TIMELESS SWING ON CONTI STREET: LARRY SCALA / KRIS TOKARSKI TRIO featuring JAMES SINGLETON (January 12, 2017)

Larry Scala, January 2017, New Orleans. Courtesy of JAZZ LIVES.

Larry Scala, January 2017, New Orleans. Courtesy of JAZZ LIVES.

The title is all you need to know, or almost.  Jazz in New Orleans (or “New Orleans jazz”) is widely and wildly diversified, with many savory tastes . . . but what follows is some of the best, of a kind you don’t always  hear — smooth, lyrical, rocking small-band swing that draws from Fifties Basie as well as the great standards.  The heroes are the deeply melodic guitarist Larry Scala, his equally lyrical comrades, pianist Kris Tokarski and string bassist James Singleton.  These four performances come from a wonderful session held at The Bombay Club in the Prince Conti Hotel on Conti Street on January 12, 2017, underthe benevolent guidance of Mr. Scala.

First, a very rewarding warmup on I CAN’T GET STARTED — music for expandable duo.  I have a very sweet feeling about the music made before the gig officially starts, but very rarely is it as poised and satisfying as this:

SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN:

THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU:

And a Basie classic in miniature!  BLUES IN HOSS FLAT:

I celebrate the absence of cliche in people’s solos, the easy friendly interplay, and the irresistible rocking motion.  You’re free to say what and whom “it sounds like,” but often I was reminded of an imaginary Herb Ellis session — but it was taking place in front of my own two looking eyes, which is a great and remarkable thing.  Thank you, Messrs. Scala, Tokarski, and Singleton, for making an evening in New Orleans both subtle and completely memorable, with nary a parasol in sight.

May your happiness increase!

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11 responses to “TIMELESS SWING ON CONTI STREET: LARRY SCALA / KRIS TOKARSKI TRIO featuring JAMES SINGLETON (January 12, 2017)

  1. I’m fer it too!

  2. Great music!  Too bad the Bombay Club background noise makes listening to it such an effort.

  3. Here’s the secret, Paul. Raise the volume, pour a refreshing beverage, and go one room away. You are hence transported into a club — with no cover. Sitting right in front of the computer’s speakers can be harsh, and I don’t mean the music.

  4. Giants on their respective instruments!

  5. I bet that was a real swingin’ experience! Wish I could have been there. Larry has a lot of depth in his playing, and I’m sure his band was good.

  6. Nothing forced or showy about this! Just fine, able musos playing together as naturally as taking a walk! BTW nice audio with depth. Could be sitting in the front row! Thanks guys.

  7. to bad we have nothing like this in philadelphia.

  8. I was in New Orleans at the same time, but I chose a different venue that night. Thank you for showing me what I missed.

  9. Isn’t “Timeless swing” something of an oxymoron? 🙂

  10. Good, concise answer, Michael.

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