The temperature suddenly rose in Pismo, California, during the late October weekend that the Jazz Jubilee by the Sea transformed that salt-water-taffy town into a swing sauna, a hot haven.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Conveniently, here is compelling evidence from Larry Scala, Dawn Lambeth, Marc Caparone, Bill Bosch, and Danny Coots.
Then, I was fortunate enough to capture three performances by what I’d call a Constellation of Youngbloods (no “Cats vs. Chicks” in this century), where the Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band and the actual Au Brothers‘ front line (the band minus Howard Miyata, Danny Coots, and Katie Cavera) shared the stage. For those keeping score, that’s Gordon Au, trumpet; Justin Au, trumpet; Brandon Au, trombone; Marla Dixon, trumpet and vocal; Chloe Feoranzo, clarinet and vocal; Molly Reeves, guitar; Defne “Dizzy” Incirlioglu, washboard and percussion; Julie Schexnayder, string bass. (Trombone star Haruka Kikuchi, is — if my sources are correct — currently occupied with matters maternal. I’m sure she’ll be back in the bass clef before long.)
Oh, how this Constellation wailed.
SHAKE IT AND BREAK IT was first recorded in 1921 — I am sure that it was being played before then — although my favorite versions are by Sidney Bechet and the Varsity Seven. This twenty-first century explosion rocks along irresistibly, after Molly introduces everyone:
EMPTY BED BLUES is a Bessie Smith lament that Chloe Feoranzo has taken for her very own:
SAY “SI SI” (originally “Para Vigo me voy” by Ernesto Lecuona, who also wrote “Maria La O”) was a Thirties pop tune popularized here by Xavier Cugat, the Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller, and many others — a song the New Orleans musicians who loved heating up melodic pop melodies took to happily, including Billie and DeDe Pierce, Kid Thomas Valentine, Paul Barnes, George Lewis, Emmanuel Paul, Louis Nelson, Alvin Alcorn — so it has a long and vibrant NOLA tradition. Marla shows us her multi-lingual flair and grace:
Thanks to Linda and John Shorb and the rest of the Jubilee angels for making such good noises possible and accessible.
May your happiness increase!