Lester Young said that sweetness was at the core of his music. He would have loved the performance below: a sweet floating generous world shared with us in two minutes and twenty seconds.
The facts: this performance was the penultimate one in the long deliriously happy weekend that was Jazz at Chautauqua 2013. The marvelous players: Rebecca Kilgore, vocal; Dan Barrett, trombone; Rossano Sportiello, piano; Marty Grosz, guitar; Frank Tate, string bass; John Von Ohlen, drums. The song is from WONDERFUL TOWN — music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. And the two-part harmony is a loving tribute to the original idea of the song, sung by two homesick sisters. But enough facts!
I find that incredibly touching and heartfelt and expert and witty and deep. And when people say, “Michael, are you going to Jazz at Chautauqua again this year?” they will now understand better why I get this determined happy look on my face and say, “I wouldn’t — I couldn’t — miss it for the world.”
One more paragraph. I have been listening to jazz records since childhood, and to jazz in person since 1967. A long glorious span of time, you will agree. Records and cassettes and compact discs have the advantage of being tangible. You can always replay them until you wear them out. But live performance is more evanescent.
The best music — the most lasting music — will stay alive in my head as long as I am conscious.
This performance of OHIO is so dear, so memorable to me. I shall never forget it.
Blessings on everyone here. And to all my viewers. May you always have a wonderful town, a wonderful home to go to.
May your happiness increase!