Dave Stuckey (“Pappy” to his intimates) is a rewarding example of something the Ancients knew well . . . the Ancients being Louis Armstrong, Bob Wills, Wingy Manone, Fats Waller, and a hundred others: that good music is also by definition entertaining, that even people who had never heard of Clarence Williams or Hilton Jefferson should be patting their feet and grinning if the people onstage understand their purpose.
And he doesn’t only know that truth, he lives it — in his rocking rhythm, his congenial vocalizing, and the friendly environment he and the Hot House Gang bring to live in performance.
Here’s some delightful evidence from his second set at the Redwood Coast Music Festival, where his Gang was the very best. They were Marc Caparone, trumpet; Nate Ketner, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Katie Cavera, string bass; Josh Collazo, drums; Carl Sonny Leyland on a piano-shaped object — and guests Jonathan Doyle, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Dawn Lambeth, vocals.
Dave asks the musical (and non-musical) question, HOW COULD YOU?:
It’s true: THE MUSIC GOES ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND:
Sonny celebrates a Chicago shero, MY GAL SAL:
Dawn explores the night skies, with WHAT A LITTLE MOONLIGHT CAN DO:
Amanda is indecisive at a crucial juncture in her life: MANDY, MAKE UP YOUR MIND:
A banquet of joyous sounds. Dave and the Hot House Gang will also be appearing at the 2023 Redwood Coast Music Festival . . . a head-spinning all-you-can-experience weekend.
The video that follows comes from the closing set — very informal — of the 2022 Redwood Coast Music Festival in Eureka, California.
From the standpoint of cinematography, the odds are stacked against it. My wife and I were seated at the back of the room, with heads of the audience in the shot. Later there was irrelevant heedless chatter somewhere in the room. The lighting scheme was Day-Glo, or food coloring condemned by the FDA.
But the performance was by one of my favorite singers, Dawn Lambeth, singing POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS so tenderly. And she was beautifully accompanied by Jacob Zimmerman, alto saxophone; Brian Holland, keyboard; Steve Pikal, string bass; Danny Coots, drums. (That was four-fifths of the Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet for this occasion, with Dawn’s husband, trumpeter Marc Caparone, sitting this one out.) And even when the sight lines are part-obscured, the music reaches your ears with grace and certainty. (Thank you, Jimmy van Heusen; thank you, Johnny Burke.)
I carry a small notebook when video-recording such sessions and, when possible, write down titles and (not often) the word NO, which means the performance hit a roadblock, or several. But next to POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS, I wrote the highest accolade:
See if you don’t agree.
William Carlos Williams concluded a poem (“A Sort of A Song”) with “Saxifrage is my flower that splits / the rocks.” It came to mind because of this performance. Give beauty any space and it will powerfully break through obstacles to get right to those attuned to it.
Yesterday, I presented the first half of this joyful set:
Here are the remaining performances by Duke Robillard, guitar; Marc Caparone, trumpet; Charlie Halloran, trombone; Jacob Zimmerman, reeds; Dan Walton, keyboard; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Steve Pikal, string bass; Josh Collazo, drums; Dawn Lambeth, vocal.
I NEVER KNEW:
IF I HAD YOU:
ALL I DO IS DEAM OF YOU (vocal Dawn Lambeth):
And onwards to 2023:
You can hear Duke say, “You know you’re in the right place,” and Mister Robillard’s judgment is impeccable.
Lord Byron wrote, “… let joy be unconfin’d.” He didn’t make it to the 2022 Redwood Coast Music Festival in Eureka, California, but everyone on this set took his words to heart.
Duke Robillard brought his swinging bluesy self and his guitar for a set with trumpeter Marc Caparone’s Back O’Town All-Stars: Charlie Halloran, trombone; Jacob Zimmerman, reeds; Dan Walton, keyboard and vocal; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Steve Pikal, string bass; Josh Collazo, drums; Dawn Lambeth, vocal.
I could write this post in under ten words, like a telegram. GREAT MUSIC COMING. WE’LL BE THERE. SEE YOU TOO, but even my very hip audience might need some elaboration, so here goes.
The OAO and I will be going to the Jazz Bash by the Bay in Monterey, California. It’s held at the comfortable Portola Hotel and Convention Center, and the fun begins Thursday evening, March 2, and skitters to a stop on Sunday afternoon, March 5. It is one of the more convenient festivals I know, because all of the music is under one roof, so the most arduous walking one has to do is from one room to another, and when something nie is happening above, there’s an escalator. (Even youngbloods appreciate such conveniences.)
Here are some of the musicians who will be appearing, a list too long for me to pretend it will be complete: Brandon Au, Justin Au, Clint Baker, Anne Barnhart, Jeff Barnhart, Dan Barrett, Chris Calabrese, Marc Caparone, Katie Cavera, Josh Collazo, Danny Coots, Bob Draga, Chris Dawson, Marty Eggers, Eddie Erickson, Yve Evans, Corey Gemme, Paul Hagglund, Brian Holland, Marilyn Keller, Nate Ketner, Rebecca Kilgore, Dawn Lambeth, Carl Sonny Leyland, Howard Miyata, Don Neely, John Otto, Steve Pikal, Gareth Price, Tom Rigney, Sam Rocha, Andy Schumm, Hal Smith, Dave Stuckey, Stephanie Trick, Nathan Tokunaga, Jason Wanner, and a cast of hundreds.
Like most festivals, the opportunities for existential dilemmas abound, with sometimes eight events going on (separated at times by a half-hour start time) so there is too much going on to see and hear it all. To wit: the vertigo-inducing schedule. I suggest that one bring a highlighter or a set of Sharpies to delineate where one MUST be at any given time. Possibly people blessed with greater tech skills know how to do this on their new iPhone 206; perhaps someone will teach me.
I could go on about what a wonderful festival this is. How festivals, deprived of active support, dry up and fly away and are no more. But you know all this, or I hope you do. Rather, I’d present some delightful video evidence: I began coming to this festival in 2011, and I think I missed one year between then and 2020. So I will let the music, hot and sweet, do the explaining for me. I apologize to any musician who’s in a video who’s not at the Bash this year: I mean no offense, and hope to show off your glories to this audience.
