The music that Louis Armstrong and colleagues made in 1928 Chicago remains vivid. But aside from WEST END BLUES and NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU (the latter a song Ruby Braff particularly liked) the repertoire hasn’t been explored all that much, perhaps because the Don Redman arrangements are complex.
BEAU KOO JACK was once a famous showpiece, a way to honor Louis: hear the 1929 Earl Hines band’s recording for Victor, with the trumpet section doing a splendid job of becoming the Master in triplicate:
Thus, the idea of Bent Persson and his noble colleagues playing this music in front of me at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party was something I looked forward to with great eagerness. And I was not disappointed. You won’t be either.
Bent’s Savoy Ballroom Five (but who’s counting?) are Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Michael McQuaid, Jean-Francois Bonnel, reeds; Martin Litton, piano; Spats Langham, banjo and guitar; Nick Ward, drums (including the delightfully idiomatic and rare “bockety-bock” cymbals in honor of Zutty Singleton); Rico Tomasso, vocal and trumpet.
FIREWORKS (aptly titled):
SKIP THE GUTTER:
KNEE DROPS (what are knee drops? A dance maneuver, something to eat, or an ailment?):
TWO DEUCES (celebrating the friendship of Louis and Earl, I assume):
NO, PAPA, NO (or simply NO), by Victoria Spivey:
NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU (Rico on trumpet for Bent):
ST. JAMES INFIRMARY (with an atmospheric vocal by Rico):
GRANDPA’S SPELLS (a duet for Bent and Martin Litton, with a solo taken from the Hot Chorus book):
SAVE IT, PRETTY MAMA (vocalizing by the romantic Mr. Tomassi):
BEAU KOO JACK (“lots of money,” you dig?):
Beaucoup jazz! And this one’s for Mister Mike. Visit here to find out more about the 2013 Party, where marvels like this blossom.
May your happiness increase.