Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

FROM EAST TO WEST, EMILY ASHER BRINGS GOOD SOUNDS (Cafe Divine, February 17, 2014)

Trombonist, singer, composer, arranger Emily Asher is so blissfully bicoastal that she makes the rest of us seem as if we’re glued to our recliners.  She flies from Hither to Yon, whisking back and forth from Seattle to Brooklyn, making friends for the music wherever she goes, a marathon runner for good music.

Here’s a very recent sample, from an intriguing gig at Cafe Divine in San Francisco — which began as a duo of trombone (Emily) and accordion (Rob Reich) but expanded in the most graceful way.  The first Special Guest was string bassist Daniel Fabricant, who joined in for a romping ROYAL GARDEN BLUES:

Daniel had to go off to make a gig with Gaucho (those spreaders of joy) so Emily and Rob asked the sweet but pointed question, WHY DON’T YOU GO DOWN TO NEW ORLEANS?:

I think Frank Loesser’s imagined ship would be too sluggish for our Ms. Asher, but she likes the tune ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA:

BLUE SKIES featured an Impromptu but Expert Girl Trio — An Historic Moment — Emily, Meredith Axelrod, and Kally Price, with Rob and the esteemed Craig Ventresco, guitar:

Meredith showed us the way to MY BLUE HEAVEN:

Now, if you’re reading this on the East Coast and feeling deprived, there is Good News Tonight.  On Saturday, March 1, Emily Asher’s Endangered Species Trio (yes!) will begin New Brunswick Jazz Project’s Women in Jazz month.  They will play at the Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick, New Jersey, immediately following a viewing of the very fine film THE GIRLS IN THE BAND.

Details here and here.  The event begins at 6:30; the film screening will be from about 7:20-8:45, and the band will play from 9-11 PM: with Emily, the EST is Tom Abbott, bass saxophone; Rob Reich, accordion.  I’d be there if I could.

May your happiness increase!

“THIS HEAVEN-SENT FIGURE IN JAZZ”: THE UNION RHYTHM KINGS CELEBRATE BIX BEIDERBECKE at the WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Nov. 1, 2013)

Last November, we were fortunate indeed to hear and see the wonderful Norwegian – Swedish hot band, the Union Rhythm Kings, at the 2013 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party.

They are Frans Sjostrom, bass saxophone and master of ceremonies for this set; Bent Persson, cornet; Lars Frank, reeds; Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Morten Gunnar Larsen, piano; Jacob Ullberger, banjo; Josh Duffee, drums.

The music here was hot and sweet, but played with loving reverence for the young man from Davenport — described in my title by Frans’ most gentle phrase.

LOVE AFFAIRS:

THOU SWELL:

SUGAR:

I DIDN’T KNOW:

SKYLARK:

DUSKY STEVEDORE:

WA-DA-DA:

JUST AN HOUR OF LOVE WITH YOU:

SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL:

The Union Rhythm Kings will be a highlight of the 2014 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party — they will have their own session on Thursday night, which I am looking forward to.  Hearing them, you will properly understand the phrase, “Everybody’s doing it now,” I am sure.

May your happiness increase!