I’ve told what I know of the story of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Choruses and Breaks several times on JAZZ LIVES — this is the most recent version (with music relevant to this posting). Bent Persson (cornet, trumpet, mellophone, occasional vocal, scholar) has spent nearly forty years making the notes on the pages come alive. It’s a noble effort, one that (for me) stands alongside the creative labor involved in a classical musician translating and transferring the markings on a score into audible beauty. Bent had some heroic colleagues with him on the stand at the 2012 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, and they made those little black notes ring and soar. The players are Rene Hagmann, Jean-Francois Bonnel, Thomas Winteler (reeds — with Rene occasionally picking up his cornet); Martin Seck, piano; Frans Sjostrom, bass saxophone; Jens Lindgren, trombone; Phil Rutherford, brass bass; Martin Wheatley, banjo / guitar; Josh Duffee, drums.
One of the great pleasures of this music — whether played live, as it is here, or on the superb recordings Bent and friends made for the Kenneth label — is the chance to hear “unknown” Louis solos from the prime Hot Seven period, bursting with energy and feeling, but also his work on songs he did not record.
Here are eight stellar examples of contemporary expertise, passionate idiomatic playing — music that reflects back on the Master, Mister Strong.
HOT NOTES (a quartet of Bent, Winteler, Wheatley, and Seck):
DEAD MAN BLUES:
Hotter than that for sure. And — just as an aside — I attended my first Whitley Bay jazz party in 2009 driven by the thought, “Bent Persson is going to be there. I have been listening to him on record since the mid-Seventies. I can’t stand the idea that I might die never having heard him live.” And there the story begins . . . . !
May your happiness increase.