LOVE POTION NUMBER NINE:
SOLID OLD MAN:
TUCK ME TO SLEEP IN MY OLD ‘TUCKY HOME:
THE YAMA YAMA MAN:
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS:
TENDER IS THE NIGHT / I GOT RHYTHM:
CHARLEY, MY BOY:
YOUNG AND HEALTHY:
To quote Mister Tea, “If that don’t get it, well, forget it for now.” See you there! And here‘s how to order, as they used to say.
Dawn Lambeth has been one of my favorite singers for more than fifteen years now. I’d never heard of her (such is the East Coast / West Coast divide in Jazz America) until I was asked to review her CD, MIDNIGHT BLUE, for the much-missed Mississippi Rag, and I was astonished. Her lovely voice, her warm phrasing, her love of the melody, her understanding of the lyrics — all splendidly touching. She swings; she embodies the great traditions but sounds like herself, understated and passionate at the same time.
And I could marvel at her work in a variety of contexts at the most recent Redwood Coast Music Festival. Here she is with Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang: Dave, guitar, vocals, and fun; Marc Caparone, cornet; Nate Ketner, Jonathan Doyle, reeds; Carl Sonny Leyland, piano; Katie Cavera, string bass; Josh Collazo, drums.
Many people feel that singing isn’t, after all, so difficult. You learn a song by listening to recordings, perhaps you ask friends who play what key you are singing in, you hope to remember the lyrics and to not hang on to the mike stand too ostentatiously, the pianist plays four bars, you open your mouth — and look, ma, I’m singing! Nice clothing, good hair — also essential.
But this art is so much more complex, and it rests on the dual mastery of the song (how to get from one note to another with grace and personality, and then, how to courageously improvise and land well) and the lyrics (what do those words actually mean? what’s “the story” here? where should I take a breath?) and the deeper understanding of the emotions a song is meant to stir. I could be very wrong here, but an eighteen-year old might not sing THANKS FOR THE MEMORY with the deep rueful sensitivity that the song requires, in the same way that same youthful striver might not deeply understand the feelings of a literary character.
And there’s an even more difficult art — drama without acting — or how to make a group of people in a large hall, through your voice and gesture sent through a microphone, feel the nuances that composer, lyricist, and singer must convey.
I write this perhaps discouraging prelude to simply say that Dawn Lambeth not only knows how to do these rare things, but she embodies the art of communicating information and feeling while the notes roll on. We know, in the song I am about to present here, the joy of past experience and the ruefulness that the experiences are past.
THESE FOOLISH THINGS, by Jack Strachey and Eric Maschwitz (and perhaps Harry Link), has been sung often since its emergence in 1935, and inexperienced singers can make the melody a series of predictable steps, the lyrics a shopping list of sentimental fragments of memory. It has been sung so often that in the wrong hands, its sharp edges have been blurred. But Dawn reaches into the song, without overacting, and offers us the novella of love unattained but recalled that it really is. Hear her poignant variations on “You conquered me!” and know what this rare art truly is.
So moving. Thank you so much, Dawn and friends, for these tender, candid moments.
. . . we’ll remember all winter long. No videos yet, just some words. Oh, and a portrait.
Thursday night, two sets in a row by Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang, which began with Dave (vocal, guitar, ebullience) and Marc Caparone, Nate Ketner, Carl Sonny Leyland, Katie Cavera, Josh Collazo — featuring memorable Thirties classics such as GOT A BRAN’ NEW SUIT — and then adding Jonathan Doyle for a set that offered a choral vocal on WHY DON’T YOU PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH? — a song whose rendition led many in the audience to closely consider their past hypocrisies.
Friday, after brief subversive explorations of Willard Robison and others by Jacob Zimmerman at the piano, we had Marc Caparone and his Back O’Town All-Stars, the band honoring Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars even though the sign said “Back O’Day.” They were Marc, Jacob, Charlie Halloran, Dan Walton, Jamey Cummins, Steve Pikal, and Josh, with vocals by Marc and Dawn. The set started explosively with MAHOGANY HALL STOMP and ended with STEAK FACE, and Eureka, California, will never be the same. But in a nice way. Or maybe a Nice 1948 way.
Next, Joel Paterson, Jonathan Doyle, Carl Sonny Leyland, Beau Sample, and Alex Hall got dangerously groovy with compositions by Illinois Jacquet, Freddie King, Bill Jennings, and others. A Chicago club circa 1955, right in front of us.
The Back O’Town All-Stars returned, but with the cosmic gift of Duke Robillard. They began with JUMPIN’ THE BLUES and the set only paused its jumping for a tenderly lyrical PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, sung as if shiny and new, by Dawn Lambeth.
Saturday began with Hal Smith’s Mortonia Seven, with Kris Tokarski, John Gill, Sam Rocha, Dave Kosmyna, T.J. Muller (on trombone), and Dave Bennett: a set notable for energized renditions of MILENBERG JOYS and PANAMA, but also BLUE BLOOD BLUES, MAMIE’S BLUES, and a positively vivid rendition of BALLIN’ THE JACK, sung and nearly-demonstrated by Dave, who told me he was playing a Conn Victor cornet once owned and played by our mutual hero Jim Dapogny. Jim was surely there, “no doubt,” in spirit.
The temperature rose for Charlie and the Tropicales — that’s Charlie Halloran and his musical voyages through the Caribbean, featuring Jonathan Doyle, Nate Ketner, Kris Tokarski, Twerk Thomson, Josh Collazo, and Jamey Cummins. There was calypso — Lord Melody’s FIFTY CENTS, sung nimbly by Charlie, as well as a few waltzes, a “belly-rubber,” and some all-out romps.
Next, the Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, with Brian Holland, Danny Coots, Marc Caparone, Jacob Zimmerman, and Steve Pikal, which started with Fats Waller’s MOPPIN’ AND BOPPIN’ went SOUTH for that song and PARDON MY SOUTHERN ACCENT, and ended with the Claude Hopkins’ affirmation, I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.
T.J. Muller switched to cornet for a King Oliver tribute — hotter than a forty-five! Even though he told us he had damaged his lip being over-ambitious on trombone, it was in o way audible. Young Louis was Dave Kosmyna, and the rest of the band was Hal Smith, Clint Baker, Ryan Calloway, Kris Tokarski, John Gill, Twerk Thomson, and their opening DIPPER MOUTH BLUES pushed us back in our seats with its expert hot velocity. I wasn’t around at the Lincoln Gardens in 1923, but this band made me feel that I was.
