Looking back on it, I believe my parents were over-cautious: the air was full of BE CAREFUL!  But perhaps they knew more than I gave them credit for at the time.

It is in their spirit that I post the following warning before my latest jazz videos, and I think you should take it very seriously:

The Reynolds Brothers could singe your fingers, your clothing, or anything else available.  They are dangerous!  I was driving home from work about ten days ago with one of their CDs in the player — it was on a seven-minute plus romp on HAPPY FEET featuring Scott Black, Dan Levinson, Allan Vache, and others — and I couldn’t help myself.  I am only glad that no police officer saw me joyously whacking my head into the headrest (what else is it there for?) on 2 and 4.  And then I played the track again.  Ecstatic jive!

By the Reynolds Brothers, I mean John (guitar, vocal, scat, whistling); Ralf (washboard, commentary, whistle-blowing); Marc Caparone (cornet); Katie Cavera (string bass); and special guest pianist Marc Allen Jones.  This set was recorded at Dixieland Monterey (the Jazz Bash by the Bay) on March 5. 2011.

Here we go!  And you can put the boys in white dinner jackets and bow ties, but you can’t stop them from swinging like mad.  How about a little FUTURISTIC JUNGLEISM to scare the next-door neighbors?

In the mood for something Asian?  Here’s CHINA BOY:

Be kind to all living creatures (say McKinney’s Cotton Pickers), so NEVER SWAT A FLY (and Ralf tells about Grandma ZaSu Pitts):

Something familiar — LADY BE GOOD in the key of love:

And Katie comes out to do her winsomely naughty-but-innocent DO SOMETHING.  (She’s happily married, though, fellows, so sit back down.):

I don’t know what the subconscious link between Katie’s song and the Boswell Sisters’ classic SENTIMENTAL GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA is, but if anyone could “do something” to relax those jangled nerves it would be this Southern swain:

Shelley Burns joins in for that sweet tune — Louis and Fats both loved it! — I’VE GOT MY FINGERS CROSSED:

In the name of geography, and for all the women named Merry in the audience, here’s CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS:

Homage to Jack Teagarden and Johnny Mercer, DR. HECKLE AND MR. JIBE (Mercer loved such wordpplay — a later song is DR. WATSON AND MR. HOLMES):

And, to finish, an ecstatic HAPPY FEET — which ours were!

Jazz ecstasy — or have I said that already?


  1. Great band, great tunes, great cheer. I forgot about the tune, “China Boy”, nice changes.

  2. Stompy Jones

    Great set! A little of this and some highly caffeinated coffee and I’m ready to face the day! (Ya think CHINA BOY and HAPPY FEET are energetic enough?)

  3. At one point in this set, I think, John turns to the rest of the band and says, deadpan, “Let’s do a happy tune. We’ve been doing real downers,” and I was trying not to burst into giggles behind my video camera. Yes, why not?

  4. I love your blogs and I especially love them when you wax enthusiasms over some of my all time faves… You have a wonderful turn of phrase that exactly fits around my feelings for the groups… Your take on the brothers Reynolds is a prime example. Thank you for loving the same peeps that I do and for introducing me to some new loves.

  5. P.S> Don’t you dig the white shoes with the evening attire?!

  6. I don’t have a posse, but if I did, the Reynolds Brothers, Marc and Dawn, Becky, Eddie, Dan, and Joel would be my prime West Coast peeps!

  7. There is a picture — a famous one — by Charles Peterson, circa 1936 — of a racially mixed group on Fifty-Second Street: Eddie Condon, Red Allen, Joe Marsala, Joe Bushkin (I am doing this from memory) where they are wearing white jackets and white shoes. I wouldn’t look nearly as good but OH am I envious!

  8. Leo Lipschitz


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