If “Mister Mike” isn’t someone recognizable to you, would you kindly take a minute and read this? It would mean a great deal to many people, and (to paraphrase Dizzy Gillespie) “No him, no this.”
In a rollicking tribute to the under-acknowledged Halfway House Orchestra, a memorable amalgam of hot and sweet, Michael McQuaid leads his ebullient troops onwards at the 2012 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party (this session recorded on Oct. 28, 2012): Andy Schumm, cornet; Michael and Stephane Gillot, reeds; Martin Seck, piano; Spats Langham, banjo; Malcolm Sked, string bass / brass bass; Nick Ward, drums.
PUSSY CAT RAG (with Stephane acting the part of Leon Roppolo):
LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART:
SQUEEZE ME (with the authentically wrong verse):
NEW ORLEANS SHUFFLE:
IT BELONGS TO YOU:
I WANT SOMEBODY TO LOVE:
If you’ve wondered why people are so passionate about the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, this music should be convincing on its own. But please notice: the best international musicians diving deep into under-explored but rewarding songs and repertoire. Other festivals provide their own blend of pleasures, but Whitley Bay is and has been remarkable for just this . . . a vivid embodiment of Gavin Stevens’ words in a William Faulkner novel: “The past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.” Especially not when it sounds like this!
And, as always, tickets are on sale to the 2013 Party, that hot cornucopia, here.
May your happiness increase.