On the closing day of the 2011 Sweet and Hot Music Festival, the Reynolds Brothers (and friends) performed their ninth set — and it was as Hot and Ready as the previous eight. The Brothers are Ralf (washboard), John (guitar, vocal, whistling), with help from Marc Caparone (cornet), Katie Cavera (string bass), as well as Chloe Feoranzo (reeds), Corey Gemme (cornet, trombone), David Boeddinghaus (piano), Dawn Lambeth (vocal). It seemed, then and now, that the vibrations the Brothers launch into the universe are so strong and so sweet that everyone wants a chance to stand on the same stage and feel that energy.
But music speaks louder than words.
The session began with a not-too-fast SHINE, John singing the somewhat treacherous lyrics with great style after hot solos from the horns and a surging outchorus:
Keeping Mr. Strong in mind, Chloe suggested LAZY RIVER, and kicked it off at just the right easy tempo:
The extraordinary singer Dawn Lambeth kept the Louis-connection going with a sprightly JEEPERS CREEPERS, complete with the verse. Her phrasing is so subtle and so delicious. And “Ole!” sums it up for me, too:
Pianist David Boeddinghaus came on the stand (he sits in with the Brothers whenever he can) and Dawn — knowing that David is both sensitive and well-acquainted with a million songs, asked him if he’d follow her on WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR — a song that Dawn has been singing to young Master James Arden. Aren’t we lucky that she was able to let us in on this tender creation (with a lovely piano chorus and a courageous bridge). Dawn’s second chorus brings tears to my eyes, and I’m much older than James Arden, that lucky boy. (Incidentally, the Louis-connection is intact: check out DISNEY SONGS THE SATCHMO WAY, a late masterpiece):
From those holy moments, a U-turn. SING YOU SINNERS:
For his feature, Corey did beautiful things with a song about candor, I’M CONFESSIN’:
And the Brothers closed their set with a real rouser — their habit always, reminding us to have and cherish HAPPY FEET:
I will be seeing and exulting in the Reynolds Brothers at the 32nd Annual San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival (Nov. 23-27, 2011) — http://www.dixielandjazzfestival.org. — and I’d love to see you there!