ROMANTIC SWING: TIM LAUGHLIN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, CHRIS DAWSON, KATIE CAVERA, MARTY EGGERS, HAL SMITH (San Diego Jazz Fest, Nov. 30, 2014)

Here is an endearing  favorite — and a rare song, a beautiful “rhythm ballad” in the best style, a superb band, echoing Louis . . . I don’t want anything more than this.

The song,to give it its full title, is WAS I TO BLAME FOR FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU?  But — rather like WHAT CAN I SAY, DEAR, AFTER I SAY I’M SORRY — the title gets split in two.  When Louis recorded it in 1935, very early in his Decca contract, it was called FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU — and the composers are Victor Young, Newman or Neuman, and Gus Kahn. An online source says the song goes back to 1932, and “M. Neuman” is really a pseudonym for Chester Conn.  I leave such matters to better researchers, and say only that I’ve never seen a copy of the sheet music.  But my hypothesis is that if Louis was handed a song with this title, written by Victor Young and Gus Kahn, he would have been interested in it.  Or perhaps he heard it on the radio and his deep romanticism was stirred.  We don’t know, but his performance is inspiring.  (You can search it out on YouTube at your leisure, as well as a a later homage by Ruby Braff.)

But my delight is to offer you this twenty-first century version by some Masters of Romantic Swing, recorded on November 30, 2014, at the San Diego Jazz Fest — Tim Laughlin, clarinet; Connie Jones, cornet; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums:

I could write at length about the beauties of this performance, but I will point out only the deep love of melody, the subtle flow of the rhythm section, the individual sounds of each soloist, the use of space, the new melodies created. All delicate and purposeful at the same time.  Bless these artists.  They so generously bless us.

May your happiness increase!

5 responses to “ROMANTIC SWING: TIM LAUGHLIN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, CHRIS DAWSON, KATIE CAVERA, MARTY EGGERS, HAL SMITH (San Diego Jazz Fest, Nov. 30, 2014)

  1. You’re so right, Michael..These fabulous musicians do indeed bless us. Probably more than they even realize. What a wonderful piece of music, played to the tune of perfection. So grateful to see my favorite drummer up there! Thanks bunches, NM.

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  3. DDn "Zoot" Conner

    You’re right,Michael,the only other rendition of this tune was by Louis and it was marvelous.This group is very good,but Tim Laughlin carries this with good a tone as I’ve heard in a long time.

  4. I absolutely love this tune. There are so few recordings of it out there. Thankfully, Ruby Braff, Warren Vache, Jon-Erik Kellso and now Laughlin & Jones have done their best to right this wrong.

    Thanks for sharing, Michael!

  5. Michael,

    Was I to Blame….is a favorite of mine, but never found anyone who was interested in playing it in the Bay

    Area. Tim lays it down so very well and our man ,Connie, plays a very nice Bobby Hackett style ad lib on the full chorus.

    I’m sorry he has to sit down to play these days as I know it takes away from his diaphragm air support.

    He has a kind gentle style which I appreciate.

    Thanks, Leon.

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