Then, Jonathan Doyle’s “four horn set,” with a front line of Jonathan, Zimmerman, Halloran, and Kosmyna, and the rhythm of Riley Baker, Tokarski, Cummins, and Collazo. I love Jonathan’s compositions — WHAT’S THE RUMPUS?, WHO’S THAT SCRITCHIN’, YOU CAN’T TAKE THOSE KISSES WITH YOU, but he also performed Moten’s HARMONY BLUES, Clarence Williams’ CUSHION FOOT STOMP, the Ellington-small-band GOOD GAL BLUES, and closed with SIX CATS AND A PRINCE. I had the leisure to admire his arrangements, the ways horns and rhythm gently slid over one another.
Sunday began with Twerk Thomson’s DORO WAT, which was streamlined and gutty at once, with Kris Tokarski, Halloran, Doyle, and Kosmyra — no set list, just a whimsical journey through BOUNCING AROUND, DREAMING THE HOURS AWAY, PONCHARTRAIN, and the whimsically-described CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME. This set — straight out of Marvel comics — also featured an exploding bass bridge (I mean the piece of wood itself) and festival angel Mark Jansen coming to the rescue in seconds with yet another string bass. And yes, I have it all on “film.”
Then, Hal Smith’s Jazzologists, a seriously NOLA band of John Gill, Katie Cavera, T.J. Muller (back on trombone), Clint Baker, Ryan Calloway, Kris Tokarski, offering MOOSE MARCH (a favorite of bassist Mike Fay), BLACK CAT ON THE FENCE, and MY LITTLE GIRL, in honor of Esther Muller, one month old.
In between, we went to the Eagle House (I became a civilian for an hour and left my camera in its nest) to hear Dave Stuckey’s Western Swing ecstasy, which finished with SMOKE, SMOKE, SMOKE — most riotously.
And (for us) the festival closed with a gentle set by Holland-Coots, with a highlight being Dawn’s sweet POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS and a solidly romping IF DREAMS COME TRUE.
Were there other glorious sets we missed? Did I take notes? Did I video everything here except the Western Swing yee-haw? Hell yes. Or “That’s for darn sure.”
Will you get to see the videos? As many of them as the musicians say YES to. And should you come to next year’s Redwood Coast Music Festival?
Do you even have to ask?
October 5-8, 2023.
P.S. I apologize to any musician whose name I misspelled above (I am sure I did): my excuse is that yesterday’s travel day began before 7 AM in California and ended after 1 AM in New York.
Some people want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, the pyramids at Tulum, the Northern Lights . . . . I’ve done some of those things, but what I want in 2022 is to return to the Redwood Coast Music Festival. Keep your monuments: they’ll be around in November. This festival is enduring, but it was made to take a nap in 2020 and 2021 for reasons that should be clear. I was there in 2019 and had the time(s) of my life. So, in less than three weeks, “if the creeks don’t rise,” or “if breath lasts,” (you pick) the OAO and I will be there, grinning and eager, flushed with anticipation.
I should say right here that this post is an unsubtle but perhaps necessary encouragement to all my jazz friends and colleagues to get off their couches and chairs, stop inspecting those books and labels, and enjoy the real thing, fresh, vivid, and multi-hued.
To make it easier to buy tickets, hear sound samples, have questions answered, and more, visit http://rcmfest.org/ (and be dazzled). If someone’s name is unfamiliar to you, the site is the equivalent of an old-fashioned record store’s listening booth.
Kris Tokarski and Hal Smith will be there:
Dawn Lambeth, Marc Caparone, and Dan Walton too:
Jonathan Doyle, Steve Pikal, and Charlie Halloran will be around:
Dave Stuckey and Western Swing pals as well:
Island spice from Charlie and the Tropicales:
Carl Sonny Leyland also:
Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30:
Again, friends and connoisseurs, that’s http://rcmfest.org/. It is a very congenial experience — even the musicians I know, who are often downtrodden and vocal about it, praise the management, the environment, and more. Good sound technicians, volunteers who don’t shoot first and ask questions later, and a strip of good restaurants in Eureka, a town with a lovely mural and kind feelings.
Also, if you haven’t gleaned it from the schedules, the RCMF is beautifully expansive.
I went to my first jazz party / weekend / festival in 2004, so I speak from experience. As budgetary pressures made themselves ominously evident, festivals shrank. There might still be five sets a day, but the cast of characters was a dozen musicians, changing places on stage. A certain airlessness set in, as if we’d paid for an all-you-can-eat buffet and every dish was based on canned salmon and green beans. And such constriction made itself heard in the setlists.
No, the RCMF has many musicians, simultaneous sets, and a variety of approaches: zydeco, rhythm’n’blues, soul, New Orleans jazz, piano boogie-woogie, Fifty-Second Street flavors, Western Swing, country, Americana, “roots,” Louis, Jelly, Duke, Joplin, and everyone in between. I delight in the rich menu; I despair of getting to hear all the good sounds.
I won’t run through the usual didactic sermon about how festivals require active support (I mean people willing to go there and pay for the music) but I will note that every time a jazz fan doesn’t go to a festival when they could have, an angel dies. Clarence never gets his wings. Do you want that on your conscience?
TEN YEARS, by the Dave Stuckey – Hal Smith Western Swing All-Stars:
JULIANNE, by Charlie [Halloran] and the Tropicales:
I am very excited by this news that the Redwood Coast Music Festival is returning. It gives my native optimism fertile soil to grow in. This festival is a friendly sustained explosion of some of the best musical talent I know.
Here are some of the glorious people who will be there, singing and playing. Dave Stuckey, Marc Caparone, Carl Sonny Leyland, Clint Baker, Hal Smith, Twerk Thomson, Kris Tokarski, Charlie Halloran, Jonathan Doyle, Joel Paterson, Dawn Lambeth, Brian Casserly, Dave Bennett, T.J. Muller, Katie Cavera, Jacob Zimmerman, Duke Robillard, Jessica King, Ryan Calloway, Riley Baker, Chris Wilkinson, James Mason, Jamey Cummins, Josh Collazo, Tom Rigney, Sam Rocha, Nate Ketner, Dave Kosymna, Alex Hall, Beau Sample, Dan Walton, John Gill, Jontavious Willis, Brian Holland, Danny Coots, and more. And more.
