Yesterday, I wrote a very approving review of the new CD by the BABY SODA JAZZ BAND, which found them at Radegast in Brooklyn with a variety of players including Kevin V. Louis, Jared Engel, Kevin Dorn, Adrian Cunningham, Emily Asher, and Peter Ford — with guest appearances by Bria Skonberg, Will Anderson, Satoru Ohashi, and Ed Polcer. Here’s my blogpost. (In retrospect, I am sorry that I didn’t call it THAT’S SOME BABY, but it’s too late to change the title.)
Last Monday, October 15, it was raining vigorously in New York City, but I had found out that Baby Soda was going to be playing at the Highline — a combination difficult to resist. I packed my umbrella and appropriate shoes and headed west. Oh, I also brought my video camera, tripod, and trusty notebook. Thus, some fine new performances by Baby Soda . . . for your dining, dancing, and listening pleasure.
Peter Ford led the band from his one-string box bass (which he plays magnificently) and he sang with a sweet, focused surge; Gordon Au played soaring trumpet solos with every risk-taking note in place; Will Anderson built logical clarinet choruses, phrase upon sweet-toned phrase; Emily Asher held it all together with lovely terse trombone lines, then told us the truth when it was her time to solo or sing; Jared Engel kept the rhythm going on both plectrum banjo and lowboy cymbal . . . and the front line passed around one drumstick and a magic woodblock for spare but swinging rhythmic effects.
I don’t ordinarily post incomplete performances . . . but the second half of MUSKRAT RAMBLE was so satisfying that here it is:
As an acknowledgment of the general sogginess, Peter sang I GET THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS — an overstatement, for the band was making people very happy:
ONCE IN A WHILE is, of course, the Louis Hot Five romp:
WHEN YOU WORE A TULIP, mixing nostalgia, romance, and botany, provoked an almost-band vocal (a power-packed two minutes!):
I GOT A RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES might have been true, but the band seemed happy to play this melancholy Arlen song:
MILENBERG JOYS — at a brimming tempo, never too fast:
MARIE, warbled by the eminent Miss Asher:
THAT’S A-PLENTY for sure:
JUST A LITTLE WHILE TO STAY HERE, that jazz carpe diem, was not the end of the world:
WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS — with no need to grumble about this band:
I went off after this session feeling so elated — Gene Kelly with a knapsack full of heavy video gear, very happy. Baby Soda can do that to you! And these performances sound as good at the eighth or ninth playing as they do at the first. I guarantee this.
May your happiness increase.