I offer here the final segment of a glorious evening that also happened to be Dan Block’s birthday. But rather than waiting for cake and gift cards, Dan bestowed presents on us.
The Mobius Travelers (my band name, not Dan’s) are Dan Block, clarinet and tenor; Godwin Louis, alto saxophone; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Jennifer Vincent, string bass; Alvester Garnett, drums, who convened for an ecstatic musical evening at Smalls (West Tenth Street, New York City) on February 3, 2017. The imaginative premise: revitalize obscure Swing Era compositions and arrangements by (among others) Mary Lou Williams, Benny Carter, Billy Moore, Fletcher Henderson, Edgar Sampson.
Here are the selections performed earlier in the evening, and some words in addition.
Now, the three closing performances — full of juice and surprises.
CANCER, from Mary Lou’s “ZODIAC SUITE”:
PUDDIN’ HEAD SERENADE, Mary Lou’s creation for the Andy Kirk band:
And to close, Benny Carter’s BLUES IN MY HEART, that segues into a let’s-celebrate-the-leader HAPPY BIRTHDAY, a riotous ending to a memorable evening.
May your happiness increase!