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.
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):
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.