There is a small-scale blizzard outside my window, with ten inches of snow predicted, so the need for something warming — hot stomping music — is intense, and medically necessary. Therefore I present some videos of one of my favorite bands, the Yerba Buena Stompers, as they rocked the room at the San Diego Jazz Fest, last November 25 and 26th.
The YBS is a working band, with a fairly consistent personnel for the last fifteen years, and their music shows it — the friendly comfort of an ensemble where everyone knows everyone else. I’ve seen and videoed them at a variety of festivals — most often, I think, at the San Diego Jazz Fest, which (coincidentally) is a place of friendly comfort and hot music. (I look forward to their return appearances!)
They are: John Gill, banjo / vocal; Leon Oakley, cornet; Duke Heitger, trumpet; Tom Bartlett, trombone / vocal; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Conal Fowkes, piano; Clint Baker, tuba; Kevin Dorn, drums. Although — on paper — they honor the music of Lu Watters and, by extension, Turk Murphy, their roots are deeper, going back to the hot Chicagoans, Freddie Keppard, Louis, Kid Ory, Joe Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, venerable pop tunes, and more. They honor the revered recordings, but their solos — hot and spicy — are their own. And they make the world a warmer place.
Honoring Doc Cooke and Keppard, HERE COMES THE HOT TAMALE MAN:
For Kid Ory and Louis, SAVOY BLUES:
Ostensibly for Scott Joplin, but I think of Paul Mares as well, MAPLE LEAF RAG:
Turk Murphy’s theme song, BAY CITY:
A new dance from the early Twenties, SHIM-ME -SHA -WABBLE:
The snow is abating somewhat. Thank you, Stompers! (And there will be more video from their time at the San Diego Jazz Fest.)
May your happiness increase!