When it’s genuine, casual yet expert, you know it — no artifice laid on here to substitute for heartfelt swing and melodic improvisation. Yes, there are shadows of various Ancestors and Elders — name them at your leisure — but the music made by Kris Tokarski, piano; Tim Laughlin, clarinet; Hal Smith, drums, is fresh and soulful and eager. These three performances come from a blissful time in the Colorado mountains — more prosaic folks would call it the Evergreen Jazz Festival — and these were recorded at a local restaurant, The Fire Pit, on July 31. First, a lover’s astonished delight:
Variations on the same emotional theme, after a fashion (an earlier song):
and a delightful blues line — so simple, but so deep — honoring both its creator, Jimmie Noone, and a whole era of Chicago inventiveness:
I am posting these performances not only because I love them but I have the immense good fortune to be writing this from a very pleasant hotel room in New Orleans, where I am because of Duke Heitger’s wonderful Steamboat Stomp, going on tomorrow through Sunday. I’ll see and hear this trio there, and Kris has a new CD out, HOT CLASSICISM, which is an absolute delight — with Hal and Andy Schumm. (I will have more to say about that one soon.)
Even if you can’t get down to New Orleans right quick, you can certainly savor these Joys.
May your happiness increase!