When listening to the Yerba Buena Stompers in person, I always admire their power — which isn’t a matter of volume but of strength. But they are also masters of delicacy, of precision. They know, and their knowledge comes through as joy rather than a lesson.
Here they are, performing a small concert at the 2013 Steamboat Stomp, Duke Heitger’s delightful idea-turned-into-reality: an autumnal festival of New Orleans-related music in New Orleans, much of it held on an actual steamboat (the Natchez) which lazily paddled its way up and down the Mississippi. This session took place at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel — on dry land, but no one objected — on October 12, 2013.
The classic YBS lineup was in full force: Leon Oakley, cornet; Duke Heitger, trumpet; Tom Bartlett, trombone; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Conal Fowkes, piano and vocal; John Gill, banjo and vocal; Clint Baker, tuba; Kevin Dorn, drums. And the YBS had a special eminent guest. You can’t always see him (he sat demurely behind Tom Bartlett, forming a two-banjo rhythm section) but you can feel him . . . the deeply-admired Vince Saunders,leader of the South Frisco Jazz Band for fifty years and counting. He even takes a heartfelt vocal on OLD FASHIONED LOVE.
STEAMBOAT STOMP (an apt opener for this weekend):
RIVERSIDE BLUES (from the Creole Jazz Band book):
WOLVERINE BLUES (for Mister Jelly):
SWEET MAMA RING-DING-DING (a showcase for our Man from the Islands, Conal Fowkes):
OLD-FASHIONED LOVE (featuring Vince, vocal):
THE OLD STACK O’LEE BLUES:
PINEAPPLE RAG (a rhythm section feature):
EDNA (from King Oliver’s Victor days):
I hope to see you at the 2014 Stomp . . . details to follow later in the year.
May your happiness increase!