For me, the 2012 San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival — or whatever more informal name you might know it by, such as the San Diego Jazz Fest — started with a shuffle. A Shuffle is a good thing when it’s created by the Yerba Buena Stompers, a band full of power and delicacy, deeply rooted in the great New Orleans traditions.
The heroes onstage are John Gill, banjo and vocals; Leon Oakley and Duke Heitger, trumpets; Tom Bartlett, trombone; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Conal Fowkes (Grammy-winner!), piano; Clint Baker, tuba; Kevin Dorn, drums. (I have a special fondness for two-trumpet interplay: Leon and Duke light up the room.)
NEW ORLEANS SHUFFLE:
PUT ON YOUR OLD GREY BONNET:
PERDIDO STREET BLUES:
MINSTRELS OF ANNIE STREET:
It was a splendid way to start a most rewarding weekend — I look forward to spending Thanksgiving amidst jazz friends in San Diego this year! Paul Daspit certainly knows how to make us feel thankful.
May your happiness increase.
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Bliss!, Generosities, Hotter Than That, Ideal Places, Irreplaceable, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, That Was Fun!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Clint Baker, Conal Fowkes, Duke Heitger, Grammy, hot jazz, Jazz Lives, Kevin Dorn, King Oliver, Leon Oakley, Louis Armstrong, Lu Watters, Michael Steinman, New Orleans jazz, Orange Kellin, Paul Daspit, San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz, Tom Bartlett, Turk Murphy, Yerba Buena Stompers
Someone who attempts to sing in a language (s)he hasn’t grown up with is brave; someone who ventures into the well-established classics of “the great American songbook” — with all those monumental icons standing at the rear of the stage — must be even more courageous. Happily, the young Japanese singer Asako Takasaki is buoyed by the music and unfazed by what others might see as obstacles. All of this is evident on her debut CD, ALL OF ME. Here’s a video introduction to it, and to her — and to her colleagues, Michael Kanan (piano); Neal Miner (string bass); Michael Petrosino (drums):
Now, will Asako obliterate the memory of Frank, Billie, Peggy, Lena, Sarah, or two dozen others? Not yet. But she is well on her way to being a classic interpreter of these great human texts, and I applaud her efforts. Her voice gentle and unaffected, Asako easily seeks out the small dramas found in each song — tenderness, exultation, regret, wonder — and the songs are enriched rather than deformed: IT’S ALL RIGHT WITH ME / ALL OF ME / BLUE SKIES / A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE / COME RAIN OR COME SHINE / CRAZY HE CALLS ME / I CAN SING A RAINBOW / MEAN TO ME / NIGHT AND DAY / LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING – MIAGETE GORAN YORU NO HOSHI WO / THEM THERE EYES. On this CD, Asako has the wise subtle assistance of three of the best musicians playing — who motivate her as they direct and caress these songs.
She is worth more than a casual listen, and I predict great things for her — she respects the songs and understands their meanings, no small accomplishment. And bless her for having the courage to sound like herself, rather than attempting to ‘become” Billie or Frank in tribute to their memories: she sings the songs with light-hearted feeling, certainly commendable in itself.
May your happiness increase.