I tell the Youngbloods, “Yes! Go see Ray Skjelbred play piano and (once in a great while) sing. It is a magical experience.”
Here are two more beauties from his solo session at the San Diego Jazz Fest on November 27, 2015. Ray loves what we call the tradition — as distinguished from “OKOM,” a term I don’t use — by honoring the Ancestors while being himself all the time. And he continues to surprise and transform, skirting cliche always.
ROSETTA (for Earl Hines and Henri Woode) with a wondrous brooding beginning:
ELGIN BREAKDOWN (in honor of / in mourning for Cassino Simpson):
I hope to see you at the 2016 San Diego Jazz Fest, which will take place over the Thanksgiving weekend — November 23 through 27. Here’s another piece of the magic Ray (with friends Dawn Lambeth and Marc Caparone) created at that same festival:
May your happiness increase!