Let us begin at the beginning: Earl Hines’ composition, called CAUTION BLUES, offered as a piano solo in 1928:
and the next evocation, a 1940 trio of Hines, Sidney Bechet, and Baby Dodds for Victor. Hines remembered Bechet as being “evil” that day yet repeating, “I want to play Hines’ tune,” which he did, by then titled BLUES IN THIRDS:
Both those performances — one for solo piano, the other for a trio — are full of variations: improvisations on the theme, variations in timbre and dynamics, and an impressive compositional variety. So, in its own way, is this magical performance from our century — November 7, 2015 — at the Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party held in Newcastle, England, not a month ago. The inspired participants are Thomas Winteler, clarinet / leader; Matthias Seuffert, clarinet; Keith Nichols, piano; Duke Heitger, trumpet; Jacob Ullberger, guitar; Phil Rutherford, brass bass; Nicholas Ball, spoons. Yes, spoons — and since Nick is a beautifully imaginative percussionist, hear the variety of sounds and effects he obtains from what we take for granted in the silverware drawer. Notice, please, how no one chorus is exactly like the one before or after it, and how this performance — without getting louder or faster — builds and ascends to something like true majesty:
A glorious performance — the sort of thing that has happened regularly at this party and its predecessors. And I guarantee it will happen again in 2016. Details to follow. And, this just in! The next Party will take place at the comfortable Village Hotel Newcastle, Friday, November 4 to Sunday the 6th.
May your happiness increase!