Daily Archives: January 17, 2012

DON’T MISS THIS: MARTY GROSZ and his FIGPICKERS, JANUARY 20, 2011, CHESTNUT HILL,PENNSYLVANIA

The night: Friday, January 20, 2011.

The place: The Mermaid Inn, 7673 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.

The time: 8:30 till midnight.

Join Marty Grosz and the Fig Pickers (Danny Tobias, cornet; Ed Wise, bass) for an evening of hot music, song, (and no doubt some hot air from Marty: witty asides, and inevitable monologue)

The price: $10 for consenting adults, half that for students.  (I’m quoting, here.  I don’t know what it costs if you are unwilling: you’ll have to work that out with the management or with the Fig Pickers themselves.)

I wish I could be there, but it’s beyond my reach, real or imagined.  And Jim Gicking (fellow guitarist and comrade-in-arms) tells me that the Mermaid Inn is a cozy place with space for forty people plus.  So get there early to be assured of a seat close to the repartee, the badinage, and the chamber swing.  Thanks to Barry Wahrhaftig of the Hot Club of Philadelphia, who has done much to make this wonderful event happen.

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APRIL 23, 1941 at CARNEGIE HALL: CAFE SOCIETY CONCERT (featuring the COUNT BASIE BAND, RED ALLEN’S BAND . . . )

Jam session ecstasies, anyone?  Thanks to jazz scholar Franz Hoffmann, who has just started sharing his incredible treasures on YouTube . . . here are three recordings from an incredible jam session that concluded a Carnegie Hall concert that utilized the talents of musicians playing and singing at Cafe Society.

First, DIGA DIGA DOO by Henry “Red” Allen’s band, with Red, trumpet; J.C. Higginbotham, trombone; Ed Hall, clarinet; Ken Kersey, piano; Billy Taylor, bass; Jimmy Hoskins, drums:

How about some BLUES?  And let’s add a few players: Red Allen, Buck Clayton, Charlie Shavers, Bunny Berigan, Henry Levine, Max Kaminsky, trumpet; Will Bradley, J.C. Higginbotham, trombone; Buster Bailey, Ed Hall, clarinet; Russell Procope, Tab Smith, alto sax; Don Byas, Buddy Tate, tenor sax; Eddie South, violin; Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Stan Facey, Ken Kersey, Count Basie, Calvin Jackson, Buck Washington, Billy Kyle, Art Tatum, piano; Freddie Green, Gene Fields, guitar; Walter Page, John Kirby, Billy Taylor, Doles Dickens, bass; Jo Jones, Specs Powell, Jimmy Hoskins, Ray McKinley, O´Neil Spencer, drums:

I didn’t have enough blues to satisfy me . . . so let the fellows play ONE O’CLOCK JUMP:

I first heard the latter two performances perhaps twenty-five years ago on cassette from another collector . . . they were perilously hush-hush and not to be distributed to others.  Now all can be revealed and shared, to our hearts’ content.  In the interests of accuracy, I have to point out that the visuals provided — the “silent”films — do not match up with the music, and in one case I believe altoist Tab Smith is soloing while tenorist Don Byas is onscreen.  But such things are infinitesmal when compared to the glory of the music . . . even when it seems as though everyone on stage is wailing away at once.

I wonder what treasures Professor Hoffmann has for us in the coming days!  (Even now, there’s the precious audio of Red, Clark Terry, and Ruby Braff playing LOVER, COME BACK TO ME for a Newport Trumpet Workshop . . . )