The festival runs from Thursday evening to Sunday evening (September 29 to October 2) and there are either five or six simultaneous sets. Simultaneous. I emphasize this because I got the most charming vertigo trying to plot a course through the tentative schedule, an exercise in Buddhist non-attachment or chess (which I never learned): “I want to see X at 5:30 but that means I can’t see Y then, but I can see Y the next day.”
I’ve only been to Redwood Coast once, in 2019, a transcendent experience and I don’t overstate: the only festival that made me think longingly of hiring a camera crew of at least two friends so that we could capture some portion of the good(ly) sounds. one of the nicest things about this festival is its broad love of energized passionate music: jazz, blues, swing, country, zydeco, soul, rhythm and blues, “Americana,” “roots” — you name it.
Did I mention that there’s room for dancing?
Are some of the names listed above unfamiliar to you? Go here to learn more about the artists and see videos of their work
You can buy tickets here. And maybe you’ll think this is the voice of entitlement, but an all-events pass — four days! — is $135, at least until August 1.
Here’s one more musical convincer from 2019:
Remember, every time it rains it rains PENNIES FROM HEAVEN — in this case, rare musical experiences. But you can’t catch them in your ears or outstretched hands by staying at home.
Jazz festivals are like people you meet on a first date: some make you look for the exit within five minutes; some you warm to in spite of their odd ways; some you fall for wholeheartedly. The Redwoood Coast Music Festival is my best example of the festival-as-heartthrob.
I’ve only been there once — the green hills and endless vistas that 2019 now seems to be — but I can’t wait to go back. And I spent 2004-20 chasing festival delights in New York, Cleveland, California, England, and Germany, so I have some experience from which to speak.
But why should my enthusiasm matter to you? For all you know, I am being paid wheelbarrows of currency to write this. (I promise you it ain’t so.) Let’s look at some evidence. Caveat: not everyone seen and heard in my 2019 videos is coming to the 2022 festival, but they will serve as a slice of heavenly experience.
Hal Smith’s ON THE LEVEE JAZZ BAND plays IDA:
The Carl Sonny Leyland – Little Charlie Baty Houserockers turn our faces a bright CHERRY RED:
The Jonathan Doyle Swingtet ensures everyone has a CASTLE ROCK:
An interlude for prose.
The poster shows that this is no ordinary jazz festival, relying on a small group of bands and singers within a particular idiom. No, the RCMF offers an aural tasting menu astonishing in its breadth and authenticity.
And hilariously that causes problems — ever since Sir Isaac Newton pointed out that no one can be two places at once, the RCMF makes me want to smack Sir Isaac and say in a loud whine, “Why CAN’T I see / record three groups at three separate venues at once? It’s not fair.” Even I, someone who doesn’t feel the same way about zydeco as I do about swinging jazz, had moral crises at every turn because the variety of delicious choices set out for me eight times a day was overwhelming. (At some festivals, I had time to sit outside and leisurely eat gelato with friends: no such respites at the RCMF. A knapsack full of KIND bars and water bottles just won’t be enough: I need a whole medical staff in attendance.)
What else needs to be said? The prices are more than reasonable, even in these perilous times, for the value-calculation of music per dollar. If you don’t go home sated, you haven’t been trying hard enough. And the couple who seem to be everywhere, helping people out, Mark and Val Jansen, are from another planet where gently amused kindness is the universal language.
Some more music, perhaps?
Walter Donaldson’s LITTLE WHITE LIES by the Jonathan Doyle – Jacob Zimmerman Sextet:
A Charlie Christian tribute featuring Little Charlie Baty and Jamey Cummins on guitar for SEVEN COME ELEVEN:
Asking the musical question, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL? — Elana James, Dave Stuckey, Hal Smith, and assorted gifted rascals:
Charlie Halloran and the Tropicales play TABU. Hand me that glass:
KRAZY KAPERS, irresistibly, by the Jonathan Doyle Swingtet:
BLUE LESTER, from Hal Smith’s SWING CENTRAL:
So . . . even though the world, as delineated in the headlines, is so uncertain, consider ungluing yourself from your chair at the end of September. Carpe the damn diem, as we say.
http://www.rcmfest.org/ is the festival’s website; here they are on Facebook. Make it so that something wonderful is, as Irving Berlin wrote, WAITING AT THE END OF THE ROAD for you, for all of us:
I did not take the pandemic lightly, and I spent a good deal of last year scared to bits . . . but I’m going. And I hope you will also, if you can.
Details here — but I know you want more than just details.
Although for those who like it very plain, some elementary-school math: four days, more than a hundred sets performed at eight stages, from intimate to huge. Dance floors. And the festival is wonderfully varied, presenting every kind of “roots music” you can imagine: “jazz, swing, blues, zydeco, rockabilly, Americana, Western Swing, country.”
Off the top of my head — when I was there in 2019, I heard the music of Charlie Christian, Moon Mullican, Pee Wee Russell, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Hodges, Pete Johnson, Billie Holiday, and much more. Bob Wills said howdy to Walter Donaldson, which was very sweet.
And here are some of the jazz and blues artists who will be there: Carl Sonny Leyland, Duke Robillard, Dave Stuckey, Hal Smith, Andy Schumm, Dan Barrett, Jonathan Doyle, Jacob Zimmerman, Dan Walton, Marc Caparone, Joe Goldberg, Bill Reinhart, Joshua Gouzy, Joel Patterson, Katie Cavera, Dawn Lambeth, Clint Baker, Kris Tokarski, Nate Ketner, Brian Casserly, Josh Collazo, Ryan Calloway, and two dozen other worthies whose names don’t yet appear on the site. And of course, bands — ad hoc units and working ones.
For the justifiably anxious among us, here is the RCMF’s Covid update: several things stand out. First, California has mandated that ticket sales must be in advance. And understandably, there will be fewer people allowed in any space . . . so this translates for you, dear reader, as a double incentive to buy tickets early. I know that festivals always urge attendees to do this, but you can see these are atypical reasons.
How about some musical evidence?
CASTLE ROCK, by the Jonathan Doyle Swingtet:
WAITING AT THE END OF THE ROAD, by Dawn Lambeth and her Quartet:
REACHING FOR SOMEONE, by the Doyle-Zimmerman Sextet:
HELLO, LOLA! by Hal Smith’s SWING CENTRAL:
SAN ANTONIO ROSE, by Dave Stuckey – Hal Smith’s Western Swing All-Stars:
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, by Marc Caparone and his “Louis Armstrong All-Stars”:
If the videos don’t act as proof, my words may be superfluous. But to paraphrase Lesley Gore, “It’s my blog and I’ll write if I want to.”
