Tag Archives: healing power

PAGING DOCTOR JAZZ: FOR JIM DAPOGNY

Recently Jim Dapogny had major surgery.  But he is recovering (as Marty Grosz would say) With Dispatch and Vigor

If you don’t know Jim, what a pity — Professor Dapogny is not only a music scholar of great renown, noted for his work on Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson, but he is a stomping pianist of splendid subtleties, someone who can rock the hall without half trying — a true successor to Joe Sullivan and Frank Melrose.  And he’s a wonderful arranger for big bands and small.   

Even with the stellar pianists at this year’s Jazz at Chautauqua, we missed the Professor. 

But the waggish Martin Oliver Grosz, he of the rapier wit, is very fond of his colleague and dedicated a tune to him during the Thursday night jam sessions.  What tune?  YOU PUT A BANDAGE ON ME — known to more sedate listeners as YOU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ME. 

Here, Marty, John Sheridan, piano; Andy Schumm, cornet; Bob Reitmeier, clarinet; Frank Tate, bass; Pete Siers, drums, swing out in true Dapogny style.  They’re all specialists; they don’t need second opinions:

Get well, Professor!  Watch out for those co-pays!  See you next month!

“SUNDAY”: HONORING JOEL HELLENY

This performance — faster than usual, happily so — took place last night, Sunday, June 21, 2009, at The Ear Inn.  Wedged into their usual corner were that night’s brilliant edition of The Ear Regulars: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Harvey Tibbs, trombone; Dan Block, clarinet; Jon Burr, bass.  The song — written by (among others) Jule Styne in 1927 — is usually taken at an easy lope, but the Regulars tore through it as a change of pace. 

To look at this band, you’d think them entirely involved in giving and receiving pleasure: they listen in a kind of rapture to each other’s solos; they construct witty, pointed, empathic backgrounds and riffs.  And the communion, creativity, and joy we sense are obviously coming from deep inside them, individually and collectively.  But there’s a paradox at work in this performance: everyone on this bandstand had only learned that day of the death of trombonist Joel Helleny — someone they had all respected, played alongside, and known.  One way to handle their grief might have been to refuse to play, to go off somewhere to grieve in solitude.  But these artists chose to heal themselves by offering their energies as only they could.  Their spirit and their choruses healed us.