The 2012 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party opened — not with a bang but with a rag. This set, led by the elegantly risque Keith Nichols (piano, vocals, commentary) featured Emma Fisk (violin), Norman Field (reeds), Martin Wheatley (banjo/ guitar), and Frans Sjostrom (bass saxophone) in a program that roved about in the first thirty years of the last century.
The Classic Jazz Party is like no other — a living, energized jazz museum with plenty of room for blowing and smiles all around. Here’s the first cheerful offering of a long rollicking musical weekend.
Eubie Blake’s CHEVY CHASE:
MY LITTLE BIMBO DOWN ON THE BAMBOO ISLE (when being a Bimbo meant something pleasant — circa 1920. Lyrics by Grant Clarke, music by Walter Donaldson):
Then Keith and colleagues moved into territory so wonderfully explored by Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Dorsey, Adrian Rollini, and others, beginning with RAGGIN’ THE SCALE:
PARDON ME, PRETTY BABY:
THE WILD DOG:
A short commercial interlude: the 2012 Party was sold out — dramatically early. The 2013 Party (Friday November 1 – Sunday November 3, with a pre-party concert on October 31) has already begun to fill up. Click here for details. It promises to be thoroughly gratifying.
May your happiness increase.