Monthly Archives: November 2013

WINGY and IVIE ASK THE SAME DEEP QUESTION, 1936

What a lovely song this is — by Benny Davis and J. Fred Coots in 1936.  I heard it first on record (the second version below) and then I was charmed by it in person when Marty Grosz sang and played it with Soprano Summit in 1976. Characteristically, Marty introduced it by saying it was written by a house detective in a famous St. Louis hotel.  (That version of the Summit had Bob Wilber, Kenny Davern, Marty, Mickey Golizio, and Cliff Leeman.  Yes indeed.)

Here’s Wingy Manone in an uncharacteristically serious, tender performance (even though the lyrics elude him about two-thirds through) both on trumpet and vocal.  The other philosophers are Joe Marsala, clarinet; Tom Mace, alto saxophone; Eddie Miller, tenor saxophone; Conrad Lanoue, piano; Carmen Mastren, guitar; Artie Shapiro, string bass; Sam Weiss, drums:

Then, the masterpiece: Ivie Anderson with the Duke, featuring Rex Stewart, Lawrence Brown, and Barney Bigard:

Wishing you love that is anything but puzzling.  You can have it as strange as you want it, but I hope it’s always rewarding.

Postscript: later versions of this song were recorded by two other fellows named Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.  Quality!  I know more than a few fine singers — at least — who would have a fine time with this song. Any takers?

May your happiness increase!

LEAVE YOUR TENT FLAP OPEN: THE SHEIK APPROACHES (October 10, 2013)

“At night, when you’re asleep, into your tent I’ll creep.”

Not me personally, but THE SHEIK OF ARABY.

page1-293px-Sheik_of_Araby.pdf

The SHEIK, a very vigorous fellow from 1921, made his appearance thanks to Duke Heitger and his Crescent City Joymakers, on October 10, 2013 at The Palm Court Jazz Cafe — 1204 Decatur Street — the night before the 2013 Steamboat Stomp began.

The beautiful hot band was and is Duke, trumpet; Otis Bazoon, reeds; David Boeddinghaus, piano; Richard Moten, string bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums, joined by Ray Heitger (Duke’s father), clarinet; Jon-Erik Kellso (Duke’s friend, comrade, and inspiration — in town from New York for a PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION show):

And how they played!  Admire, please, the sweetly intertwining horn lines of two soloists who are also great ensemble players, then consider the rest of the Gentlemen of the Ensemble.  I don’t know if they would (singly or collectively) creep into anyone’s tent, but you will have to negotiate such arrangements on your own.

And . . . live music is one of the many things I am thankful for this and every other day and night.  And the company of loving friends. And much more.  I wish that all of you have 365 1/4 days of Thanksgiving this year and every year.

May your happiness increase!

A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: THE SWINGING SWEDES IN CONCERT (KUSTBANDET, NOVEMBER 22, 2013)

Thanks to Claes Jansson, we have these performances by the hot, expert Swedish band KUSTBANDET — a band with fifty years of experience! — recorded in concert on November 22, 2013.

The members are Goran Eriksson, Jon “Jonte” Högman, and Klas Toresson, reeds; Jens “Jesse” Lindgren, trombone / vocal; Bent Persson, Fredrik Olsson, trumpet; Peter Lind, trumpet / vocal; Claes Göran Högman, piano; Hans Gustavsson, guitar / banjo; Bo Juhlin, tuba, string bass; Christer “Cacka” Ekhé, drums / vocal.

Onstage with OVER IN THE GLORYLAND into BIRMINGHAM BREAKDOWN:

More early Ellington with THE MOOCHE:

TISHOMINGO BLUES:

For Luis Russell, Red Allen, and the New Orleans boys in New York, SUGAR HILL FUNCTION:

Then, some Louis-inspired hot music:

AFTER YOU’VE GONE:

YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY (thanks, Peter!):

YOU RASCAL YOU (with mock-threats from Peter and Jesse, who mean no one any harm):

and swing for saxophones with LADY BE GOOD:

What a band!  (How do you say, “Romp it, boys!” in Swedish?  No matter.)

May your happiness increase!

