This is the third set of video performances celebrating the ongoing achievement of tenor saxophonist / composer Ted Brown — who turned eighty-five in December 2012. Here, Ted was the featured attraction with his friend, trumpeter / vocalist Bob Arthurs, at Somethin’ Jazz Club (212 East 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, New York City). Aiding and abetting most nobly were Barbara Merjan (drums); Joe Solomon (string bass); Jon Easton (piano).
The music made that night was “modern,” lyrical, swinging, and sweet — as if Lester Young and Harry “Sweets” Edison had taken their wisdom and delight in sound into this century. This isn’t to say that anyone on the stand was imitating the departed masters — but the living players honored the great tradition of melodic improvisations, lighter-than-air and memorable at the same time.
The evening began with a delightful exploration of YARDBIRD SUITE:
Ted’s SMOG EYES (a wry celebration of the hazards of Southern California in the Fifties):
A soulful LOVER MAN:
Bob is emerging as a singer as well as a singing trumpeter — hear him make his own path through FOOLIN’ MYSELF:
Lennie Tristano’s song and address, 317 EAST 32nd STREET:
A cheerful MY MELANCHOLY BABY, sung by Mr. Arthurs:
BODY AND SOUL — a feature for Ted, Joe, and Barbara:
Warne Marsh’s BACKGROUND MUSIC, with swing to the foreground:
May your happiness increase.