I’ve gotten into trouble for saying this, but I’m not always enthusiastic about note-for-note recreations of recordings. But what follows — music and dance from the Original Cornell Syncopators — has such energy, wit, and life force that I just might have to change my mind. The OCS, led by multi-instrumentalist and wizard Colin Hancock, is Noah Li, drums; Hannah Krall, clarinet; Amit Mizrahi, piano; Rishi Verma, trombone. Their director is Joe Salzano; their “coaches” are Dan Levinson, Hal Smith, and David Sager, so you know — even before you hear a note — that they’re all on the right path. And then there’s the splendidly mobile Crazeology Dance Troupe. I might have to visit Ithaca, New York.
Incidentally, the detailed and articulate description underneath the first video answers all the questions you had and some you didn’t know you did but are glad they are answered.
DARKTOWN STRUTTERS’ BALL is often approached far too quickly: this version is both percussive and lyrical:
BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA has been worn to a nub, but this version allows us to hear it again, afresh (with a few of the original chord changes, which now sound unusual):
Most of us hear OSTRICH WALK through Bix and his Gang: this is what Bix and friends heard:
You’d better dig this JASS BAND BALL is what I say:
How deliciously heretical this music must have sounded a century ago; how refreshing it sounds today. Thank you, Creative Youngbloods! (And the OCS have other projects in mind — I suggest you subscribe to the appropriate YouTube channel for hours of satisfying and thought-provoking music. You could dance to it, I’m told, as well.
May your happiness increase!