My friend Sarah Spencer (tenor and soprano saxophone, clarinet, vocal) is an impeccable hybrid. London-born, New Orleans-sourced. Although her speaking voice and cadences are purest UK, her musical soul is situated somewhere on the Rue Conti. And, yes, she encountered Raymond Burke and Percy Humphrey and several dozen Masters, now-Ancestors in her musical and spiritual development.
On August 28, 2016, I had the very pleasant opportunity to hear and record Sarah and her Quartet (Jimmy Mazzy, banjo and vocal; Art Hovey, string bass and tuba; Bill Sinclair, piano and vocal) at the Jazz Masters Series at Sarah’s Wine Bar (an outgrowth of Bernard’s, a wonderful restaurant) in Ridgefield, Connecticut. (The Jazz Masters Series is held on the last Sunday of each month.)
Before we begin, here are two performances featuring Jimmy Mazzy from that evening. One is eloquently tender; the other ribald. You’ll be able to tell them apart.
And several emotionally energized highlights from the first set. (I’ve left the beginnings unedited, for the most part, so that you can see the endearing friendly exchanges among the quartet)
MY MEMPHIS BABY:
THE LAUGHING SAMBA:
WE’LL MEET AGAIN:
Part Two will be along anon.
May your happiness increase!