“You’ll find that happiness lies / right under your eyes,” say the lyrics for BACK IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD. I don’t have a backyard any more, but I stumbled across this performance — that made me happy in 2011 and continues to do so now — by accident. In the decade or so that I’ve had this blog, I’ve spent a good deal of energy with a video camera, recording live performances. Around six thousand of them are visible on YouTube now, and I get notified when viewers comment. Ungenerous comments from armchair critics make me fume, and if they insult “my” artists, I delete the comments. But someone saw this, felt about it as I do, and so it is Time To Share Some Joy.
This performance came from the 2011 Sweet and Hot Music Festival, held in Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend. I was fortunate to attend it in its last year, and it offered joyous music and very lovely people, not all of them musicians. (“Hello, Laurie Whitlock! Love from New York!”)
But the music was often stunningly pleasurable.
I think that I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS vied with GOODNIGHT, SWEETHEART to be the song played at the end of the evening. But Henderson recorded it as a hot dance number in 1925 (Louis on the verse) and it was picked up in the Swing Era by bands large and small — my favorite the Teddy Wilson Brunswick side.
But this 2011 live version is so dear: sweetly lyrical and rocking, balancing tenderness and Fifty-Second Street riffing. And it adds to my delight that the musicians in this video are very much alive and making music. Bless them. I single out Rebecca Kilgore as my ideal of lyrical heartfelt witty swing. Now and forever.
May your happiness increase!