Once, the Manhattan Ragtime Orchestra had a steady gig in New York City where they made wonderful music. The club is gone; the gig is gone. But the music remains.
Here is the first part of this glorious archaeological dig, with almost an hour of new / old 2006 music, and the stories underneath the surface.
Here’s the first video segment:
and the second:
That night the MRO — usually led by clarinetist Orange Kellin — was Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Brad Shigeta, trombone; Pete Martinez, clarinet; Matt Szemela, violin; Jesse Gelber, piano; John Gill, banjo, vocals; Conal Fowkes, string bass; Rob Garcia, drums, and the songs played are WHEN MY BABY SMILES AT ME (Gill does Ted Lewis) / RED PEPPER RAG / UNDER THE BAMBOO TREE (Gill) / RUBBER PLANT RAG arr. Pete / EGYPTIA / “OUR GANG” theme out:
And Part Four, THE RAGTIME DANCE / KROOKED BLUES / NEW ORLEANS WIGGLE / HIGH SOCIETY / SONG OF THE ISLANDS (out theme) //
Those were great times. And not simply because of any historical-nostalgic longings, but because of the wonderful music, played with inspiration rather than ironies. I am grateful to have been there, and even more grateful that I could bring a video camera and a tiny tripod . . . gifts from the past that gleam today.
After this post was published, a friend reminded me that the CD,
“MANHATTAN RAGTIME ORCHESTRA: AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL” (with its
wonderful 1898 photograph of Broadway at 28th Street in Manhattan!),
is still available from Stomp Off Records: PO Box 342, York, PA 17405.
May your happiness increase!