I come to this festival-jazz party circuit late — both late for me and for the phenomenon — September 2004. Chautauqua, California, Connecticut, Newcastle, Westoverledingen, and others. I’ve attended a hundred of them. Meaning no offense to any festival organizer, I think Redwood Coast delivers such quality and such range that it is astonishing. I told Mark Jansen that it was the SUPERMARKET SWEEP of festivals: so much to pick up on in so short a time. And readers will understand that my range is narrow: there is much music on the list of genres above that doesn’t stir me, although it might be excellent.
However: in 2019 I came home with over 150 videos in four days of enthusiastic observation-participation. I slept as if drugged on the plane ride home. I’d been perforated by music of the finest kind.
I also need to write a few darker sentences.
There is a blessed influx of younger people — dancers, often — to music festivals like this one. But festivals are large enterprises, costly to stage and exhausting to supervise. Those of us who want to be able to see and hear live music must know that this phenomenon needs what realistic promoters call Asses in Seats.
So if you say, “Well, I’ll come in a few years when I’m retired,” that’s understandable. But Asses at Home mean that this festival, and others, might not wait for you. Grim, but true.
So I hope to see you there. There are a million reasons to stay at home. But who will come in and dust you?
I love this little band, in all its permutations, and I am not alone. When they get onstage, the question posed above becomes completely rhetorical. They most certainly have music, and they share it with us. Here are five lovely (purple-hued) performances from the 2016 San Diego Jazz Fest, featuring Ray Skjelbred, piano; Katie Cavera, guitar; Clint Baker, string bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Marc Caparone, cornet; Dawn Lambeth, vocals.
Here’s LOVE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, evoking Eddie Condon and the first Commodore 78, and the swinging Bing Crosby version a few years earlier:
and James P. Johnson’s song, recorded by Henry “Red” Allen:
and a song associated with Lee Wiley, sweetly sung by Dawn Lambeth:
the beautiful Thirties ballad associated with Billie Holiday:
Finally, Dawn’s exposition of swing frustration (thanks to Walter Donaldson):
Hereis the first part of the delightful set of music that Le Jazz Hot performed at the Jazz Bash by the Bay (Monterey, California) on March 8, 2020: I WONDER WHERE MY BABY IS TONIGHT, BE THAT WAY, I’M CONFESSIN’, ONE SWEET LETTER FROM YOU, NEVERTHELESS (I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU). And here’s the second half.
This beautiful set of gypsy jazz — hot and lyrical, with all the possible shadings in between — was the last music I heard at the 2020 Jazz Bash by the Bay, and the last music I heard at a jazz festival in this wickedly unpredictable year. So it has not only beauty but a certain poignancy, rather like the last delicious spoonful for an indeterminate time. The brilliant players and singers of Le Jazz Hot are Paul Mehling, guitar, vocals; Evan Price, violin; Sam Rocha, rhythm guitar, vocals; Mikiya Matsuda, string bass. At the end of the set — which will appear in the sequel, to remember Bartelby — my hero-friends Marc Caparone, cornet; Dawn Lambeth, vocals, dropped by and added more good sounds.
I always think that the perspectives of the musicians themselves are more important than mine, so I asked Paul to write something about this occasion that no one recognized at the time as so significant:
Looking back on these performances which would turn out to be the “last” of Le Jazz Hot Quartet from “BEFORE TIMES” I’m struck with a bittersweet joy: of course we had no way of knowing… For those of you who don’t know us: this is what happens when musicians feel connected to their listeners (and vice versa!): synergy not just within the band, but a certain give-and-take with the audience where they’re in on the joke(s), verbal and musical. This festival was a mutli-faceted victory for us: *we’d been invited back after a very long hiatus and we were GRATEFUL and wanted to SHOW IT *we were super thrilled to be among such stellar fellow acts, some of whom we invited to join our little show, many of whom were just in the room to enjoy themselves *we clearly were bringing IT -as we do, but there’s always the chance that the little EXTRA something will spark some great moments and these videos captured so many delights.
Michael seems to often be in the right place at the right time. He deserves an extra-special honorary award for these end-of-an-era captures. We’re all going to come back roaring onto the jazz venues and stages when this pandemic blows over- JAZZ IS NOT OVER- in the meantime, we have these videos for consolation.
What would life be without the occasional STRUT?
Louis shines his light — “My brother!” as Django is reported saying — and Paul has a right to sing these Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler blues:
Dawn Lambeth joins in with NIGHT AND DAY:
Marc Caparone joins in with Dawn to Louisize the air a little more, with A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON:
and at the intersection of Louis and French pop music, here’s C’EST SI BON:
Finally, one of the two or three most-played signing-off tunes (who does GOODNIGHT, SWEETHEART any more?) here’s I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS:
Until next time. But before you move on to the next web-delight, consider subscribing to Paul’s YouTube channel— much good music there and it’s been proven to keep the vegetables in the crisper fresher longer.
All the musicians I know have had their incomes stop or deflate just a few days later in March. I hope that viewers who enjoy this music can offer gratitude in tangible form. Thus . . . the PayPal link is email@example.com. Your generosity repays the people who give us so much.
This post is full of emotion for me, and I hope for some of you: not just the music but the reality under the music, the world in which we now read and hear and attempt to proceed.
I offer you two lovely performances of songs by Irving Berlin and by George and Ira Gershwin, by Dawn Lambeth, vocal; Marc Caparone, cornet; Dan Walton, piano; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Steve Pikal, string bass — created for us at the Redwood Coast Music Festival in Eureka, California, on May 11, 2019.
The beginning of this story is the last live jazz I saw — at Cafe Bohemia in New York City, celebrated elsewhere on this blog — on March 12, 2020. And even then people were [wisely, politely, perhaps tactfully] recoiling from one another, because who knew that your dear friend didn’t carry a double helping of death?
A few nights earlier, people were giving each other elbow bumps in lieu of closer contact, and when I, without thinking, shook the hand of a new acquaintance, we both looked at each other in embarrassment and shock, and we both muttered apologies, as if we’d taken an unseemly liberty. I know all this is prudent and exceedingly necessary — more so than choosing to wash the apple one buys at the farmers’ market before devouring it. But it adds to the despair.
