Daily Archives: April 22, 2016

BILLIE, FATS, AND OTHER IMPROVISERS on eBay

Another small yet momentous eBay surprise: this seller has a mere five items to sell.  Two are intensely interesting to me, and I would assume, also to readers of this blog.

One, a young lady from Baltimore:

BILLIE autograph 4 16

Two, a born spreader of joy:

FATS autograph 4 16

I went to the seller’s site, expecting other marvels.  They are there, but not in the same realm.

Three, the comic film actor James Finlayson:

JAMES FINLAYSON

Four, Groucho’s memorable foil, Margaret Dumont (who, according to Groucho, was a peerless straight woman who had no sense of humor and would ask him, “Julie, why are they laughing?”:

MARGARET DUMONT

Five, a collection of signatures from the OUR GANG gang:

OUR GANG 4 16Jazz and comedy have this much in common: they rely on improvisation and when they work, they catch us by surprise and the surprise is integral to our delight.

May your happiness increase!

MORE HOT NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND: TERRY WALDO’S GOTHAM CITY BAND at FAT CAT (March 13, 2016)

Fat-CatBilliards, ping pong, and Terry Waldo’s Gotham City Band — on appropriate Sunday afternoons at Fat Cat.  On March 13, 2016, the downstairs revelers were Terry, piano; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Jim Fryer, trombone; Evan Arntzen, clarinet / soprano; John Gill, banjo; Brian Nalepka, string bass; Daniel Glass, drums, with a guest appearance by Eldar Tsalikov on the final three performances.  I posted the first half of this delightful session here.

Here are some highlights from the latter half of this hot session.

A song I associate with that hilly city: setting the cordial barroom atmosphere firmly in place, SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES.  Terry’s vocal is confidential, but that’s part of the theatre — one doesn’t shout one’s heartbreak across the room:

Something for Bix, RHYTHM KING, with an appearance by Doctor Kellso and his patented glass medical appliance (it saves lives):

EVERYBODY LOVES MY BABY (vocal by Terry):

Hot from the oven, I AIN’T  GONNA GIVE NOBODY NONE OF MY JELLY ROLL, sung with serious charm by Evan (and hear the delightful alto sax of sitter-in Eldar Tsalikov).  Magnificent playing on this one — the power of sugar and white flour, no doubt:

BEALE STREET BLUES, with Jim telling the story, vocally and instrumentally:

RUNNIN’ WILD (with choreography, too!):

For more of the same, be sure to check the schedule at Fat Cat — where there’s interesting jazz seven afternoons and evenings a week (and admission is unbelievably inexpensive): that’s 75 Christopher Street, right off Seventh Avenue South, and very close to the subway.

May your happiness increase!