I couldn’t make it to this year’s Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party, but my place as videographer has been filed nobly by a number of people, which is reassuring. You can find their works on YouTube, but here is one performance so glorious that I wanted to share it with you. The video is the work of my comrade Chris Jonsson — he’s half of the friendly team of “Chris and Chris,” the other half being Anne-Christine Persson (both snappy dressers as well who make all the hot festivals). Chris Jonsson carries a video camera — low and unobtrusive — and has a YouTube channel called CANDCJ.
One of the highlights of the Party is the nightly jam sessions in the Victory Pub, where this year, they managed to get a small piano in, making the music even more true-to-life. Chris captured hours of the “formal” sets, but the five selections he recorded in the Pub seem — to me, at least — even more thrilling. Here’s ONCE IN A WHILE, the Hot Five classic, played with immense energy and joy by some people I admire greatly: Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Torstein Kubban, cornet; Lars Frank, reeds; Phil Rutherford, tuba; Jacob Ullberger, banjo; Morten Gunnar Larsen, piano. And how fiercely they swing!
Thanks to five musicians and one gifted archivist. And to Louis, of course. An aside: proven morale-boosters and mood-enhancers (pick your jargon) for me are the company of people I love, caffeine, and anything associated with Louis. I hope you feel better, too.
And a postscript. This performance is hot enough to have ignited something, which reminded me that at the 2014 Party there was a fire in the Victory Pub, and we had to leave the hotel for a time. The music that resulted when we returned is one of my favorite memories: you can see it here.
May your happiness increase!