Daily Archives: September 24, 2010

PIANO FIREWORKS AT CHAUTAUQUA (from EHUD and ROSSANO)

It was Sunday afternoon and Jazz at Chautauqua had ended.  Guests had flown to their cars, hoping to get a head start on the long drive home.  The staff at the Athenaeum Hotel was putting the place back together, rolling tables back into storage, tidying up.  I was waiting with a group of musicians for the bus that would take us to Buffalo Airport. 

Suddenly I became aware of spirited piano playing.  That in itself wouldn’t have been exceptional, for the party featured Keith Ingham, John Sheridan, Mike Greensill, Ehud Asherie, and Rossano Sportiello.  But the playing was coming from the piano in the hotel parlor — a romping rendition of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM.  It sounded like Rossano.  But no, like Ehud.  I got up (drawn magnetically by spirited improvisation) and went to investigate. 

Just for fun, Ehud and Rossano were playing four hands (sometimes three), with magnificent results — not only in their own brilliant solos, but in their inspired teamwork.  Here’s the portion of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN that I captured for posterity:

If any of my readers have CD companies of their own, I suggest that this is the idea of the decade . . . . !

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MARTY GROSZ at CHAUTAUQUA: IMPROMPTU ENSEMBLES

Sometimes uplifting music happens in the most casual circumstances — as was the case at this year’s Chautauqua jazz party, which began with informal jam sessions on Thursday night.  Here are two more performances from a splendid little group, led by Marty Grosz and featuring Andy Schumm, Bob Reitmeier, John Sheridan, Frank Tate, and Pete Siers.

Here’s a pleasingly brisk run through I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME:

And a tune that musicians of a certain inclination love to play — perhaps because they spend so many hours on planes, away from their loved ones — BACK IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD:

Impromptu and rewarding both.

BOB BARNARD’S NEW YORK (Part Two)

Having warmed up his trumpet on Tuesday night (September 21) with the Nighthawks, Bob Barnard returned on Wednesday to sit in with David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band at Birdland. 

His credentials were (as Dizzy Gillespie would say) unimpeachable, because he was the only person in the room who’d actually played for Louis (as a member of Graeme Bell’s band). 

And, aside from George Avakian, who was seated nearby, delighting in it all, I think Bob could safely say that he was the only person in Manhattan who had seen Louis and the All-Stars on four tours of Australia. 

But Bob didn’t need to explain any of this to get up on the Birdland bandstand — the musicians in the LACB knew him well and were happy to have him join in: Jon-Erik Kellso, Wycliffe Gordon, Dan Block, Ehud Asherie, David Ostwald, and Dave Gibson.

And they performed three classics from the Armstrong book:

STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE:

SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY:

SWING THAT MUSIC:

More to come!