I had a wonderful time at the San Diego Jazz Fest, but that is nothing new. Paul Daspit, like the jazz patriarch of a very widespread family, treats us to one savory dish after another. I resigned myself to hard choices but enjoyed all that I saw and heard, beginning with the Yerba Buena Stompers and their new sensation, Miss Ida Blue; the Fat Babies; Ray Skjelbred; Chris Dawson; Jonathan Doyle; Musician of the Year “Gentleman Jim” Buchmann; High Sierra; the New Orleans All Stars of Tim Laughlin and Connie Jones; Hal Smith, Beau Sample; Marc Caparone; Katie Cavera, and other notables.
The band co-led by Tim Laughlin (clarinet) and Connie Jones (cornet, vocal) continues to be very dear to me — swinging, heartfelt, always lyrical. They were joined by trombonist Doug Finke, pianist Chris Dawson, guitarist Katie Cavera, string bassist Marty Eggers, and drummer Hal Smith.
Here’s a James P. Johnson classic — which always sounds like a hymn to traditional monogamous devotion to me — OLD-FASHIONED LOVE:
These players know all one can know about sweet melodic improvisation over a gently infallible rhythm section: I hear Thirties Teddy Wilson small groups, the Vanguard sessions, a dream meeting of Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, and Count Basie. But it’s not a dream: it happened in front of our eyes and ears. That’s something to be truly thankful for!
I’m grateful to the musicians, to Paul, Myrna Beach Goodwin, Jim McNaughton, Gretchen Haugen, the volunteers, and the gracious people at the Town and Country — for helping us all have such an uplifting experience.
More joy and more videos to come.
May your happiness increase!