It’s lovely to see and hear indebtedness, art, and gratitude all combined into a glowing musical gift. I’m not at all being hyperbolic, as you will understand.
But before I get wrapped up in the music, let me point out that this all happened yesterday, Saturday, March 24, at a place you should know about — the 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center at Ewing, New Jersey.
And what was “this”?
Now you know. But in all fairness to the graphic designer and the copywriter here, that advertisement might have made people who didn’t know Danny, George, Pat, Phil, or Joe leap to incorrect conclusions. “Pops to Bop” might have suggested a-history-of-jazz-trumpet, or an afternoon vacillating between WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD and DIZZY ATMOSPHERE. But these musicians meet on common ground; they love one another, and the music was so warmly played and presented that there was not even a thirty-second note of the formulaic here. It wasn’t a battle of genres: quite the contrary, if you squinted in just the right way through the stained glass windows, you could see Buck, Louis, Sweets, Basie, and Dizzy grinning like mad.
And although the brass instruments displayed and played here are often quite assertive, there was none of that signifying stuff, no “I can play higher, I can play louder,” so the sound was resonant, glowing, and in its own way serene, even at faster tempos.
Introducing the second song, HALF NELSON, Danny talks about how George was and is his inspiration, and even if he hadn’t explained that, we could hear it in the air.
Let me share the first four performances with you.
Danny’s original (in the spirit of the season to come) PASS OVER:
Following that thread, I’M CONFESSIN’:
HALF NELSON, credited (I think) to Miles, but who can tell?
And to close off this segment, George’s lovely reading of BODY AND SOUL:
It was a nearly six-hour round trip by car from my place to Ewing: I’d do it every weekend ti hear this band. Aren’t they wonderful? Savor this quartet of beauties: there are ten more to come.
May your happiness increase!