“FROM Ab TO C”: RICO TOMASSO AND FRIENDS PLAY JOHN KIRBY at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith)

The John Kirby Sextet was distinguished by marvelous writing and beautiful playing — accuracy at high speeds with not a note wasted.  (And I wouldn’t be the first person to point out that the Sextet was clearly so influential in what came to be known as bebop in the early Forties — consider that tight unison playing.

But on-the-spot recreations have a force and beauty that didn’t always fit within the confines of a three-minute recording.  Here are four lively examples, recorded on Sunday, November 6, 2011, at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party.  The noble perpetrators are Rico, trumpet; Matthias Seuffert, Jean-Francois Bonnel, reeds; Paul Asaro, piano; Henry Lemaire, string bass; Richard Pite, drums.

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (Thorbye):

BLUE SKIES (Thorbye):

DAWN ON THE DESERT (Elin):

ROYAL GARDEN BLUES (Thorbye):

Only musicians operating at the highest level of precision and swing could play those charts so beautifully!  Thanks again to Elin Smith and Flemming Thorbye for steady camerawork and musical vigilance, and for their generosity in sharing their handiwork.

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