Tag Archives: Gregor Beck


Thanks to these delightful musicians, a reminder that swinging jazz is resilient and, what’s more, present: this concert was shown recently on television, a very pleasing phenomenon in itself.  Its theme?  Swinging jazz is thriving.

Matthias Seuffert, January 2020.

The creators are Matthias Seuffert, tenor saxophone and clarinet (hear him on the latter on AFTER SUPPER); Patrick Artero on trumpet; Thilo Wagner on piano; Lindy Huppertsberg, string bass and announcements; Gregor Beck, drums.  The repertoire honors “New Testament” Basie and Neal Hefti, Fifties American pop classics, Louis and Hoagy Carmichael, Edgar Sampson and the Swing Era, neatly evoked without all those music stands: FLIGHT OF THE FOO BIRDS / AFTER SUPPER / SECRET LOVE (Thilo, Lindy, Gregor) / JUBILEE / and the encore, BLUE LOU.

Wonderful music, so expert, so warm, and so reassuring.  Bless its vividly imaginative friends, making it get up and do its dance in 2019.

May your happiness increase!

ONE MORE FOR BIX: Bern, 1993

The “New York All-Stars” were Randy Sandke, cornet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Ken Peplowski, clarinet; Scott Robinson, C-melody and bass saxophones; Mark Shane, piano; Marty Grosz, guitar / vocal . . . and a bassist and drummer I don’t quite recognize: Gregor Beck and Dave Ratajczak?  Someone will enlighten me.  This concert from 1993 in Berne was televised, and “michaelsjazz” (that’s cornetist Michael Supnick) on YouTube has posted clear videos on YouTube.  Possibly familiar . . . but how young they all look, and how nicely they balance the Bix “originals” with their own inspired improvisations!

Let’s begin with a hot reading of MY PRETTY GIRL, which shows why the Jean Goldkette band scared its competitors (including the Henderson band) to bits:

Here’s SORRY:

And a fast RIVERBOAT SHUFFLE, which easily moves into Fifties Condon territory to good effect:

Ken Peplowski hates the obligatory comparison to Goodman, but here, he, Mark Shane and the rhythm tear through CHINA BOY in a way that does recall the great 1936 trio:

Since very little could be faster than that, here’s Mark Shane’s quietly respectful solo IN A MIST:

And a nice minor THERE AIN’T NO SWEET MAN THAT’S WORTH THE SALT OF MY TEARS, with Marty Grosz stepping in for young Mr. Crosby:

Something more positive in the name of Romance — Walter Donaldson’s jaunty BECAUSE MY BABY DON’T MEAN MAYBE NOW with neat interludes from Shane and Dan Barrett:

Dan Barrett goes beyond the superlatives, as far as I’m concerned: here he takes the pretty but little-played WAIT ‘TILL YOU SEE ‘MA CHERIE’ as his feature:

And a feature for Marty Grosz, whose mixture of Hot, sincerity, and mockery is irreplaceable — CHANGES:

Then, an instrumental version of CANDLELIGHTS (does this draw upon Joe Lippman’s arrangement for Bunny Berigan, I wonder?):

I’m not wild about the idea of running SINGIN’ THE BLUES and I’M COMIN’ VIRGINIA together, but perhaps that is the only way to handle two ground-breaking ballad masterpieces (and Randy’s playing of Bix’s solos is beyond compare — as is Marty’s Eddie Lang):

And FIDGETY FEET, paying homage to Bix and to the generations that came after, doing him honor on the bandstand and in the recording studios: