Thanks to the good offices of Rae Ann Berry and the NOJCNC (New Orleans Jazz Club of Northern California) http://www.nojcnc.org/ the Beloved and I wended our way yesterday afternoon — Sunday, January 15, 2011 — to CHAMPA, a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant in El Sobrante, California, to hear Ev Farey’s and Friends (an extra-special version of Bill Reinhart’s Port City Jazz Band).
The band featured Ev on cornet; Clint Baker on drums and vocals; Robert Young on piano and vocals; Bill Carter on clarinet; Steve Drivon on trombone (the esteemed Jim Klippert sat in on a few numbers, making a trombone section), Stewart Zank on banjo; Bill Reinhart on bass.
It was a good band. No surprise to me once I saw some of its members. Farey is a veteran who has a lovely middle-register sound and conception: his phrases build on one another and have surprises concealed in them. Bill Carter is a heroic voyager: an honor to meet him and Robert Young in person. And to watch and hear the energetic Mr. Klippert. The other fellows on the stand created ringing melodies and kept good elastic time.
As for multi-instrumentalist Baker, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to visit the Golden State without hearing Clint play live. If he’s not here, you just have to wait patiently until he returns.
Here are two selections — representative and groovy.
An exuberant WHEN MY DREAMBOAT COMES HOME with a vocal by the temporarily invisible Robert Young — my camera angle, not his insubstantiality, is at fault:
And a gutty CARELESS LOVE with a vocal by Clint Baker, who moans about what happened to him:
Learn more about the Port City Jazz Band (they have two CDs) here. And if you would like to see and hear more videos from that pleasant afternoon, do visit Rae Ann’s YouTube channel (“SFRaeAnn”); she was there with camera and tripod as well.