On my most recent visit to my electro-cardiologist (don’t worry, now) we were discussing nutrition, as we often do, and she said, kindly but vehemently, about olive oil, “You know, Mr. Steinman, fat fuels the brain!” Or at least that’s what I think she said. I preferred to hear it as “Fats fuels the brain!” which — as medical advice — is even more sound. And true for me.
The Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet has a special affinity for the music of Fats Waller — his own compositions as well as those he made his own. It’s not surprising: Mister Waller’s particular swing and playfulness fits well with this contemporary group’s joyous approach.
If the fellows above are not familiar to you, you’ve been missing out on quite a lot of good jive (do you know their debut CD, which is also a Fats mini-concert?): from left, Marc Caparone, cornet / vocal; Steve Pikal, string bass; Danny Coots, drums; Evan Arntzen, reeds / vocal; Brian Holland, piano.
One of the high points of my 2018 was the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival (May-June, Sedalia, Missouri) was an evening concert devoted to Fats’ music. I was there with my camera — wild electro-cardiologists couldn’t keep me away — and here is the first part of the HCJQ’s Fats set. Notice that they honor the original recordings but they don’t copy them.
WHOSE HONEY ARE YOU? (a song by Danny’s great-uncle, J. Fred Coots, in a performance that has everything — vocal effects front and back, Evan’s whimsical vocal, and a scorching stop-time chorus by Marc):
The 1929 MINOR DRAG (or is it HARLEM FUSS? You decide):
Two hot, one sweet: Evan’s crooning LET’S PRETEND THAT THERE’S A MOON:
Something from Marc Caparone, a most amenable sort: I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU:
More to come from this fine bunch of rascals. I’m following this band to the STOMPTIME cruise, my maiden voyage, so to speak, in spring 2019. Details here.
May your happiness increase!