Thanks to the Classic Jazz Concert Club of Sassenheim, we can immerse ourselves in wonderful music created by Thomas “Spats” Langham and Friends. I do not think of Mister Langham as a Lizard, although if he chose the alliterative title, I will bow low respectfully. Rather, I think of Mister Langham (vocal, banjo, guitar, repartee) as a Master of the Art — that wonderful art of surprising and reassuring us simultaneously, making us remember that joy is possible and Things aren’t So Bad. Here he is joined by string bassist Joep Lumeij (whom I know — through video and recordings), trumpeter and vocalist Enrico Tomasso, clarinetist / saxophonist Matthias Seuffert, and percussionist Nick Ward — all of them legendary regal figures, and I do not exaggerate. That we live in a time where such things are possible is uplifting.
TRAV’LIN’ ALL ALONE (with thoughts of Ethel Waters, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, and Billie Holiday):
SMOOTH SAILING (thanks to Henry “Red” Allen):
THE GYPSY (Spats and his Masters in full Thirties ballad mode — think Bill Kenny and Al Bowlly — with all deference to Louis and Bird. Pay special attention to the gorgeous Langham / Tomasso duet later in the performance):
SWANEE RIVER (which begins with a trumpet fanfare that I last heard in BACH GOES TO TOWN):
WAITING AT THE END OF THE ROAD (Mister Berlin, with echoes of Bing and the Whiteman Orchestra):
and finally, a bit of theatre — Spats’ divine reading of NIGHT OWL (beloved of Cliff Edwards) in the dark, with an explication of bass-drum heads:
I do not know if these performances happened in this order, so I hope I will be forgiven by archivists of all kinds. However, I thank the CJCC for putting on this concert and offering us videos, with rather pleasing multi-camera work and fine sound as well.
May your happiness increase!