Daily Archives: June 9, 2010


I was delighted with the May 2010 concert series that Peter and William Reardon Anderson did in celebration of the music of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw — a series that featured, among others, Jon-Erik Kellso, Ehud Asherie, and Kevin Dorn.  For those who couldn’t make it to East 59th Street in New York City, the boys have released a wonderful CD that contains the music they played on May 23, 2010, which would have been Shaw’s hundredth birthday.  What better way to celebrate?

Here are the details:

Anderson Twins Sextet celebrate Artie Shaw’s Centennial – CD- $15

Celebrating Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman
Recorded Live at 59E59 Theaters, NYC
May 23, 2010 (Artie Shaw’s 100th Birthday!)
All arrangements by Peter and Will Anderson

1. Avalon (A. Jolson)
2. What is This Thing Called Love (C. Porter)
3. Stardust (H. Carmichael)
4. Carioca (V. Youmans)
5. Moonglow (E. De Lange)
6. Stealin Apples (F. Waller)
7. Concerto for Clarinet (A. Shaw)
8. Frenesi (A. Dominguez)
9. China Boy (P. Boutelje)
10. Begine the Beguine (C. Porter)
11. Goodbye (G. Jenkins)
12. Shine (L. Brown)
13. Nightmare (A. Shaw)
14. Oh, Lady Be Good (Gerswhin)

Peter & Will Anderson (clarinets, saxes, flute)
Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet)
Ehud Asherie (piano)
Clovis Nicolas (bass)
Kevin Dorn (drums)

To buy this product please e-mail:


I’ve been ejoying this disc and can enthusiastically recommend is as a neat mixture of hot improvisation and big-band charts reimagined for a tidy, energetic sextet.  The jam session numbers bring together some of my favorite New York musicians — people I have been celebrating here as long as I’ve had this blog — and the arranged songs both summon up the big bands and (in subversive ways) actually improve on the original charts by presenting them as slim, streamlined versions of the recordings we cherish.


Luckily for us, Rae Ann Berry took her video equipment down to San Francisco’s Pier 23 to capture the esteemed pianist Ray Skjelbred on YouTube.  She downloaded seven solo pieces by Ray, which you may find on her “SFRaeAnn” channel.  Here are two that summon up the emotional depths that Ray is known for.  The first is a properly moody version of Ellington’s THE MOOCHE, steadily, darkly, moving:

But all is not ruminative minor musings, for Ray likes to romp.  His sound and attack are his own, although it wouldn’t take a great deal of close listening to hear a Joe Sullivan right-hand splash that lands with the force and accuracy of an Olympic gymnast, a Hines octave or tremolo, and Ray’s own variations on left-hand patterns.  Here his choice of repertoire is reminiscent of Fats, who recorded this pop hit in 1935: I’M LIVIN’ IN A GREAT BIG WAY:

I’m especially amused and pleased that at the end of this clip Ray leans forward into the camera to concisely explicate the lyrics for us.  How very gracious!