SURPRISES FROM THE BURT GOLDBLATT COLLECTION: BILLIE, LESTER, JACK, KIRBY, LIPS and FRIENDS

The late Burt Goldblatt was multi-talented: graphic designer, artist, writer, photographer, and collector.  It is in the last two roles that I meet him most often on eBay, as his photographs are being auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Some of his photographs are familiar, because we have seen them on record jackets, in jazz books and magazines.  But surprises always await: here are several!

Billie, presumably in a theatre or concert hall, in front of a big band.  Where? When? With whom?

BURT GOLDBLATT Billie

Lester Young — a potpourri of photographs which seem to come from his 1957 Newport Jazz Festival appearance (with the Basie band) and a Verve record date with Roy Eldridge:

BURT GOLDBLATT PRES

Jack Teagarden with his reading glasses on:

BURT GOLDBLATT TEA

The John Kirby Sextet (possibly in the war years?) with Charlie Shavers, Billy Kyle, Buster Bailey.  The altoist might be George Johnson rather than Russell Procope, but Gary Foster tells me that the drummer is O’Neil Spencer:

BURT GOLDBLATT KIRBY SEXTET

And the real surprise (for me and perhaps everyone else): a candid photograph, dated 1927, with Hot Lips Page, Buster Smith, and Ted Manning — Kansas City jazz incarnate, even though the photograph was taken in Ardmore, Oklahoma:

$_3

and the back — which makes it, I believe, a photograph from Burt’s collection as opposed to one he took himself:

$_14(1) $_3

May your happiness increase!

BEFORE THE STOMP, THERE WAS GREAT MUSIC (Part Two): DUKE HEITGER and the CRESCENT CITY JOYMAKERS at THE PALM COURT JAZZ CAFE: OTIS BAZOON, DAVID BOEDDINGHAUS, RICHARD MOTEN, JEFF HAMILTON, RAY HEITGER (October 10, 2013)

Duke Heitger’s wonderful Steamboat Stomp in New Orleans — a jazz festival on the steamboat Natchez — started unofficially the night before, Thursday, October 10, 2013, with a sweetly evocative session at The Palm Court Jazz Cafe (1204 Decatur Street).  Duke’s colleagues were clarinetist / saxophonist Otis Bazoon, pianist David Boeddinghaus, string bassist Richard Moten, and drummer Jeff Hamilton.  Later, some friends and family arrived to have fun on the bandstand, too.  Here’s a second substantial portion of heartfelt jazz — good old good ones that will never grow old.  We like it, we like it:

I COVER THE WATERFRONT:

PANAMA:

STARDUST:

MAMA INEZ (add Ray Heitger, clarinet):

ST. JAMES INFIRMARY:

May your happiness increase!

HOME SWEET HOME

Home is where you are welcomed:

Home is where you know where everything is:

Home is where the people who love you live:

Home is where you can hear the music of Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Joe Thomas, Coleman Hawkins, Herman Chittison, George Wettling, Chick Webb.

It’s where your Beloved opens the door.  The address doesn’t matter.

Postscripts:

1) Ricky Riccardi’s lovely survey of THAT’S MY HOME from 1932 to 1961 here.

2) And a new discovery: Louis performing THAT’S MY HOME in Tokyo, 1963, here.

3) And a query.  I’ve never seen the original sheet music of THAT’S MY HOME.  Has anyone?  I did find out online that the opening line of the verse is “I’m a thousand miles away,” and that there was a 1961 sheet music edition with Acker Bilk on the cover.  But, beyond that?

May your happiness increase!

EDITH, SINCERELY

Edith, whatever else we might know about her, had excellent taste in singers, and she acquired autographed pictures of them — whether in person or by mail.

In both cases (courtesy of eBay) I believe the signatures are genuine.  I would vouch for Mildred’s because her calligraphy was distinctive, and Maxine’s elegant script was the same when she autographed a record for me in the very early Seventies.  It is possible that Mildred signed her name to dozens of photographs and then wrote in the recipient’s name — the ink is slightly different — but that was common practice, I think.

Mildred:

TO EDITH  MILDRED

Maxine:

TO EDITH   MAXINE

So, Edith, thank you for being such a diligent and discerning fan!

May your happiness increase!