JAZZ LIVES readers know Josh Duffee — or have been depriving themselves of a great pleasure if they don’t.
Here he is, bespectacled, serious, dapper, and swinging hard — off to the right behind a minimalist drum kit. (Who needs more?) I caught this at the 2010 Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival:
Now you can see this young fellow is a wonderful drummer: he’s in there, as they used to say. His friends are Andy Schumm, cornet; Paul Munnery, trombone; Norman Field (becoming Tesch, wonderfully), clarinet; Jeff Barnhart, piano; Jacob Ullberger, banjo; Frans Sjostrom, bass sax.
But Josh also shines when he’s not moving around or making one object come into contact with another, rhythmically. He is a great natural scholar of the music — without academic pretensions or hauteur — and one of his subjects is the masterful and under-celebrated Chauncey Morehouse, a thoughtful force of nature.
I saw Mr. Morehouse at either the 1974 or 1975 New York Jazz Repertory concert tributes to Bix . . . he wailed! I also tape-recorded the concert and know where the tapes are . . . but no longer have a reel-to-reel recorder. Any suggestions?
Here’s Chauncey, featured at his tuned N’Goma drums as a member of the 1938 Saturday Night Swing Club radio program. On film! With Leith Stevens directing the house band, Paul Douglas as master of ceremonies, and some people named Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, Georg Brunis, and Eddie Condon joining in for the closing “jam session” on THE DIPSY DOODLE:
So I will be at Rugers this coming Wednesday, March 23. You come, too! It’s free and worth the trip. And (just as an aside) I won’t be videotaping Josh’s two-hour presentation to put on JAZZ LIVES — for a variety of reasons, none of them ominous. So you should take the bus, the train, or even drive to Rutgers. My experiences with Josh — as a percussionist, thinker, and generous person — are all the evidence I need.
JOSH DUFFEE PRESENTS CHAUNCEY MOREHOUSE
Jazz Research Roundtable
The Institute of Jazz Studies
Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers – Newark
Since 1995, IJS has hosted its monthly Jazz Research Roundtable meetings, which have become a prestigious forum for scholars, musicians, and students engaged in all facets of jazz research. Noted authors, such as Gary Giddins, Stanley Crouch, and Richard Sudhalter have previewed their works, as have several filmmakers. Musicians who have shared their life stories include trumpeter Joe Wilder, pianist Richard Wyands, guitarists Remo Palmier and Lawrence Lucie, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, and drummer/jazz historian Kenny Washington.
All programs are free and open to the public, and take place Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the Dana Room, 4th floor, John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University, 185 University Ave., Newark, NJ. Refreshments will be served.
For further information, please call (973) 353-5595.
Financial support for the Roundtable is provided by the Rosalind & Alfred Berger Foundation.
Institute of Jazz Studies
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
John Cotton Dana Library
185 University Ave.
Newark NJ USA 07102
Tel: (973) 353-5595
Fax: (973) 353-5944
CLICK HERE TO GIVE BACK TO THE MUSICIANS IN THE VIDEOS (ALL MONEY COLLECTED GOES TO THEM):