I’ll say it again:
The 2013 Cline Wine and Dixieland Festival was a glorious success: a lovely setting, jubilant music both hot and sweet, with sweet-natured people enjoying themselves everywhere. I will be offering videos from that delicious day — featuring Clint Baker, Leon Oakley, Bill Reinhart, Marty Eggers, Scott Anthony, Bob Schulz, Ray Skjelbred, Robert Young, the Ragtime Skedaddlers, and other noble souls.
I unpacked my camera and settled down for the first band — noting the increased heat in the room. No surprise, when you consider who was on the stand: Leon Oakley, cornet; Robert Young, saxophone / vocal; Marty Eggers, piano; Clint Baker, banjo / vocal; Bill Reinhart, tuba: the Black Diamond Blue Five. The original BDBF began in 1992 as the inspiration of banjoist George Knoblauch (he left us in March 2012) as a hot two-horn quintet that played the music of Clarence Williams and other small Twenties bands. (You’ll notice, in the videos below, that Clarence’s picture is on the binder that is the band’s book.) The 1992-2012 band featured the same personnel except that George played banjo and Clint played tuba.
Now, I can find something to admire in improvising ensembles of all sizes. The twenty men gathered on stage at the end of an Eddie Condon Blue Network broadcast, a solo pianist or guitarist — equally promising. But I might be guilty of jazz frugality: I especially admire those small ensembles that give good value for their money: three players (Bent Persson – Frans Sjostrom – Jacob Ullberger) or four (Ruby Braff – George Barnes – Wayne Wright – Michael Moore) seem taut, slim, energized versions of the ideal.
So does the BDBF. Evidence below!
Clint tells us, politely but emphatically, about his reluctance to share his JELLY ROLL with anyone. Understandable, no?:
Robert’s singing of SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE makes me imagine an alternate universe where Carmen Lombardo, Lillie Delk Christian, and Louis get together to share stories of being excluded from romance. And Leon’s cornet is right on the money — searing, in fact:
This version of MY GAL SAL reminds me of the Deccas by the Alabama Jug Band — 1934, and it is just as much fun:
WIPE IT OFF, even when the lyrics are somewhat obscure, not to say arcane, is always good advice:
What a wonderful hot band! I will have more to share from the BDBF, I promise you.
May your happiness increase!