One of the pleasures of growing older is the freedom to speak one’s own truth, and not be so worried whether others might agree.  So I will say plainly that the performance that follows is a masterpiece.


The performance of DEAR OLD SOUTHLAND (a reworking of the song DEEP RIVER) was the joyous work of Marc Caparone, cornet, and Ray Skjelbred, piano, at the San Diego Jazz Fest, on November 26, 2016.  Their inspiration was the 1930 recording by Louis Armstrong and Buck Washington.  And this performance follows the same overall pattern: a slow rubato exposition of the dark yearning melody, then an shift into swingtime, a piano solo, four four-bar exchanges, a return to the duet, then a close in the original tempo with a long triumphant held note.  But it is by no means a recreation of the recording, which to me is very moving, as if Marc and Ray chose to be themselves in their chosen roles, honoring the ancestral innovators while being personally innovative.

I urge JAZZ LIVES readers and viewers to take this performance to their hearts: it is music that uplifts even while its strains are dark and grieving.  Thank you, Marc and Ray.  And I look forward to more brilliance from these two artists.

May your happiness increase!

4 responses to ““DEAR OLD SOUTHLAND”: MARC CAPARONE and RAY SKJELBRED at SAN DIEGO (November 26, 2016)

  1. Its always a pleasure to listen to this-why not turn them on to Bob’s version with Wynton????Pug

  2. Don "Zoot"Conner

    Another great pairing i.e.,Ray and Marc.They get better everytime I see and see them.Marc had the limelight here and it was shining brightly.

  3. Wow! Beautiful, soulful performance. Sure does bring to mind Pops and Earl.

  4. Goldstein, Robert

    Mr. Steinman

    I’ve enjoyed JazzLives for a number of years and appreciate and enjoy the effort and obvious love that goes into the material you send out. It may be presumptuous of me, therefore, to suggest something you might want to include in your jazz treasures. Nevertheless, I wonder if you’ve had occasion to become familiar with the extraordinary music being produced by the students at the San Andreu music school in Barcelona Spain. Their small groups and big band performances are quite remarkable, with performances available on video via YouTube documenting the growth and progress of a number of quite talented students working under the direction of a Spanish musician named Joan Chamorro ( think that’s the spelling of his name). One young girl, and now a young lady, Andrea Motis, has become an outstanding performer with equal facility as a trumpeter, saxophonist and vocalist, and you can see her performing from the time she was quite young (6 or 7) to her now late teen years. I suspect that other enthusiasts of the jazz genre would enjoy being exposed to this source of delight. I’ve seen a video on YouTube of the jazz band that was produced showing the evolution and current level of the San Andreu music school ensembles that match anything I’ve seen in the US.

    If you look into this, I’d appreciate your comments on this musical phenomenon. It goes without saying that I have no commercial or personal connection to this group, other than being an enthusiastic audience for them.

    With increasing happiness,

    Robert H. Goldstein

    Rochester, New York



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