For me, one great thrill is being there for the birth of a band, fierce and subtle. The Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet is just such a memorable band, co-led by Brian Holland, piano; Danny Coots, drums, with Steve Pikal, string bass; Marc Caparone, cornet and vocal; Evan Arntzen, clarinet, tenor saxophone, and vocal.
I didn’t get to see them at the Durango Ragtime Festival in 2017, but I delighted in Judy Muldawer’s YouTube videos. I followed them to Nashville that summer, and did the same for the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival just a few days ago. I’m still vibrating with happiness — not a new disorder I have to tell my neurologist about.
So, here is the band’s first set of that festival: outdoors, before noon, making remarkable music. You don’t need to know more.
MAPLE LEAF RAG:
YOU TELL ME YOUR DREAM (frankly, a highlight of my year: see if you agree):
KANSAS CITY STOMPS:
DOWN IN HONKY TONK TOWN:
I intentionally left out a few details when I wrote above, “You don’t need to know more.”
You just might. One is that the band’s debut CD, THIS IS SO NICE IT MUST BE ILLEGAL, a tribute to Fats Waller and his musical associations, has been pleasing listeners for some time now. You can get your copy here. And to experience this band in person — you can see the joyous energy they generate — come to the Evergreen Jazz Festival — which will happen in Colorado on July 27-28-29. I’ll be there, and there’s room for you as well.
In the interim, share this music with friends, with strangers you feel kindly to, relatives, concert and festival promoters . . . you can extend this list at your leisure. Brighten the corner, guided by these five most excellent sages.
May your happiness increase!