Tag Archives: Connie Jones

“FEELING CONTRITE?”: TIM LAUGHLIN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, HAL SMITH, KATIE CAVERA, MARTY EGGERS, CHRIS DAWSON at SAN DIEGO (Nov. 28, 2014)

I have been thinking about the 2015 San Diego Jazz Fest — that cornucopia of musical pleasures — not only looking forward to the sounds and friends that await, but also because I decided to book my airline tickets today (rather than wait until holiday fares rise perilously).  The Fest will be held from November 25 through 29, and there is much more information to be found here — including who’s playing, what it costs . . . all the essentials.

One of the pleasures of 2014 and previous years was a glorious band led by clarinetist Tim Laughlin, featuring Connie Jones, cornet; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Marty Eggers, string bass; Katie Cavera, guitar; Hal Smith, drums.

Here they ask the poignant question — with a beautiful drum solo by Hal — WHO’S SORRY NOW?

You’ll only have reason to ask that question if you miss the San Diego Jazz Fest, the 36th.

May your happiness increase!

HERE’S THE BEAUTIFUL PART: CELEBRATING KING LOUIS (2013, 2014, 2015)

KING LOUIS

Take your pick.  Would you like to celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday as if it had been July 4, 1900 (what he and perhaps his mother believed it to be), July 4, 1901 (where Ricky Riccardi and I think the evidence points), or August 4, 1901 (what’s written in the baptismal record)?  I don’t think the debate is as important as the music.

KING LOUIS 2

And to show that LOUIS LIVES, I offer three examples of musicians evoking him with great warmth and success in this century.  Louis isn’t a historical figure; he animates our hearts today, and tomorrow, and . . .

KING LOUIS 3

Folks down there live a life of ease.  WHEN IT’S SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH (San Diego Jazz Fest, November 29, 2014: Connie Jones, cornet; Tim Laughlin, clarinet; Doug Finke, trombone; Jim Buchmann, Dave Bennett, clarinet; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, rhythm guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums):

Cold empty bed.  BLACK AND  BLUE (Fraunces Tavern, July 25, 2015: Mike Davis, cornet; Craig Ventresco, guitar; Rob Adkins, string bass):

Does he strut like a king?  HE’S A SON OF THE SOUTH (Jazz Bash by the Bay, March 2013: Marc Caparone, cornet and vocal; Clint Baker, clarinet; David Boeddinghaus, piano; John Reynolds, guitar; Katie Cavera, string bass; Ralf Reynolds, washboard):

KING LOUIS 4

Yes, Louis made the transition into spirit in 1971.  But his spirit is very much alive.

May your happiness increase!

MAMA, SHE JUST UP AND LEFT: TIM LAUGHLIN, JIM BUCHMANN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, CHRIS DAWSON, MARTY EGGERS, KATIE CAVERA, HAL SMITH (San Diego Jazz Fest, November 29, 2014)

The song?  Peter Bocage’s and Armand J. Piron’s MAMA’S GONE, GOODBYE. The band?  Tim Laughin’s New Orleans All-Stars: Tim, clarinet; Connie Jones, cornet; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, rhythm guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums; guest star Jim Buchmann, clarinet. Recorded on November 29, 2014, at the delicious San Diego Jazz Fest:

Swing lyricism at its finest, I think.

And the good news is that there is a 2015 San Diego Jazz Fest coming up this Thanksgiving weekend, November 25-19, 2015.  I know Thanksgiving seems so far away, but time rushes on.

Find out more here and here. I know that Ray Skjelbred, Marc Caparone, Katie Cavera, Dawn Lambeth, Clint Baker, the Yerba Buena Stompers, Carl Sonny Leyland, Nicki Parrott, Rossano Sportiello, Stephanie Trick, Paolo Alderighi, Miss Ida Blue, Molly Ryan, Dan Levinson, Jonathan Stout, Bob Schulz, Chloe Feoranzo, and many others will be making music there. I’ll be there. You should consider it!

May your happiness increase!

