Jazz thrives on individuality. The Ancestors always emphasized that a musician’s sound had to be as personal as a voice, instantly recognizable. Ben Webster spent the early part of his career trying to sound like Coleman Hawkins — a necessary stage in the development — then he realized it was time to be Ben Webster.
Two staunch individualists, happily thriving and playing, are swing piano master / singer / composer Mike Lipskin and saxophone master (here on alto and soprano) Mike Hashim. And here are five beauties from their most recent New York City duo-recital, performed for an attentive international audience at Smalls on West Tenth Street in Greenwich Village.
I could have called this post THREE SLOW, TWO ROMPING, but you’ll discern such qualities for yourself as you watch and listen.
James P. Johnson’s wistful love poem, ONE HOUR:
Billy Strayhorn’s reverie, DAY DREAM:
I DON’T STAND A GHOST OF A CHANCE WITH YOU, that lovely ballad, has nearly vanished from the jazz repertoire. I’m glad that Mike and Mike have good memories:
For Bix and the Louisiana Sugar Babes, an affirmation, THOU SWELL:
And for Fats. The history’s inaccurate but the music is on course. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS:
Thank you, gentlemen! Come back soon.
May your happiness increase!