FEATURING CRAIG VENTRESCO (June 2010)

Here are three wonderful performances recorded on June 6, 2010, by Tom Warner at the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival, held in Columbia, Missouri.  The players are the brilliant guitarist Craig Ventresco (hear his notes ring!) supported and encouraged by guitarist Johnnie Harper and bassist Svein Aarbostad. 

They begin with a song I first took seriously when I heard Mildred Bailey sing it (backed by Roy Eldridge, Teddy Wilson, and a small band that drew on the voicings and subtlety of the Alec Wilder Octet) — I’M NOBODY’S BABY:

Craig’s dark blues with an even darker title: BLACK MOULD BLUES:

To close the set, this inspiring trio offered an early and somewhat obscure Jelly Roll Morton compositon, BIG FAT HAM:

These performances reminded me of what Jelly Roll said was essential to jazz: it should be “sweet, soft, plenty rhythm.”

4 responses to “FEATURING CRAIG VENTRESCO (June 2010)

  1. Their performances of various tunes during the Blind Boone Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival of 2010 were all quite delicious! I love all these guys and they are each spectacular musicians. Craig lives in San Francisco and has regular gigs there as a full time musician (hard to do these days), and Johnnie Harper as well as Svein Aarbostad are long time members of the renowned Ophelia Orchestra of Oslo Norway.
    Links to their websites shown below and thanks for posting these on your JAZZ LIVES blog!
    RagJazzMonkey Tom Warner
    http://www.YouTube.com/Tdub1941
    http://www.craigventresco.com
    http://www.opheliaragtime.com/Svein_Aarbostad.html
    http://www.opheliaragtime.com/Johnnie_Harper.html

  2. Thank you, Tom, as well, for being in the right place with your videocamera! We appreciate your generosity as well as the musicians’ creativity. Cheers, Michael

  3. John P. Cooper

    Exceptionally nice!

  4. Craig can do no wrong in my book. And Svein is still a monster! I first heard him in 1978; he sounds better than ever!

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