LOVE NOTES: TIM LAUGHLIN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, CHRIS DAWSON, MARTY EGGERS, HAL SMITH, KATIE CAVERA at the San Diego Jazz Fest (November 29, 2014)

Today I keep thinking of Tommy Wilhelm, the center of Saul Bellow’s inescapable novel SEIZE THE DAY.  Tommy not only endures failure; he seems drawn to it and perpetuates it.  Yet he is one of those rare beings — in fiction or in life — who seems on the edge of perceiving deep truths about himself. These perceptions do not give him the strength to steer clear of the next disaster, but in one of Tommy’s interior monologues, he thinks three strong words.  Never mind the past tense.

Recovery was possible.

Words to hold on to, even when what we define as “the world” can be terribly dark, and the people in it, on their own orbits, somewhat heedless.

Recovery was possible.

For me, recovery takes the form of love in the shape of music.  No line is drawn between the two expressions.  The floating sounds say to me, and I hope to you, “We send love.  Our notes are embraces.  Our vibrations say that no one is alone. Feel the hope we offer, that you can make a choice to turn towards beauty.  Our sounds may heal those who can hear.”

Living proof: Tim Laughlin, clarinet; Connie Jones, cornet; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Marty Eggers, string bass; Katie Cavera, guitar; Hal Smith, drums.  Recorded at the San Diego Jazz Fest on November 29, 2014.

IF YOU WERE THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD:

I thank these musicians for embodying such dear truths.

May your happiness increase!

FRENCH QUARTER WEST: TIM LAUGHLIN, CONNIE JONES, DOUG FINKE, CHRIS DAWSON, MARTY EGGERS, KATIE CAVERA, HAL SMITH at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (Nov. 29, 2014)

I was perusing Facebook today (face it, I’m hooked) and saw this entry from the splendid string bassist Ed Wise, which I reproduce in part:

Friday, April 10
French Quarter Festival
with Connie Jones’ Crescent City Jazz Band (Tim Laughlin, Bob Havens, Otis Bazoon, David Boeddinghaus, Bryan Barberot and, of course, yours truly.)
Jackson Square
11:00 a.m.

It was and is probably very ungenerous of me, but I got upset . . . for purely selfish reasons.  “How could that beautiful band be playing there without me?” I of course realized this both vain and silly: beautiful music goes on all the time, the swing tree falling in the forest without Michael to video it, but still I felt deprived.

And then I realized, and spoke to myself in the gentle interior monologue I try to cultivate: “Hey, you have many beautiful videos of Connie and Tim from the 2014 San Diego Jazz Fest.  Why not post one of them as your own French Quarter Fest?”

And here we are:

That’s Tim, clarinet; Connie, cornet; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, rhythm guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums. Glorious.

And don’t get upset that the song is called FAREWELL BLUES.  This music isn’t saying good-bye any time soon.

May your happiness increase!

 

HONORING “THE DEAR BOY”

Today, March 10, is the birthday of Bix Beiderbecke, someone I’ve admired since my childhood.  This composition, AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL, always makes me think of him.  Here’s a lovely hot version from Tim Laughlin and Connie Jones (clarinet and cornet, respectively) recorded at the 2014 San Diego Jazz Fest — with the noble assistance of Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums:

And “the dear boy” is what Louis called him, many years later.

May your happiness increase!

“IT’S WONDERFUL”: CONNIE JONES, TIM LAUGHLIN, CHRIS DAWSON, DOUG FINKE, KATIE CAVERA, MARTY EGGERS, HAL SMITH at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (November 28, 2014)

In my dictionary, “Connie Jones” and “it’s wonderful” are synonymous.  Please listen, watch, and admire:

I also like very much that the title of this song Stuff Smith, music; Mitchell Parish, lyrics) is precisely my reaction to it.

The warm delicacy of this performance, from first note to the coda, is superb.  The players, besides Connie, are leader Tim Laughlin, clarinet [who always creates a dear atmosphere where tender music is not only possible but inevitable]; Doug Finke, trombone; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums.

Thanks to the San Diego Jazz Fest for making such beautiful music available to us!  And thanks to Connie’s family in the audience — including that brand-new great-grandbaby — and Duke Heitger, who all act as smiling inspirations.

And for the scholars in the audience — this performance is of course an evocation (not a transcription) of the wonderful one created by Bobby Hackett and Jack Teagarden for the Capitol recording issued as JAZZ ULTIMATE.

It’s wonderful.

May your happiness increase!