I have nothing against Thanksgiving as a holiday, and I have plenty to be thankful for. But I wish I’d been in San Diego over the Thanksgiving weekend in 1988 to hear this hot band . . . although they were captured on local television in a wonderfully varied half-hour. The band? Drummer Hal Smith’s Rhythmakers (named in honor of the 1932-33 sessions with Red Allen and Pee Wee Russell) featured the engaging hot cornetist and singer Chris Tyle, the tenor man Frank Powers, the wondrously brave clarinetist and singer Bobby Gordon, our hero Ray Skjelbred at the piano, solid bassist and guitarist Mike Duffy and Jack Meilahn. I believe that all but Frank Powers are still with us. And I’ve had the good fortune to hear Hal and Bobby in person, and look forward to hearing Chris, Ray, Mike, and Jack someday soon . . .
Here’s ONE HOUR — and you don’t have to wish for it in plaintive James P. Johnson style!
JELLY ROLL / HOME / MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS (vocal Mike Duffy):
MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS (concluded) / THIRTY-FIFTH AND SHIELDS / BIG BUTTER AND EGG MAN / THAT’S A PLENTY (in tribute to Joe Sullivan, by the rhythm section):
THAT’S A PLENTY (concluded) / MAHOGANY HALL STOMP / YOU CAN DEPEND ON ME (vocal by Bobby Gordon) / DIPPERMOUTH BLUES:
TWO DEUCES / I WOULD DO MOST ANYTHING FOR YOU:
The miracles of YouTube, not to be taken lightly.