned the stage over to Andrew Nemr — someone I hadn’t known — a divinely inspired tap dancer who brought his own tiny wooden stage. Here’s Andrew working out on a Charles Mingus blues, MY JELLY ROLL SOUL:
And what could be more traditional than the Cards jamming on I GOT RHYTHM around Andrew:
Then, Tamar resumed her place onstage to sing YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY, complete with two sets of lyrics to the verse. There’s a subtext here: Tamar said, with a hint of wicked glee in her eye, that Jake always gets a little worried when she calls this song, wondering if Tamar means him in particular. Watch Tamar’s face when she gets to the title of the song: if that isn’t great comic acting, I don’t know:
Finally, a wistful but swinging reading of Walter Donaldson’s paean to domestic bliss and home ownership — MY BLUE HEAVEN. I know this was one of the songs the Cards performed when I first saw them, and I delight in their reading, including the verse: