James Dapogny of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is properly known as a pianist, arranger, bandleader, jazz scholar, culinary explorer, and wit, among other things.
But from the performance you are about to see, it’s clear that he is insufficiently recognized as a composer. FIREFLY is a haunting melody with harmonies that never seem formulaic. It seems new yet instantly familiar, going its own ways without being consciously and distractingly innovative. I think of a three-way conversation between Professor Dapogny, Brahms, and Alec Wilder — sweet lyricism that’s never sentimental and continues to swing in its own gentle fashion:
This performance comes from a magical concert of January 10, 2015, at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, blessedly captured by Laura Beth Wyman. The superb players are Mike Karoub, cello; Rod McDonald, guitar; Kurt Krahnke, string bass. For more from this concert, click here for uplifting performances of THAT OLD FEELING, RUSSIAN LULLABY, and MY DADDY ROCKS ME. And there is more to come.
May your happiness increase!