Tag Archives: Henry Nemo

INCANDESCENCE: THE REBECCA KILGORE / JOHN SHERIDAN TRIO at JAZZ at CHAUTAUQUA (September 23, 2012)

It’s the middle of November, and the days are getting shorter.  Darkness comes before dinner, and the sky is a steel-gray when my alarm clock goes off.  Like many other people, I feel this darkness keenly, although I manage to get through it every year.

But two friends of ours — friends of the music, deep masters of its power to exalt without ever speaking in capital letters — offer us the cure for any darkness.  The music they make is bright, even at slow tempos; it illuminates the spirit long after they have left the stage.

Rebecca Kilgore and John Sheridan light the way as they always do . . . here on a quiet Sunday morning at Jazz at Chautauqua near the end of September 2012.

Even though this set began at around 10 AM, Becky and John embarked on the saucy, sly THE FIVE O’CLOCK WHISTLE — is it a tale of increased wartime productivity or a cautionary saga of the dangers of workplace romance?  All I know is that both Duke Ellington and Count Basie tried this one out in 1940.  Wait for Becky;s witty dramatic interpolation near the end:

Yes, ‘T’IS AUTUMN could have had more ambitious lyrics, but the song is a sweetly memorable hymn to the change of seasons:

WITH A SONG IN MY HEART is one of Richard Rodgers’ melodies with operatic yearnings and lyrics by Lorenz Hart without his usual edge.  Becky and John take it at a faster clip — it becomes the song of a deeply romantic wooer who also has things to do and places to get to — but the result still convinces us:

THERE AIN’T NO SWEET MAN (That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears) reminds us of Bix and Tram, Bing and the King of Jazz — an ebullient remembrance of high good times:

GET OUT AND GET UNDER THE MOON is from the same time period, with the lovely conceit that Romance under the night sky is easier than playing cards at home.  More rewarding, surely . . . but easier?  One wonders at such optimism, but it’s worth cherishing such illusions:

HE’S A TRAMP comes from the Peggy Lee score for the movie LADY AND THE TRAMP, and it’s a peerless casual love song:

I LOVE BEING HERE WITH YOU is another Peggy Lee affirmation, as well as the way we feel about John Sheridan and Becky Kilgore, our swing heroes:

We are immensely lucky to be in the light-hearted, generously illuminating company of Rebecca and John.  Long may they shine!ider

P.S.  And if my title poses a logical problem — where’s the trio? —  consider.  A trio here is made up of a singer, a pianist, a swing guitarist.  Anyone have a problem with that?

May your happiness increase,

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DAN BARRETT COMES EAST (September – October 2011)

To quote Henry Nemo, “‘Tis autumn,” and one of the more rewarding manifestations of that season is the annual Dan Barrett Comes East tour.  The inimitable Costa Mesa, California trombonist, cornetist, arranger, composer, pianist, singer, comes to this coast for a series of what have proven memorable gigs.

Thursday – Sunday, Sept. 15-18: Dan at Chautauqua Jazz Party, Chautauqua, New York (http://athenaeum-hotel.com/Jazz-at-Chautauqua/)

Monday, Sept. 19: Dan at Arthur’s Tavern, with Bill Dunham’s Grove Street Stompers (Grove Street & 7th Ave South; 7-10 pm)

Tuesday, Sept. 20: Dan in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with Howard Alden & Frank Tate (details to follow)

Wednesday, Sept. 21: Dan at Birdland with David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band (5:30-7:15 pm): see http://www.ostwaldjazz.com/live/ for details.  Dan will be joined by Bria Skonberg (trumpet), Vinny Raniolo (banjo and guitar), Marion Felder (drums) and others.

Sunday, Sept. 25: a double-header!  Dan will join Terry Waldo’s band at Fat Cat (77 Christopher Street), from 5:45 to 8 pm).  Then, Dan will go south and west for an evening at the Ear Inn, with Evan Christopher, Matt Munisteri, and New York’s finest, immediately after that (8-11 pm)

Monday, Sept. 26: Dan will again appear alongside Evan Christopher at a concert sponsored by the Sidney Bechet Society, beginning at 7:15 pm.  Evan’s “Clarinet Road” will pay tribute to the Master in “Blues for Bechet.”  Featured guests will include vocalist Catherine Russell, guitar virtuosi Doug Wamble and Matt Munisteri, and LaFrae Sci on drums.  The concert will take place at Symphony Space (95th Street and Broadway), and tickets are available here:

http://www.sidneybechet.org/purchase-tickets/

Tuesday, Sept. 27: Dan will join the brass section — on cornet — of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at “Club Cache'” — the lower floor of Sofia’s restaurant in the Edison Hotel, 211 West 46th Street.

Wednesday, September 28: Dan will again be part of David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band at Birdland, from 5:45-7:15 pm, alongside Bria Skonberg, Pete Martinez, Howard Alden, Marion Felder, and others.

Sunday, October 2: Another double-header: Dan at Fat Cat again with Terry Waldo’s band; then on to the Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, Soho, New York (8-11 pm)

Monday, October 3: Dan will be part of another Arbors Records event at Feinstein’s at the Regency with singers Rebecca Kilgore, Nicki Parrott, Lynn Roberts, and Harry Allen’s Quartet (Harry, Rossano Sportiello, Joel Forbes, and Chuck Riggs).

Alas and woe for New Yorkers, Dan flies home the next day.  Don’t miss out on the Barrett Comes East tour.  There are, as yet, no plans for souvenir sweatshirts, buttons, or pennants — merely fine jazz and many musical surprises.

And in case you are just discovering Mr. Barrett, here’s some musical evidence — his cornet lights up this August 2011 performance of MY BUDDY, recorded at the JAZZ LIVES party (with John Smith, alto; Vinnie Armstrong, piano; Marc Caparone, bass; Mike Swan, guitar):

A TELEGRAM IN JIVE TALK

Where do the fascinating objects of the recent past end up?  Papers decay, shellac discs break, photographs crumble.  It’s either terribly sad or somewhat of a relief — if objects didn’t decay, we would be neck-deep in 1924 newsprint and cereal boxes.

John P. Cooper, my cyber-friend and vintage jazz and pop enthusiast, is wondering about a particular collection — the treasured paper ephemera of the composer and actor Henry Nemo, who died in 1999.  Most of us know Nemo as the composer of DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE FROM ME and ‘TIS AUTUMN.  And some film buffs will recall him as “the Neem” in THE SONG OF THE THIN MAN.  Below is the only photograph I have been able to find of Nemo online, authenticated by his daughter.

HENRY_NEMO

But until John directed me to Wikipedia, I hadn’t known of Nemo’s holdings — a veritable Alexandria of jive from the late Thirties.  I don’t usually trust Wikipedia, but this sounds enticing enough to be accurate:

Nemo’s rare collection of jazz memorabilia documents 1930s music and his days at the Cotton Club, where he wrote the lyrics with Irving Mills and John Redmond for “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” (1938), with music by Duke Ellington. In Nemo’s historical collection are original photographs which he took at the Cotton Club, plus Cotton Club memorabilia and a 1939 telegram from Ellington to Nemo, written in jive talk.

Calling Western Union!  Do any JAZZ LIVES readers know where this collection might be and if it’s open to the public?  Brush up  your jive talk, please.