Maybe I should visit Washington State this summer.
Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Vashon Island. I’ll have to give it some thought. I know the scenery is lovely, the marionberries peerless, and the few people I know who hail from that state are grand.
But what would draw me is the hot jazz happening on a regular basis, in a quartet led by pianist / singer / expedition-leader Ray Skjelbred, with cohorts Mike Daugherty, drums / vocal; Dave Brown, string bass / vocal; Steve Wright, trumpet, cornet, clarinet, alto, C-melody / vocal.
Readers of JAZZ LIVES know I am especially entranced by Ray’s work and have been for a long time. But you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself (if you’re new to them) with the very swinging, melodic work of Steve, Dave, and Mike.
Here these four delightful players are as “the Yeti Chasers” at the Royal Room on April 16 of this year:
TAKE ME BACK TO MY BOOTS AND SADDLE:
BLUE AND BROKEN-HEARTED:
Here’s the same band (from a different angle) on April 2 at the Bellingham Traditional Jazz Society:
WHAT’S THE REASON (I’M NOT PLEASIN’ YOU)?:
HUSTLIN’ AND BUSTLIN’ FOR BABY:
And a very tender SO SWEET, which I associate with the Sunshine Boys:
All of this hot goodness — organic, locally-sourced, cruelty-free, free-range, wild-caught — comes to us through the expert generosity of Steve Wright, who not only plays a half-dozen instruments and sings, but also knows how to video-record gigs like this.
What wonderful music from the Pacific Northwest, and how lucky are they to have it.
May your happiness increase!