Two adjectives and a conjunction never sounded so good as they did at Luca’s Jazz Corner at 1712 First Avenue in New York City on the night of December 22, 2016. A wonderful band lit up that cozy room on the Upper East Side: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Evan Arntzen, reeds; Rossano Sportiello, piano; Frank Tate, string bass. (And if you wonder why this video is shot from behind the band, that was the best spot to be in. We video types learn to be adaptable or we go home sulkily without hearing any music.)
The song itself is delightful to play and improvise on, although in my childhood a few bars of it at a rapid tempo became a comic cliche. The composers, Kay Swift (music) and “Paul James” (lyrics) are a remarkable pair — married collaborators, even though Kay had a decade-long affair with another songwriter named George Gershwin. The song was the title number for a hit Broadway show — the first ever composed wholly by a woman. “Paul James” was the pen name of James Paul Warburg, a high-level economist and banker whose main desire in life was to write a hit song.
I think that Ms. Swift and Mr. Warburg would find this version lives up to the song’s title and intent.
A quite irrelevant anecdote here. For the first twenty-plus years of my college teaching career, I labored under the burden of English 101: Freshman Composition. “Burden” because I think writing can be improved, but there has to be something there to begin with, which many of my very delightful students lacked. Relief came in the person(s) of many students who were born elsewhere, labeled “ESL” (English As A Second Language) students. Their idioms were occasionally wobbly, but their insights were much deeper than their American-born peers. From them, I picked up an expression I use now, “In my country.” as in “In my country, we don’t tip the waitstaff in pennies.”
But one of the idioms they found especially hard to digest was “not only _____ but also _______.” So, writing this post, I thought often of the renamed Swift-James song, NOT ONLY FINE BUT ALSO DANDY, but I can see why the shorter title remains. And how true it is of this performance.
May your happiness increase!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Bliss!, Generosities, Hotter Than That, Ideal Places, Irreplaceable, It's All True, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, That Was Fun!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love, Wow!
Tagged ESL, Evan Arntzen, FINE AND DANDY, George Gershwin, James Paul Warburg, Jazz Lives, Jon-Erik Kellso, Kay Swift, Luca's Jazz Corner, Michael Steinman, Paul James, Rossano Sportiello, Sam Coslow
While I was searching for the one film clip in which Dave Tough can be seen, I found this biography, reproduced here exactly as it appears on the web. Remarkable, ne c’est pas? Incidentally, I know just how difficult it is to speak or write correctly and gracefully in one language, let alone two. But the prose here goes beyond the starship Enterprise, I think.
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Dice its more young age, Dave Tough knows health issues. He suffers indeed from epilepsy. Dave Tough makes its beginning musical in 1925 in Austin High School Gang at the sides of Bud Freeman, Frank Teschmac her and Eddie Condon. He plays in some minor groups before making a round in Europe, in 1927-1928, with “New Yorkers”. In France, it occurs with Mezz Mezzrow. Of return to the the United States, he plays in the orchestra of Red Nichols (1928-1930). Between 1932 and 1935, its health issues oblige it to stop its career. In addition, Dave Tough drinks much, which is not to arrange the things and regularly will pose problems to him.
It takes again its career in 1936, playing successively in the orchestras of Tommy Dorsey (1936-1937, then at the end of 1938), Bunny Berigan (1938), Benny Goodman (1938), Joe Marsala (1939, then 1940-1941), Jack Teagarden (1940), Bud Freeman (1940), Artie Shaw (1941-1942), Charlie Spivak (1942), Woodie Hermann (1942). During the Second world war, he plays in a military jazz band depend on the “Navy” and directed by Artie Shaw (1942-1944). After war, one finds it at Woody Hermann (1944-1945), then again at Joe Marsala (1945-1946). Its health issues impose frequent cuts in its engagements to him. In 1946, it settles as musician “free lance” with New York. One can hear it accompanying Eddie Condon or the troop by JATP of Norman Granz. In 1947, it has its last engagements near Charlie Ventura, Bill Harris and finally Muggsy Spanier. At the end of 1947, it is neat in the “New Jersey Veterans’ hospital”. He dies of the continuations of an accidental fall.
Dave Tough was in addition chromiquor for the review “Metronome” and is the author of a method of battery. One can foresee it in the film “Earl Carroll Vanities” (1945).
Dave Tough was a fine and atypical beater. Whereas many its contemporaries (like Gene Krupa, for example) often devoted themselves to solos with the spectacular visual aspect, Dave Tough concentrated on the aspect ” accompaniment rythmique” instrument. Its play with the Balais was in particular particularly subtle.
One can read an excellent analysis of his style, in=2 0the pages which are devoted to him in the remarkable work “a History of the Battery Jazz. Volume 1” of Georges Paczinsky with the editions In addition to Mesure (1999).
- Biography with photographs.
© 2007-2008 speedlook.com; article text available under the terms of GFDL, from fr.wikipedia.org