It’s now almost June, and we greet each other as if we were grenades — and with reason. I know I am not alone in feeling the deadly deprivation of human contact (I have been hugging people — those I know and who would not back away — for perhaps a decade now, because it seems a natural loving expression) and the emotional aridity that distance imposes. Grinning and waving is an incomplete substitute. Hugging oneself just ain’t the same thing. You know this.
Because there is no live music for me to drink in and to video-record, I have been delving into my YouTube archives, which go back to 2006, in search of satisfying performances that the artists will allow to be shared. It is easier, of course, for me to pretend I am at the Ear Inn by watching a video than to pretend that I am hugging and being hugged, but it, too, is only a small palliative.
My searching, thankfully, has borne fruit, and I have found a goodly number from the Redwood Coast Music Festival, which — on my 2019 visit — seemed the perfection of the art form. It did not happen in 2020, but those of us who feel such things deeply pray that it will in May 2021.
In the set called featuring Dawn Lambeth and her Quartet, Dawn and the wonderful people I’ve mentioned above performed two songs that are poignant in themselves, but in connection almost unbearably so for what they hold out to us as possibilities unreachable at the moment.
The first is Berlin’s WAITING AT THE END OF THE ROAD, which tells that that there will be “Peace and contentment at the end of the road”; given this tender reading, it’s hard to interpret this song as anything but hopeful, even though the road is longer and darker than perhaps even Berlin imagined:
Three songs later in the set, Marc chose as his feature EMBRACEABLE YOU — thinking, as one would, of Bobby Hackett:
The combination of the two songs is somber and lovely all at once.
I dare not waste energy on discussing what “the new normal” will look like: rather, my wish is that all of us live to see and experience it. But I do dream that the end of the road we are now on will have a plenitude of embraces given and received. We will never again, I hope, take such things for granted.
Thanks to the musicians here and to the people who make the Redwood Coast Music Festival possible and glorious, and of course heartfelt thanks to Mark and Valerie Jansen. Let this post stand as an IOU for future grateful embraces.
A friend said to me a few days ago, only half-joking, “Could you hold down the optimism a bit? It’s getting on my nerves.” I apologized, but these days, “Latch on to the affirmative!” is my motto.
Dawn Lambeth is one of my favorite singers, and she keeps getting better: I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing her again at the 2020 Jazz Bash by the Bay earlier this month, and she delivered some telling words that have only gotten more relevant. With her are Steve Pikal, string bass; Brian Holland, piano; Danny Coots, drums; Jacob Zimmerman, clarinet and alto saxophone; Marc Caparone, cornet — a group of amiable ruffians known as the Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet. And here they are!
This is understandably an arid time for live jazz in performance, but I will keep sending the sermon through this blog, with many delightful moments from the Jazz Bash by the Bay, less than two weeks ago.
Clint Baker, Marc Caparone, Jeff Hamilton, Dawn Lambeth, Little Charlie Baty at the Redwood Coast Music Festival, May 2019
The profoundly swinging guitarist and admirable man Little Charlie Baty has died of a coronary at 67. I promised myself I would not make this site a necrophile’s amusement park, but I make exceptions for people I knew, people who made strong impressions, and Charlie was one. I was only in contact with him last May, but his loss is fierce to me.
Saturday night, Marc Caparone joined the conversation at the Jazz Bash by the Bay to tell us that Charlie was gone. I was physically stunned. It was sadly appropriate that we should get the news from Marc, because he was the first person to ever mention Charlie’s name — this guitarist who played just like Charlie Christian, who really swung, who was genuine. I filed that praise away, as one does, hoping that I would hear Charlie in the flesh — which happened at the Redwood Coast Music Festival.
I have evidence, which I treasured when it was happening, treasured through watching and re-watching, and treasure more now — video recordings from May 11 and 12, 2019. I am reproducing the links in full, not my usual practice, in hopes that readers will stop what they are doing and dig in.
First, a groovy set with boogie, blues, and a lovely HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN:
A few thoughts. Marc told me of Charlie playing I GOT RHYTHM for twenty-five choruses and making the crowd stand up and cheer. I can believe it: Charlie would have been very happy at the Reno Club in Kansas City c. 1936.
Charlie could thrill a crowd, but virtuosity for its own sake wasn’t what he came for — flaming the fretboard, as a guitarist friend once called it. He lived the music and he lived to share the feelings of songs with us. So his playing was strongly melodic, even through the runs and blue notes, the sharp dynamics, the small dramas-in-swing, the shifting harmonies and variations on variations. A Baty solo was like a short story: it proceeded logically from start to finish; you could analyze its architecture after the fact, although at the time you were swept along by invention and momentum.
He rocked, to put it simply. And he knew it, so part of the pleasure was watching a master’s sweet assurance in his craft.
When I first saw him in person, my five-boroughs skepticism kicked in. This was “Little Charlie“? This broad-shouldered man, like me, might wear a suit from the Portly section (a good deal of real estate in front, around the belt buckle) which he carried without embarrassment: Here I am, and I don’t have a problem with myself. If you do, find another damn place.
His assurance wasn’t arrogance, but it was an easy, perhaps hard-won, self-knowledge, and I saw him as an experienced ship’s captain, later a tribal chieftain, as he told a few stories to us after the set.
When I introduced myself to him, he was gracious in an unfussy way and he made me feel comfortable. Later, when I shared the ecstatic videos with him, he was splendidly grateful and gracious — in private and in public. I saw him in person for perhaps three hours and exchanged a dozen sentences with him in person, and perhaps another handful of emails and Facebook call-and-responses.
So why do I feel so bereft, why is there a large space in the universe where Little Charlie Baty was, and now is not?
To me, both in his playing and in the way he carried himself — powerful yet sometimes understated — he radiated an authenticity, a disdain for posing, that will remain admirable to me. One way to walk through the world; one way to make the air full of melody.
Goodbye, Charlie. Swing out. And thanks for your brief, blazing visit to my world.
This post is more or less to amuse myself before the Jazz Bash by the Bay begins tomorrow, but you can come along as well. I have just completed, or perhaps begun, the most intense loop of jazz travel I can recall. It began with my happy viewing of Nancy Harrow and Will Pomerantz’s play, ABOUT LOVE, which is the subject of yesterday’s blogpost. (“Don’t miss it” is the edited version).
