Hot jazz sounds very good if you are crouched in front of the speaker of your Victrola; hearing it through earbuds connected to your iPod; having it come through the car speakers.
But best of all is sitting in front of the musicians themselves, and although some prefer the hard chairs, uneven food and drink of a nocturnal jazz club or bar, there is a good deal to be said for hearing hot jazz in the outdoors on a beautiful day.
The 2013 Cline Wine and Dixieland Jazz Festival neatly filled all those requirements, as this compact set by the Black Diamond Blue Five proves. The BDBF is or are Clint Baker, banjo, vocals; Robert Young, reeds, vocals; Leon Oakley, cornet; Marty Eggers, piano; Bill Reinhart, tuba.
You will notice who is on Leon’s binder of music: the very singular Clarence Williams, and his ebullient spirit illuminates the music of this set.
I don’t ordinarily post snippets of performances, but the Williams PAPA DE DA DA is a favorite of mine, and it would have pained me to leave it out (I was setting up my camera for the opening portion of this video):
BOTTOMLAND (which I assume is a reference to rich dark fertile soil, beloved of farmers, rather than an equally admirable posterior. Research?):
Our delight, doing things right, FOUR OR FIVE TIMES:
CUSHION FOOT STOMP:
NEW ORLEANS HOP SCOP BLUES — which always makes me think of Bessie Smith’s extraordinary recording. Slide, glide, prance, dance, take it easy!
CAKE WALKING BABIES FROM HOME — for Louis, Sidney, Alberta, and all the heroic illuminators:
Hot music in the open air — couldn’t be nicer.
May your happiness increase!