Here are some wonderful highlights from my first concert of 2019, a showcase for several bands under the brightly colored banner of Noble + Wylie, a musician-run enterprise that fills a real need, representing splendid traditional jazz performers, offering the best services to the artists and their audiences. The co-founders are musicians Emily Asher and Katie Lee, who know the business from many angles. You can read more about this promising company at the link above, but a few sentences from Emily give a taste of their forthright approach: “I see Noble + Wylie as an agency which elevates and celebrates excellence. By focusing on honesty and quality over chaos and hype, I look forward to fostering long-term positive relationships with diverse music venues, festivals, schools, and private clients in order to provide distinctive and creative music to audiences world-wide.”
(If you search for Noble & Wylie — connected by an ampersand — you’ll find only UK shoes, no music at all. Caveat emptor.)
At the January 9 showcase, we had the opportunity to hear three groups represented by Noble + Wylie: The Ladybugs, the New Wonders, and Emily Asher’s Garden Party — and I brought back some tasty video evidence. Here is the first set by the New Wonders, the remarkable band making the hot and sweet music of the Twenties alive again. For this occasion, they are Mike Davis, cornet; Josh Holcomb, trombone; Ricky Alexander, reeds; Dalton Ridenhour, piano; Peter Cho, banjo; Jay Rattman, bass sax; Jay Lepley, with incidental singing by members of the band. My videos came from an odd angle, but I hope all can be forgiven.
The New Wonders, photograph by Renée Toplansky.
Mike’s introductions are delightful history lessons in themselves, so you need no more from me.
RHYTHM KING, for Bix:
I’M MORE THAN SATISFIED, for the Chicago Loopers:
OSTRICH WALK, for Bix and Tram:
CLORINDA, for the Loopers:
This one’s a particular favorite of mine, Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s sweet ballad, LOVE WILL FIND A WAY, in the style of Bix and his Gang:
Finally, a romping CLARINET MARMALADE — hot and spreadable:
Once again, you can learn more about Noble + Wylie here. (The name that Asher and Lee have chosen for their enterprise is a fascinating story in itself.) And their Facebook page is here.
May your happiness increase!