No submachine guns or taxi wars, simply hot jazz with deep soul. But the spirit is always moving, never restricted by time and space, so a Chicago circa 1928 resurfaced on the bandstand at the 2015 San Diego Jazz Fest whenever Ray Skjelbred and His Cubs took charge.
For this set, the Cubs (Ray, piano; Katie Cavera, guitar; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Kim Cusack, clarinet / vocal; Clint Baker, string bass) were joined by Marc Caparone, cornet, and Dawn Lambeth, vocals. Here are the two closing instrumentals of their performance: a 1927 pop classic with deep jazz roots, and a serious blues.
Painted lips! Painted eyes! Oh, goodness gracious — what a scandal:
And an intense, easy blues:
Dear viewers and listeners: it is easy to take this music for granted, to start the video while you go in the other room to make breakfast. And that’s no sin: this music was played for lovers, talkers, and drinkers in clubs (and continues to be). But the Cubs are that rare community, a BAND, where the members support each other and play off of each other, so these performances will repay your most loving close attention. Something’s always going on, and it’s always fulfilling. Bless them for the beauty they embody.
I’ll see you at the San Diego Jazz Fest.
May your happiness increase!