Random impressions of the first day at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party . . .
the wonderfully agile and focused violinist Emma Fisk filling in for Joe Venuti, who had other commitments;
Nick Ward, adjusting his gong for the best auditory efficiency, so that he could reach over and hit it (affectionately) at the proper moments — and his castanet work during a dark soulful reading of Jelly Roll Morton’s JUNGLE BLUES (led by Martin Litton);
Andy Schumm’s blue-blowing, luminous cornet, first-rate alto playing;
the same Andy leading a romping rendition of BEND DOWN, SISTER . . . I asked if he would consider a vocal rendition next year;
two magnificent trombonists, Kristoffer Kompen and Alistair Allan;
Bent Persson making Louis come alive on CAFE CAPERS and SPANISH SHAWL as well as HOT NOTES;
Cecile McLorin Salvant making her way sadly through I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL;
Spats Langham being both Bing Crosby and Eddie Lang on PLEASE;
Thomas Winteler throwing his head back slightly to show us how the soprano saxophone should sound;
Jean-Francois Bonnel and Rene Hagmann, giants roaming the earth, ennobling the air;
the quietly eloquent Michael McQuaid, making his alto sing;
Norman Field with a rack of reed instruments, making the twenties and Thirties come alive — “That’s Fud Livingston!” I heard someone near me say);
Duke Heitger, muted, playing a tender obbligato;
a hilariously incendiary rendition of HELLO, LOLA (with or without comma);
Keith Nichols being anecdotal from the piano bench;
Josh Duffee getting more music out of one cymbal than Zildian ever imagined;
and more, and more . . .
Beautiful natural sound provided by Chris and Veronica Perrin — I’d hire them for every jazz party!
The Classic Jazz Party will continue on in 2013.
May your happiness increase.