“Gang Busters!” says Joe Boughton, the commander-in-chief of Jazz at Chautauqua and many other jazz offerings. More about that quaint expression of praise at the end of this post.
The hot heroes are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Bob Havens, trombone; Bobby Gordon, clarinet; Rossano Sportiello, piano; Vince Giordano, string bass; Arnie Kinsella, drums, performing at the 2007 Jazz at Chautauqua weekend (September 14, 2007) at the informal Thursday-night jam session. The songs are ROSETTA / LOUISIANA / HINDUSTAN / WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS / MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS.
All of this was recorded illicitly: my digital recorder may have been in my jacket pocket or brazenly on the table. I didn’t yet have a video camera, but this is a precious souvenir of days gone by.
Happily, Jon-Erik, Rossano, and Vince are thriving and gigging worldwide.
GANG BUSTERS was a radio program that ran from 1936 to 1957, with film and comic book spinoffs. It had a very dramatic opening, which gave rise to the slang phrase “It came on like GANG BUSTERS” for something memorable, the very finest. Here is the program’s opening: imagine this roaring out of the Atwater-Kent in the living room:
Although this ad hoc group of jazz crime-fighters can be pensive and subdued when the song calls for it, they certainly do come on! (I define “jazz crime” as formulaic, dull, badly-played music. So there.)
Those of us who were part of Jazz at Chautauqua and its offspring have the finest memories of great music and happy encounters; if you were never there, this set will give you a small idea of the heights that were scaled. Bless Joe Boughton, the peerless musicians, and those who kept the enterprise afloat.
May your happiness increase!