We didn’t dream it. It happened last Friday night at Cafe Borrone (1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, California) — exalted swing time-travels thanks to Leon Oakley, cornet; Robert Young, alto and soprano saxophone; Clint Baker, guitar; Tom Wilson, string bass; Bill Reinhart, banjo; Riley Baker, drums — a 1937 Fifty-Second Street group transplanted south and west. The evidence, please.
A good tune to jam on, and one Charlie Christian knew well, ROSE ROOM:
SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN was the first song played at Eddie Condon’s Third Street club, and the one Ed Polcer chose to close the midtown incarnation, forty years later:
Delighting in the sound of that floating rhythm, a nod to Count Basie and SWINGIN’ THE BLUES:
And a sweet homage to Mister Strong, the wellspring, with THAT’S MY HOME:
After a brief break for nourishment and friendly conversation, the band reassembled itself — with Clint shifting over to trombone and Sam Rocha joining on guitar.
Louis was still on everyone’s mind with BYE AND BYE:
Robert Young sang his own regional lyrics to AVALON:
Blues from that exalted meeting of Django and the Ellingtonians, SOLID OLD MAN:
More Louis (and why not?) with BIG BUTTER AND EGG MAN:
Memories of Wild Bill Davison, who loved to play BLUE AGAIN:
Care for some Hot Five? Not only ONCE IN A WHILE:
ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, with an unexpected reference to someone who is rich in music:
Magic. (To say nothing of the sweet-natured staff at Cafe Borrone, the good food and drinks — a wonderful experience and place.)
May your happiness increase!