The gorgeous music below is sent out as a moral inducement, less of a rebuke, to the people who “don’t know how to Act Nice.”
The boss who raises his voice at a subordinate; the salesperson who tries to flatter us to make the sale; the insecure person who bullies; the driver who tailgates; the liar; the self-absorbed person too busy recounting their own exploits to ask how you might be or too busy to leave that smartphone alone . . . the list is, sadly, long, and there is no need to add to it here.
To these people I send Jonathan Doyle’s instructive but also healing gift of this performance — called DON’T BE THAT WAY — performed at the 2019 Redwood Coast Music Festival. The artful creators are Jonathan Doyle, tenor saxophone; Jacob Zimmerman, alto saxophone; Charlie Halloran, trombone; Kris Tokarski, piano; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Steve Pikal, string bass; Hal Smith, drums. This easy rocking performance (not too fast, thank you!) summons up Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton small-group recordings rather than the famous Benny Goodman one.
Incidentally, I don’t espouse Goodman-bashing, but the 1934 Webb recording of the song, an instrumental, has Edgar Sampson as composer; later, Mitchell Parish added lyrics; Benny added his name, as the sheet music bearing his image, twice, shows.
The Swingtet scales peaks without stressing itself or us. How splendidly they glide. Bless them! And bless Mark and Valerie Jansen for making this life-changing music happen at the Redwood Coast Music Festival, a sweet explosion of joys which will nuzzle our faces once again on May 7-10, 2020. For now:
So, please. Be any way that’s kind, easy, and compassionate. Be aware that we are all connected. Be candid, be loving. Be aware.
But DON’T BE THAT WAY.
May your happiness increase!