Originally I thought of calling this post COULDN’T BE BETTER, but I decided to be less emphatic. Still, I am a devout and devoted admirer of the Hot Jazz Trio, one of the few aggregations on this planet that not only lives up to their billing but usually transcends it.
Who are (or is?) the Hot Jazz Trio? The simple answer is Bent Persson, trumpet, cornet, mellophone, and even vocals; Frans Sjostrom, bass saxophone and masterful master of ceremonies; Jacob Ullberger, banjo, guitar, and more.
These three musicians are Swedish, but they don’t get together that frquently for gigs, because they don’t all live nearby. So what I have in my mind and ears is a wondrous CD on the Kenneth label, titled HOT JAZZ TRIO, their 2009 performance at Whitley Bay, and their briefer one this year. That’s not enough, but it will have to do for the moment.
The three videos below tell the story of a versatile jazz ensemble, who (collectively and singly) are able to get inside the skins of Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, the Ellington orchestra of the late Thirties and early Forties, Bix Beiderbecke and his Gang. They aren’t trying to “play old records live,” but they do bring those noble ghosts into the room and make them welcome.
Here’s their AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL, both energized and focused:
And in the name of good Middle East relations, they summon up not only an amusing period piece (LENA suggested EGYPTIAN ELLA and more) but also the ODJB and all that vaguely exotic splendor of the beginning of the last century — in LENA FROM PALESTEENA:
And, because everyone needs a little more disposable income, here’s BEAU KOO JACK — in honor of Louis, Earl, and Don Redman:
Live, lively, and more — the Hot Jazz Trio!