Yesterday, I went to Philadelphia (the World Cafe Live) to hear, witness, and record Marty Grosz’s ninetieth birthday party, and after that I flew to Monterey, California, to the Portola Hotel and Conference Center, where I write these words.
I am sorry that Dan Barrett isn’t attending the Bash this year — for many reasons, but were he to see me with that button and ribbon pinned to my shirt, he would walk over and put his palm on the ribbon and push. “It says PRESS.” But I shall go on.
On Thursday, at about 2 PM, I asked a favor of a neighbor who gave me — and my knapsack of video gear — a lift to the train station. Once there, I found Amtrak (twenty minutes late) and eventually got to Philadelphia, where (once again) I imposed on a friend — this time Joe Plowman, a stellar fellow whether playing the string bass or not — to take me to the World Cafe Live.
The Marty Party was a delight, and, yes, if the Tech Goddess favors me, there will be video evidence. I asked Danny Tobias and Lynn Redmile for a lift back to the 30th Street Station, and Dan Block and I rode back to New York City — arriving around 1:20 AM on Friday. Dan went off to his home, about four subway stops away, but the next train to my suburban Long Island town was two hours later, so I asked the first cabbie in a line of cabs what he would charge; we settled on a price, and we were off. (He had been a lawyer in Egypt, by the way). Around 2:15 I was home and went to sleep for what I knew would only be a brief interlude. My alarm went off, as planned, at 7; I did what was needed and got in my car to drive to parking for Kennedy Airport. At 11:30 we were airborne; I arrived in Monterey close to 6 PM. (I have adjusted none of this for New York and California time zones, but you can imagine that my eyelids are heavy.)
I really have no idea what time it actually is in my body clock, but will find out. I can tell you that this travel rhapsody will have cost me about fifteen hundred dollars when it is all through. I am blessedly fortunate to have that money, but the pleasure of seeing Marty Grosz, Vince Giordano, Dan Block, Scott Robinson, Danny Tobias, Randy Reinhart, Brennan Ernst, Joe Plowman, Jack Saint Clair, Jim Lawlor, meeting people in the flesh whom I’d only known in cyberspace — one night! — as well as receiving an autographed copy of Marty’s autobiography, IT’S A SIN TO TELL A LIE: MY LIFE IN JAZZ (Golden Valley Press) . . . .and from tomorrow on, seeing Marc Caparone, Dawn Lambeth, the Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Carl Sonny Leyland, Clint Baker, Jeff Hamilton, Hal Smith, Le Jazz Hot, and more — that pleasure is and will be uncountable in mere currency. And unless you knew my past life well, the immense freedom to do what I want is bliss, a bliss I hadn’t always been able to have.
It’s never too early to get prepared for joy, especially the varieties that the Jazz Bash by the Bay delivers so generously. (An All-Events badge is available at a discount before December 31, so if thrift makes your eyes gleam, check here.) Now.
I’ve been attending this March festival every year since 2011 (I missed 2018) and have fond memories. I could write a good deal about the pleasures of this grouping of musicians and fans, and the pleasures of being able to walk around a truly charming town center . . . or the pleasure of being a guest at the Portola Hotel and Spa, with the music just a trot away, but I will simply direct you to the Bash’s website, where you can find out such useful information as the dates (March 6-8), the band schedule (not available yet), ticket prices, and the bands themselves.
For me, the bands and guest stars are the reason to come to a particular festival, so I will list them here (as of January 2020) so you can see the delights to be had. First, the Musician of the Year is my hero Marc Caparone, so even though I doubt there will be a parasol-laden coronation, I want to be there to see the rites and praises. Then, guest stars Bob Draga, Brian Holland, Danny Coots, Dawn Lambeth, Eddie Erickson, Gary Ryan, Jeff Barnhart, Jerry Krahn, and Katie Cavera. The bands: Blue Street Jazz Band, Bye Bye Blues Boys Band, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band, Cornet Chop Suey, Crescent Katz, Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Fast Mama Excitement, Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Ivory&Gold, Le Jazz Hot, Midiri Brothers, Sierra Seven, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, We Three (Thursday only), Yve Evans and Company, and the Zydeco Flames.
Looking at the 2019 schedule, the Bash offered four simultaneous sessions for full twelve-hour days on Friday and Saturday, and a half day on Sunday . . . one hundred and fifty sessions, including full bands, singers, solo and duo pianos, youth bands, sets for amateur jammers, and more. Even someone like myself, who doesn’t fell compelled to see and hear everything, finds it a delightfully exhausting experience. There’s a separate Thursday-night dance and an appearance by We Three, and I quote: “Kick off Jazz Bash by the Bay on Thursday, March 5, 2020, with a big band dance party featuring Clicktrax Jazz Orchestra. Attendees will enjoy danceable swing and traditional jazz at the Portola Hotel and Spa from 7:30 to 11 pm. Admission is $25.00. Also, in a Special One-Night-Only appearance, the hit trio We3 featuring Bob Draga, Jeff Barnhart, and Danny Coots will be playing from 7 to 8:30 pm. Admission is $30.00. Add the dance for $20 more. All tickets can be purchased by phone, mail, online or at the door.”
Did you notice that there is an Early Bird All-Events Badge at a discount if you order before December 31, 2019? Yes, I repeat myself: details here.
For me, a post advertising a particular festival is not effective unless some musical evidence can be included. I broke one of my rules — that is, there are musicians in the 2011-19 videos below who do not appear at this year’s Bash, and I apologize to them if anyone’s feelings are bruised. But I started to go through the 200+ videos I’d posted of various Monterey Bashes, and some of them were do fine that I couldn’t leave them out. You’ll get a panoramic sense of the wide variety of good, lively, inventive music that happens here. And each video has a detailed description of who’s playing and singing, and when it happened.
an old song, swung, 2019:
Becky and the blues:
the late Westy Westenhofer:
Ivory&Gold (Jeff and Anne Barnhart):
Paolo Alderighi, Phil Flanigan, Jeff Hamilton:
Katie Cavera and the Au Brothers:
Bob Schulz and the Frisco Jazz Band:
Allan Vache, John Sheridan, John Cocuzzi, Paul Keller, Ed Metz:
Hot Strings at Monterey 2011:
a jam session with Bryan Shaw, Jeff Barnhart, Dan Barrett, Marc Caparone, John Reynolds, Katie Cavera, Ralf Reynolds:
Carl Sonny Leyland, Marty Eggers, Jeff Hamilton, performing Sonny’s composition that insures that no rodents visit the Portola during the Bash:
It might seem a long way away, but it isn’t. And it’s a truly enjoyable event.
