- TELL MARIE KONDO: THIS SPARKS JOY! REGINALD FORESYTHE, 1935
- AN HOUR OF JOY WITH EDDIE ERICKSON and FRIENDS at the JAZZ BASH BY THE BAY: DANNY TOBIAS, KATIE CAVERA, GARY RYAN, JERRY KRAHN (March 6, 2020)
- BUD (Part Two, November 26, 1988)
- “WOLVERINE BLUES”: WEATHERBIRD JAZZ BAND (BENT PERSSON, KAJ SILVERT, TOMAS ORNBERG, ULF JOHANSSON WERRE, GORAN LIND, GORAN ERIKSSON, SIGGE DELLERT)
- SPREADING JOY IN PHILADELPHIA with MARTY GROSZ, DANNY TOBIAS, RANDY REINHART, SCOTT ROBINSON, DAN BLOCK, JACK SAINT CLAIR, VINCE GIORDANO, JIM LAWLOR, BRENNAN ERNST (March 4, 2020)
- BUCKY (January 9, 1926 – April 1, 2020)
- FRED GUY, TRICKY SAM NANTON, CHANO POZO, MEADE LUX LEWIS, J.C. HIGGINBOTHAM, BABS GONZALES, ABBEY LINCOLN, SAM JONES, LEE KONITZ, KARIN KROG, JOHN LEWIS, COUSIN JOE, BUD FREEMAN, EDDIE GOMEZ, ANDY KIRK, MED FLORY, CHUBBY JACKSON, WILBUR LITTLE, HELEN HUMES, FREDDIE GREEN, TAFT JORDAN, and MANY MORE, FROM JG AUTOGRAPHS on eBay
- BUD (Part One, November 27, 1988)
- “YOU COULDN’T HAVE INVENTED HIM”: DAN MORGENSTERN RECALLS RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK (and CHARLIE SHAVERS and NAT COLE): August 30, 2019
- BEAUTY NEEDS NO WORDS: JOE WILDER AND HOWARD ALDEN (Jazz at Chautauqua, September 19, 2009)
- “BABY, YOU’RE THE BEST”: EDDY DAVIS, JON-ERIK KELLSO, EVAN ARNTZEN, CONAL FOWKES (Cafe Bohemia, December 26, 2019)
- "DOGGIN’ AROUND": JON-ERIK KELLSO, SCOTT ROBINSON, JOE COHN, MURRAY WALL (Cafe Bohemia, January 30, 2020)
- “THE MYSTICAL MOIST NIGHT AIR”: PETRA van NUIS, ANDY BROWN, CHUCK WILSON, DAN BLOCK, KEITH INGHAM, ARNIE KINSELLA, VINCE GIORDANO (Jazz at Chautauqua, September 20, 2009)
- FIVE BY FIVE (Part Two): JOE PLOWMAN and his PHILADELPHIANS at the 1867 SANCTUARY: JOE PLOWMAN, DANNY TOBIAS, JOE McDONOUGH, SILAS IRVINE, DAVE SANDERS (February 8, 2020)
- THE TREASURE CHEST REOPENS, or HOLY RELICS, CONTINUED
- FRIENDS AT PLAY: STEVE PISTORIUS, “LIVING ROOM SESSIONS, VOLUME ONE: NEW ORLEANS TREASURES”
- AN ANSWER TO ANXIETY, or RADIANCE IN THE GLOOM (Part One): JON-ERIK KELLSO, EVAN ARNTZEN, JOSH DUNN, SEAN CRONIN at CAFE BOHEMIA (March 12, 2020)
- ANOTHER TUNE FOR THE TIMES (March 8, 2020)
- STREET FOOD, AN EXOTIC HONEYMOON, EXUBERANT DANCE, 1936
- HOLY RELICS, BEYOND BELIEF (Spring 2020 Edition)
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Tag Archives: Gus Viseur
I appreciate the comfort of improvising on familiar themes: I haven’t tired of the blues or BODY AND SOUL. But even the most “traditional” of listeners can find that venturing beyond one’s fenced front yard can be uplifting. A new CD, INTRODUCING MUSETTE EXPLOSION, is a happy, bracing exploration of fresh fields and pastures new (the lively cover art, befitting the music, is by Na Kim). The three impish yet serious improvisers on this disc are Will Holshouser, accordion / compositions; Matt Munisteri, guitar and banjo; Marcus Rojas, tuba.
