It was recorded on September 12, 2015, at the Allegheny Jazz Party — now the Cleveland Classic Jazz Party. (Prudent jazz types among us will want to know that this year’s party is happening from Sept. 15-18, 2016.)
I have a special fondness for small jazz groups that don’t follow anyone’s idea of “standard instrumentation,” which is often trumpet / trombone / clarinet / piano / string bass / drums — or other familiar permutations. This is one of the happiest examples of quiet unorthodoxy. I didn’t miss a trombone or a set of drums.
The warm videos that follow are thanks to Laura Wyman of Wyman Video. Together — sound and picture, invention and accuracy — they seem just perfect to me, and I hope to you, with some of the sweet joy and majesty I’d associate with a Ruby Braff group.
“Something’s happening every minute,” a friend said while observing this band in action, and that was both correct and an understatement.
Here are the three leisurely performances, full of individual glory and ensemble cooperation — swing synergy at its best. Instant classics, I think.
ON THE ALAMO:
WHO’S SORRY NOW?:
I attended this delightful jazz weekend (I’ve been a regular since September 2004) and those of you who have seen me from the back will notice that I am sitting center — or left of center, which suits me better. The back of my head gleams; the little rectangle of my camera’s viewfinder gleams even more.
Why, then, aren’t you watching my videos? Did an accident happen to my camera? Did it fall into the salad (as it once did) or did I drop it?
No, Laura’s videos are much better than mine — especially in the sound, which is what counts — so I present them with friendly pride and pleasure. (All of this has been verified through independent studies done at major universities.)
And I suggest to you that if you are in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area — or even if you aren’t — and you need first-rate videography, make a straight line to Wyman Video for truly superb work. She doesn’t limit herself to jazz concerts, but has done remarkable documenting dance recitals, family gatherings, and other happy occasions. I don’t think she does funerals, and she leaves divorce-case surveillance to others . . . but anything else you can think of she can accomplish.
And if it’s music you’r after, music that will remind you of life’s high-toned joys, I’ll see you at the Cleveland Classic Jazz Party where such marvels blossom as easily as inhaling and exhaling.
May your happiness increase!