Here’s more rollicking joy from Dixieland Monterey (the Jazz Bash by the Bay) that I attended in March 2011.
(“Attended” isn’t really the right word — too formal — but I can’t find a really good way to say “floated.” I’m still floating, and if you wonder why you need only to sit down in front of the videos below.)
This was a session held at the Wharf Theatre. It wasn’t billed as FAMILY REUNION, but it might as well have been.
First, the Reynolds Brothers (and they are!): John Reynolds on National steel guitar, vocals, and sweet whistling, and brother Ralf on washboard, whistle, emotional uplift, and traffic control.
Then there’s the Caparone Family. Marc on cornet; his father Dave (the fellow over to the left of your screen, looking very serious, sounding like Benny Morton — in fact, sounding like Don Redman’s trombone section of 1932-3 with an occasional nod to Dicky Wells — a real prize!), and daughter-in-law Dawn Lambeth (vocals, piano, and cheer).
Observant eyes will catch that Dawn is about to become a Jazz Mommy (Marc had something to do with this, it was told to me) so there’s another generation of Caparone onstage. And baby does make three!
The sole non-relative was the sweetly leafy Katie Cavera (string bass and vocals) . . . but everyone who meets Katie adopts her within the first few minutes, so she’s not an outsider.
Free-range and locally sourced, too! She’s NOBODY’S SWEETHEART NOW (for the dancers):
Jazz scholars will note so many wonderful influences floating through these performance: Bing, the QHCF, Louis, Basie, Steve Brown, Red Allen, Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, Bobby Hackett, Lee Wiley, the Marx Brothers, Brunswick Records, the Washboard Rhythm Kings, Steve Washington, and more.
Time for something deeply satisfying in its sweetness: and watch everyone’s face as they feel the love on that stand, just as we do. What tenderness as Dawn, Dave, and Marc celebrate SUGAR!
Something exultant — from the man who wrote the brooding ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET — a song from A DAY AT THE RACES (originally sung by Ivie Anderson). How they rock it here! And at the end, Marc reminds us of a song from another 1937 movie. Hint: “Mister Gloom won’t be about / Music always knocks him out.” Here’s ALL GOD’S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM:
Dawn had a cold — a great problem for a singer! — but her natural swinging heart, her spirited earnestness comes through complete . . . and no one bends and slides into notes as she does. Here, MY BLUE HEAVEN, the perfectly appropriate song for the moment, with the verse. And Marc suggests what might have happened if Louis and the Mills Brothers had recorded this one for Decca, before Papa Dave and John show what they can do:
One of the great delights is being introduced to a “new” “old” song — from 1922 or 1923 . . . a song Vic Dickenson loved (although I never heard him play it), TUCK ME TO SLEEP IN MY OLD ‘TUCKY HOME. Isn’t it wonderful how lovely / hilariously comfortable Whislin’ John Reynolds is in front of an audience! He’s a thrill and a hoot all in one. And the brass section — worth another watching. Like father, like son. More below*:
Finally, something sweet and tenderly nostalgic — Dawn sings BLUE ROOM, which has very endearing lyrics (although the position the lovers find themselves in — an innocent one — might lead to neck pain, whether your head is wee or not):
“Every day’s a holiday” with a band like this, for sure!
While watching these videos, I keep thinking of Baby Lambeth-Caparone, who’s going to greet the new day at the end of March 2011. Someday that Baby is going to be able to see these clips and say, “There’s Mommy, and Daddy, and Grandpa, and I was there, too!” Yes, Baby — you were swinging with your families.
CLICK HERE TO GIVE BACK TO THE MUSICIANS IN THE VIDEOS (ALL MONEY COLLECTED GOES TO THEM):