These two elevating performances come from a Dec. 18, 2011, concert by Ray Skjelbred’s First Thursday Jazz Band for the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society in Seattle, Washington. The band members are Ray Skjelbred (leader, piano), guest artist Chris Tyle (trumpet), Steve Wright (reeds), Mike Daugherty (drums), Dave Brown (bass), guest artist Jake Powell (guitar and banjo).
Echoes of Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey and a thousand other Twenties blues records, BARRELHOUSE BLUES. But this performance, although deep-down, has a sweet propulsive Thirties rock to it — imagine an Albert Ammons band circa 1936 allowed to go on for a good long time. Or one of those groups that we know Frank Melrose led in a smoky Chicago basement club:
And something equally gutty, NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE — a rocking jazz sermon by Pastor Skjelbred and friends:
I take my title from the notion that these two performances swing dangerously — not at high volume or excessive speed, but deep-down velocity. And since the Beloved and I are going to be on a plane in a few days, I was reminded of the flight attendant’s often-stated reminder that I should fasten my seat belt “low and tight around my hips.”
I wanted to call this post — in tribute to this Hot Music — LOW AND TIGHT AROUND THE HIPS — but thought it might seem distracting. You choose!