There’s a wonderful tradition that began on records in the late Twenties: sweet and hot singing — female or male — backed by a small improvising combination. To some, it reached its apex with the series of recordings done by Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson, but it continues on in this century, something I find reassuring.
Vocalion Records ceased production a long time ago, and the last time I was near a diner jukebox, it lacked Red McKenzie, Bob Howard, Mildred Bailey, Putney Dandridge, Maxine Sullivan, Nan Wynn, Tempo King, Lee Wiley, Connee Boswell, or Dick Robertson, but our friend Dawn Lambeth embodies the tradition beautifully. As do her Rascals, an ad hoc group of friends who swing.
Here’s the second half of a performance by a lovely little jam band of friends at the 2019 Jazz Bash by the Bay: Dawn Lambeth, vocal; Riley Baker, drums; Jeff Hamilton, piano; Ike Harris, string bass; Jerry Krahn, guitar; Jacob Zimmerman, alto; Clint Baker, trumpet. And here‘s the first part.
The very antidote to melancholy . . . with the verse, no less:
Refreshing evocations of Thirties New York City and of late-Twenties Chicago, with cooling iced tea to spare, at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park, California, captured for us by RaeAnn Berry on July 19, 2019.
Cafe Borrone from the outside.
The joyous creators are Clint Baker, clarinet and vocal; Robert Young, alto saxophone and vocal; Jeff Hamilton, piano; Riley Baker, string bass; Bill Reinhart, banjo; Jessica King, washboard and vocal.
IF I WERE YOU would have been a fairly obscure 1938 song by Buddy Bernier and Robert D. Emmerich had it not been recorded by Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson (with Nan Wynn) and Hot Lips Page — more recently, by Rebecca Kilgore and Dawn Lambeth. Bernier is not especially famous as a composer, although he wrote THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES, but he adapted melodies from other cultures — POINCIANA and OUR LOVE perhaps the most famous, so he is responsible for rewarding pop music. Emmerich’s lyrics are sly, clever, another example of the Brill Building genius of making memorable songs from common phrases.
Jessica sings it with sweet understated conviction, supported in the best Fifty-Second Street tradition by Clint, Jeff, and Riley (without the dark haze of smoke and the taste of watered drinks that I am told were characteristics of Swing Street):
SWEET SUE, JUST YOU moves us back a decade and east to Chicago’s South Side, with Robert Young and Bill Reinhart added — Noone, Poston, and a vocal duet. What could be sweeter? Victor Young just texted me to say he approves:
California dreamin’ isn’t the property of the Beach Boys, I assure you. If you can get to Cafe Borrone while Clint and friends are playing and singing, you will drive home with a smile.
From this distance, it feels as if Charlie Christian (July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942) was an extra-terrestrial phenomenon, some entity that touched down so briefly on this planet, played a great deal of music — some of it, thank the Goddess, recorded — and then said he had to visit another neighborhood and we should study what he had given us. Charlie feels more like a beam of light reflected through a spinning prism than an actual mortal, although we have stories of him at the back of the band bus, singing Lester Young solos. And I suspect that what the doctors at the sanitarium on Staten Island, New York, wrote down as “tuberculosis” on his chart was an inter-galactic summons to another place that needed his particular blaze of joyous enlightenment.
He wasn’t the first to play jazz on the electric guitar (check out George Barnes, Eddie Durham, Floyd Smith, and others) but what he did was completely fresh then and remains so: the looping lines, the rhythmic attack both fierce and subtle, the harmonic suggestions, the incisive swing. We celebrate him!
Charlie Christian as a member of Benny Goodman’s Orchestra, Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, September 1939. Thanks to Nick Rossi for the photograph.
This most recent celebration took place at the Redwood Coast Music Festival on May 11, 2019, and the brilliant players are Little Charlie Baty (right) and Jamey Cummins, guitars; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Sam Rocha, string bass; Dan Walton, piano; Marc Caparone, cornet; Jacob Zimmerman, clarinet; Dawn Lambeth, vocal. Hereare the first four performances: FLYING HOME, ROSE ROOM, BENNY’S BUGLE, and STAR DUST.
And the second half, beginning with SEVEN COME ELEVEN:
Dawn Lambeth stops by to sing I’M CONFESSIN’:
and the splendid 1931 I SURRENDER, DEAR:
Something Middle Eastern that isn’t hummus? Perhaps THE SHEIK OF ARABY:
And the closing swing delight, WHOLLY CATS, which I always think should have an exclamation point at its close:
Incidentally, it’s easy to be distracted by the gleaming sounds of the “two guitar heroes,” Little Charlie and Jamey, but I would direct or re-direct your attention to that glorious rhythm section of Dan Walton, Sam Rocha, and Jeff Hamilton; the sweet song of Dawn Lambeth; the wonderful improvisations of Jacob Zimmerman and Marc Caparone, whose idea this set was.
Make plans to visit the Redwood Coast Music Festival, May 7-10, 2020 — thanks to Mark and Valerie Jansen and their wonderful musical friends.
And for more about Charlie, from a different angle, here is Mel Powell’s recollections of the young man. And a memory of Benny Goodman as well.
Charlie Christian didn’t have many birthdays on this planet, but yesterday would have been another one. We celebrate him and his music, and with good reason.
Charlie Christian as a member of Benny Goodman’s Orchestra, Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, September 1939. Thanks to Nick Rossi for the photograph.
This celebration took place at the Redwood Coast Music Festival on May 11, 2019, and the brilliant players are Little Charlie Baty (right) and Jamey Cummins, guitars; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Sam Rocha, string bass; Dan Walton, piano; Marc Caparone, cornet; Jacob Zimmerman, clarinet; Dawn Lambeth, vocal. Here are the first four performances.
More to come in Part Two. And more to come from the Redwood Coast Music Festival, May 2020 — thanks to Mark and Valerie Jansen and their wonderful musical friends.
And for more about Charlie, from a different angle, here is Mel Powell’s recollections of the young man. And a memory of Benny Goodman as well.