To some JAZZ LIVES’ viewers, what follows will simply be another set recorded at a recent jazz festival — America’s Classic Jazz Festival at Lacey, Washington (through the great generosity of videographer RaeAnn Berry).
And if those viewers, possibly glutted with stimuli, perceive only that, who am I to deny that perspective? But to me, performances that allow us to revel in the joy created by singer Dawn Lambeth, trumpeter Marc Caparone, and pianist Ray Skjelbred, are more than special. In their swing, lyricism, courageous improvising while respecting the songs, they are remarkable offerings.
We begin with Ray and Marc having a good time — a la Louis 1928 — with BASIN STREET BLUES, a song so often reduced to formula that this version is thrilling:
The leader joins in for a touching IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN:
I fell in love with this from the introduction on! I’ll go back to stevia some day:
Who remembers Paul Denniker? But this beauty of a tentative love song, ‘S’POSIN’ — is always a pleasure:
Ah, Marc and Ray think of Henry “Red” Allen: always a good idea:
Another evocation of Red circa 1936, THE RIVER’S TAKIN’ CARE OF ME. I love the lyrics and the idea that the River gives me breakfast — not poached eggs on English muffin, but recalling the days when one went fishing and cooked one’s catch of the day immediately. Huckleberry Finn, anyone?
And Walter Donaldson:
One of those wonderful songs that brings together Louis and Fats:
Walter Donaldson’s YOU — also recorded by Red Allen and others:
I know I am going to see Marc, and Dawn, and Ray — separately and perhaps together — at this year’s San Diego Jazz Fest . . . so this is indeed something to look forward to. For the moment, we have this hour of love, thanks to the musicians and to RaeAnn.
May your happiness increase!