I don’t know what anyone believes about an afterlife . . . going all the way from angels with harps to reincarnation to a full stop in the void. But the voices and personalities and yes, souls, of people who have moved on vividly live on in our ears and eyes and recollections. And they can be asked to come back for a visit. When I hear a recording such as this one, it is as if I were much younger, astonished at Ruby or Vic standing and playing several feet from my completely delighted face — alive as they were in New York City on many bandstands.
This half-hour audio interlude comes from July 5, 1979, at the Grande Parade du Jazz: Ruby Braff, cornet; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Jimmie Rowles, piano; Slam Stewart, string bass; Alan Dawson, drums. They perform THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU / THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU / KEEPIN’ OUT OF MISCHIEF NOW / SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (Vic) / LADY BE GOOD (Slam, Rowles, Dawson) //
With no disrespect to Ruby, Slam, and Alan, I urge you to listen with reverent seriousness to Vic and Jimmie playing SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (Ruby’s choice, it seems, rather than one of Vic’s more usual ballad features). If you had told me in the past that I would live to hear them play this, I would have been speechless. As I am now, listening to it with awe. Curiously, my copy of this tape repeats SOMEONE (understandably!) and omits the closing performance of LINGER AWHILE. But life is full of mysteries, isn’t it?
May your happiness increase!