Daily Archives: January 8, 2012

“MR. JELLY LORD”: MATTHIAS SEUFFERT, KEITH NICHOLS, and NICK WARD at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to “JazzVideoMike”)

Poor Blanche DuBois always depended on the kindness of strangers; in the jazz community, the kind strangers become friends in a few hours.

I lamented the loss of a set devoted to Jelly Roll Morton’s clarinet trios, and starring Matthias (clarinet), Keith (piano), and Nick (drums) until I noticed someone named “JazzVideoMike” had posted the whole thing on YouTube.  I emailed him, and he most generously gave permission to repost it here.

“JVM” turns out to be Michael Stevens, a recently retired chartered accountant (CPA over here) who has been devoted to hot jazz for a long time — about fifty years it appears.  Although he’s been to New Orleans, you’ll find him most often at the Keswick, Bude, Whitley Bay, and Upton jazz festivals. You can see more of the results by clicking JazzVideoMike

but here is the Morton set, all twenty-nine minutes plus of it:

The songs are WOLVERINE BLUES / TURTLE TWIST / SMILIN’ THE BLUES AWAY / THE CRAVE / CHICAGO BREAKDOWN / MISTER JELLY LORD (sung by Keith) / SHREVEPORT STOMP.

Mastery (and generosity)!

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WE LOVED IT: JOSH DUFFEE HONORS McKINNEY’S COTTON PICKERS at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith)

On November 5, 2011, at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, percussionist and jazz scholar Josh Duffee brought together this all-star crew to make the music of McKinney’s Cotton Pickers come alive — and it certainly did.  The brass section was Andy Schumm, Bent Persson, and Rico Tomasso, trumpets; Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Jean-Francois Bonnel, Matthias Seuffert, Mauro Porro, reeds; Keith Nichols, piano; Martin Wheatley, banjo / guitar; Phil Rutherford, sousaphone.  I won’t annotate these performances except to say that any history of swinging jazz ensembles that omits McKinney’s Cotton Pickers is surely mistaken — for their overall balance between inspired solos and imaginative arrangements — and that Josh and his all-star gang do the MKCP proud.

PEGGY (Thorbye):

A PRECIOUS LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE (Elin):

WILL YOU, WON’T YOU BE MY BABY? (Thorbye):

JUST A SHADE CORN (Thorbye):

I’D LOVE IT (Thorbye):

CRYING AND SIGHING (Thorbye):

MILENBERG JOYS (Thorbye):

CHERRY (Elin):

I FOUND A NEW BABY (Elin):

Thanks, as always, to the generous Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith for these videos: see more at “elinshouse” and “thorbye” on YouTube! And we all hope this project gets the widest possible exposure — a great mixture of respect for the originals and enthusiastic twentieth-century playing.

HOWARD MIYATA AND HIS MAGIC HORN (Jan. 7, 2012)

When the eminent brass player, teacher, and historian Howard Miyata and his wife Susan (she plays the French horn among other instruments) came to visit us this afternoon in Sonoma, California, I didn’t expect that there would be an impromptu concert-demonstration . . .but I am so delighted to be proven wrong!

For those of you who don’t know Howard, he is famous for playing with many bands — beginning with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra and continuing up through the Zinfandel Stompers, the New Eldorado Stompers, Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band, and the High Sierra Jazz Band — which is where I first met him.  Howard studied at San Jose State University and directed bands for the Gilroy Unified School District. He also directs the Pacific Brass Band — one of only three authentic British style brass bands in California.  You might have encountered him on a JazzDagen cruise or at a jazz party; brass players will know him through his work as a tuba / trombone / euphonium artist and clinician for Kanstul (http://www.kanstul.com).  He is also a superb singer – vaudevillian (I’ve posted his performance of THE YAMA YAMA MAN here

and, more recently, A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON here.)

And before I had ever heard Mr. Miyata play, I had known of him as “Uncle How,” the man behind Gordon, Brandon, and Justin Au — and no doubt hundreds of grateful younger players.  (He is a superb teacher — but more about that in another post sometime.)  Most recently, I’ve posted videos of the Au Brothers Jazz Band with Uncle How, Katie Cavera, and Danny Coots in the rhythm section.

Howard had two horns in his car — a huge tuba and his Conn double-bell euphonium.  And when I said I had only heard of the latter horn in the lyrics to SEVENTY-SIX TROMBONES, he was more than happy to bring it in to show off how it sounded.  About ten seconds into his cheerful presentation, I asked him to hold everything, and I brought my video camera — thinking that this was too good not to share:

Even without a double-bell euphonium, Howard Miyata makes music wherever he goes.  We are very lucky to have him!

“LINCOLN GARDENS STOMP”: DOC and MIKE’S CREOLE JAZZ BAND at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to Thorbye Flemming and Elin Smith)

This session took us back to Chicago circa 1923, with New Orleans standing behind it all.  Four “good old good ones,” reminding us of King Joe Oliver, Little Louis, Johnny and Baby Dodds, and more — reinvigorated by Mike Durham, Michel “Doc” Bastide, cornets; David Sager, trombone; Norman Field, clarinet; Frans Sjostrom, bass sax; Jon Penn, piano; Jean-Pierre Dubois, banjo; Henry Lemaire, string bass: Nick Ward, drums

BUDDY’S HABIT (Thorbye) features a few of those famous two-cornet breaks, eloquent solos, driving drumming by Nick, and a truly rousing outchorus:

RIVERSIDE BLUES (Elin) defines, for me, the best kind of ensemble playing:

I think MABEL’S DREAM (Elin) is an irresistible multi-strain composition:

CAMP MEETING BLUES (Thorbye) has a melancholy grandeur, and it’s over too soon:

Thanks as always to Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith,”thorbye” and “elinshouse” on You Tube, respectively!  And there’s more to see at thorbye and elinshouse

And someone — if it hasn’t already been analyzed to death by now — might be able to explicate the “habit” and the “dream.”