Tag Archives: eternal questions

RAY SKJELBRED ASKS THE ETERNAL QUESTION AND SURPRISES US, TOO

“WHY?”

A late composition by Jelly Roll Morton — circa 1940 — played here by the lyrical and hot Mr. Skjelbred at Pier 23 in San Francisco, California.  Recorded by Rae Ann Berry on May 11, 2010. 

Please notice and admire Ray’s steady rolling tempo (hard to keep this pace without rushing or dragging) and his luminous right hand splashes. 

And just to show that Ray’s mood is not always beautifully pensive, here’s OH, BABY! with surprising harmonic twists and turns — a nearly cubist version, or perhaps Laurel and Hardy were collaborating with Dali on the chords?  Anyway, it should keep even a blase listener on his or her toes, savoring Ray’s eccentric visions of Joe Sullivan and Jess Stacy. 

P.S.  And a fashion comment.  The lighting is in shades of cranberry, but you should note the visual harmony between Ray’s aloha shirt and the tip jar / bucket / pail.  Subliminal advertising, anyone?