Yes, the ceilings leaked at the Athenaeum Hotel in Chautauqua, New York, and every year there were new Rorschach-blot patterns (is that a bird, a monkey, or a shapely leg?) above me. The venerable elevator provoked anxiety. But inside this hotel, one September weekend, starting for me in 2004, some of the best music I’ve ever witnessed was created for us, thanks to a stunning assortment of musicians. Here’s a lovely interlude; watching it, I rub my eyes: did such things happen? Well, thank the Goddess for video evidence that I can share with you.
There will of course be debate over Jelly Roll Morton’s birthdate — September or October 20? — but there should be no debating the beauty of this performance, another treasure from the 2020 JAZZ LIVES Archaeological Dig. Here’s our Becky — Rebecca Kilgore — subtly embracing the song as only she can — with the noble help of Ricky Malachi, drums; Kerry Lewis, string bass; Howard Alden, guitar; Rossano Sportiello, piano; Scott Robinson, clarinet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Duke Heitger, trumpet.
Don’t want no regular!
Thanks not only to the musicians, but to the Emperor of it all, Joe Boughton, his family (hello to Sarah, Bill, and David!) and his friendly Chiefs of Staff and Official Diplomats, Nancy Hancock Griffith and Kathy Hancock. Moments like this vibrate in the memory.
May your happiness increase!