We could begin here:
But I’d rather begin with Flip and come back to that song. I would urge those unaware of the glory of Flip to visit here, with otherwise unknown and unrecorded hot jazz. And here’s Flip, in case you’ve never met the little friend:
But this post is really about two heroes. One is this deity:
another is this dear down-to-earth majestic presence (who would surely make a joke out of that appellation), James Dapogny:
And they come together in September 2008, at that wonderful weekend of music we were fortunate enough to call Jazz at Chautauqua. Absolute joy, brought to us by the Flip video camera. Marty Grosz, guitar, vocal, dangerous badinage, offers one section of his HORACE GERLACH TRIBUTE MELODY MEMORIAL with Jon-Erik Kellso, Duke Heitger, trumpet; Professor James Dapogny, piano; Vince Giordano, string bass; John Von Ohlen, drums. In the video, slow-moving cheerfully oblivious couples swim by. They know not what they do. But we do.
To me, this song and this performance are extremely touching because of their heartfelt Louisness — please understand that when I hear Louis singing and playing (let us say LA VIE EN ROSE over a restaurant’s sound system) my eyes fill up and I have to prevent myself from standing up with my hand over my heart. Because Joe Boughton would not — in 2008 — have allowed me to record this performance openly from a front-row seat, I chose to be near the piano and thus hear more of the Professor than I would have otherwise. What a blessing!
Writing this post and hearing this song, I think of Jim, of Louis, and all the people I love who have moved on. We can not meet again in the usual ways, and that is sorrowful. But through music, we are instantly able to meet in the most inspiring ways; we are in touch with each other as soon as I hear a note or think of some moments we shared. Perhaps you might, as I have done, watch and absorb this performance once for our own pleasure, then again in honor of those beloved individuals.
May your happiness increase!