The music they are exploring is French musette — dance-based pop music of Paris that flourished in the last century. A listener new to the form will hear some Django-connections, both literal (one of the compositions is the Reinhardt-Grappelli SWING 39) and whimsical — some songs are by the virtuoso accordionist Gus Viseur, others by guitarist Baro Ferret. But this isn’t another by-the-numbers Django-and-Stephane tribute, and the music has its own vivid energies, its own quirky turns.
Each track seems a small musical drama all its own — not simply an attempt by jazz musicians to pretend to be French strolling street musicians, but their delightful variations within and around the form.
Some performances instantly suggest films that haven’t yet been created (and there are a few neat aural interpolations — witty surprises that don’t feel hackneyed) but each track is its own dance. In fact, it is easy to listen to the whole disc at a sitting as if one were at a chamber-music concert with ten movements in a suite. (This variety, never forced or abrupt, is something few discs offer.)
This isn’t to suggest that the music is “contemporary classical,” with all the intellectual rigor implied by that name, because this trio swings. The performances are affectionate but I wouldn’t call them sentimental: no berets and striped sailor shirts are audible in this hour of music.
I first heard accordionist Holshouser on a Matt Munisteri CD, and was immediately impressed with the easy grace he brings to an instrument that, in other hands, can be melodramatic and rhythmically constrained. Munisteri shines wherever he is; he consistently improves the landscape — enough said. Tubaist Rojas is not only a splendid player who makes his instrument as light-hearted and melodic as any French hornist, but he is also a deft musical impersonator: the bird songs or whale murmurs heard on this CD come from him. (I was reminded of hornist Jimmy Buffington, and that is not small praise.)
In his notes, Will writes that he and Matt “got hooked” on French musette music — seduced by the “dark beauty and thrilling virtuosity” they heard in the classic recordings, “passionate and sweet, but played with a fierce edge — like jazz.” But rather than create a repertory project, another set of old records in contemporary fidelity, they brought jazz players’ vigor and willingness to explore to the songs and conventions they had grown to love, finding new ways to improvise on the material.
And as brilliant as Will, Matt, and Marcus are as soloists, they come together marvelously as ensemble players — something is always going on in every performance, and this combination of instruments that would seem odd or unbalanced in other hands sounds complete and rich here.
You can hear brief samples of the music on Will’s site here. The band has been captured on video, playing SWING VALSE:
and GITAN SWING:
Those who are members of the Terry Gross Fan Club have already heard Will play and talk about this band and their music on NPR’s FRESH AIR, but that fascinating segment can be heard here. The band’s Facebook page is here. And the disc itself can be found in all the old familiar places: CD Baby, Amazon (may I gently urge readers to investigate Amazon Smile, where a percentage from one’s purchases goes to a charity one selects), or iTunes.
I find this music happily atmospheric, so I offer a suggestion that is part challenge. I hope some creative film-school or drama-school type finds this music and begins to make short films, no dialogue needed, with each track as a central character in a theatre piece or a short film. Those who aren’t making films, writing, directing, or acting in theatre can simply buy copies of the disc or download it — rare pleasures are in store.
May your happiness increase!
The band PANIQUE is a rare group, subtle and inventive, as their appearance at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco proved. Click PANIQUE to be transported — in every possible way — back to their beautiful first set!
This imaginative quartet is Vic Wong, guitar; Benito Cortez, violin; Nick Christie, rhythm guitar; Daniel Fabricant, string bass.
Here is their second set. I so admire the conversational eloquence of their solos, delightful ensemble interplay; their dynamics, tempos, and shadings, their love 0f melody.
WALTZ in C# MINOR / TOPSY (combining Chopin and Eddie Durham favors both of them):
MA PREMIERE GUITARRE:
Accordionist Gus Viseur’s SWING VALSE:
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY / THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU:
Learn more about PANIQUE and their live CD here; visit Vic Wong on Facebook there. And The Red Poppy Art House is a remarkable place, full of friendship and inspirations: click Poppy to find out more.
May your happiness increase.