Many jazz fans are seriously prone to excessive nostalgicizing (see E.A. Robinson’s “Minniver Cheevy”) and I wonder why this music that we love is such a stimulus. How many classical-music devotees dream, “I wish I were having dinner with the Esterhazys tonight so I could hear Joe Haydn’s new piece”? I am sure sports aficionados imagine themselves at the Polo Grounds or another fabled place for the moment when ____ hit his home run.
But in my experience, those who love jazz are always saying, wistfully, “I wish I could go back to hear the Goldkette band / Fifty-Second Street / Louis at the Vendome Theatre / the Fargo dance date / Bird and Diz at Billy Berg’s,” or a thousand other part-forlorn wishes. To be fair, I too would like to have been in the studio when COMES JAZZ was recorded, or the 1932 Bennie Moten session in Camden.
But sometimes such yearning for the past obscures the very much accessible glories of the present. (I see this in those fans so busy making love to their recordings that they never go to a club to hear live jazz, which is their loss.) Yes, many of our heroes will play or sing no more. But THE GOLDEN ERA IS NOW and it always has been NOW. And NOW turns into THEN right before our eyes, so get with it!
Here’s proof: more music from a life-enhancing evening at Cafe Bohemia, 15 Barrow Street, Greenwich Village, New York — November 21, 2019 — with Danny Tobias, trumpet; Dan Block, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Josh Dunn, guitar; Tal Ronen, string bass.
And now . . . .
BLUE ROOM (at a wonderful tempo, cool but lively):
MY HONEY’S LOVING ARMS (with the obligatory Irish-American reference):
MY MELANCHOLY BABY:
LULLABY OF THE LEAVES:
I WANT TO BE HAPPY:
I’VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO HER FACE, so very tender:
and finally, SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL:
I want to hear this band again — such peerless soloists and ensemble players — could that happen? I hope so.
May your happiness increase!