This post isn’t a nostalgic celebration of the Doublemint Twins and their chewing gum. I offer here two live performances of a wonderful song — a spiritual in swingtime, evoking Stuff Smith and Louis Armstrong at once.
This marvel took place at the Ivory Club Boys’ triumphant May 31, 2014, evening at Armando’s in Martinez, California. The ICB are devoted to evoking the Onyx Club Boys, violinist / singer / composer Leroy Hezekiah “Stuff” Smith’s hot little band — with Jonah Jones and Cozy Cole — from Fifty-Second Street in New York City (when that street featured music rather than high-rise apartment buildings).
The Boys (and a Girl) are Paul Mehling, guitar, vocal; Evan Price, violin; Marc Caparone, cornet (subbing for Clint Baker); Isabelle Fontaine, rhythm guitar, vocal; Sam Rocha, string bass, vocal.
Here is the “rehearsal take” of NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN — performed in an empty room for the soundcheck. A marvel, no arguments:
And Song Number Five of the actual Show. Another marvel, and comparisons are odious. The music isn’t:
The Ivory Club Boys will be performing at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, on August 19. Details here!
If you don’t like this — I mean these — in the words of Professor Harold Hill, you got trouble.
May your happiness increase!