Yesterday I published a post where four wonderful musicians — Eddy Davis, Conal Fowkes, Jon-Erik Kellso, and Evan Arntzen — improvised on OUR MONDAY DATE in December 2019 at Cafe Bohemia in Greenwich Village, New York City. You can enjoy it here. And I hope you do.
A MONDAY DATE has a personal resonance. It’s not unique to me, but I haven’t had the pleasure of “being on a date” with a tangible person since the end of February (dinner and a festival of short animated films). For me, songs about dating are poignant and hopeful: such encounters can come again, although the February evening was more short than animated. Mirror-gazing over. Onwards.
This MONDAY DATE was performed at Jazz at Chautauqua in September 2009, although not on a Monday. These brilliant players are Tom Pletcher, cornet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Bob Reitmeier, clarinet; Jim Dapogny, piano; Frank Tate, string bass; Pete Siers, drums. I was, as I have explained elsewhere, shooting video sub rosa without Joe Boughton’s permission, which lends a subversive air to the recording, but I was thrilled it came off, then and now. It is a special pleasure to hear Jim’s piano ringing through, adding magic.
Jim Dapogny and Tom Pletcher are no longer with us: I’ve written about them here and (with a beautiful long essay by David Jellema) here. Both posts also have video-recordings of performances you won’t see or hear elsewhere.
A note about “recordings” at Jazz at Chautauqua. Joe Boughton was enthusiastically kind to me long before we met in person: he recognized that we adored the same music. When I visited Chautauqua in 2004, he greeted me warmly, and I spent the whole weekend writing about the joys I experienced there, and wrote the program biographies for more than ten years.
Joe had certain aversions, in large type. The most dramatic was his loathing for over-familiar songs: SATIN DOLL, SWEET GEORGIA BROWN, slow blues, and more. Musicians who broke this rule were asked not to return — in one case, in the middle of the weekend. Secondly, although Joe apparently recorded every note of the weekends I came to — someone operated a videocamera high above our heads — he would not tolerate anyone else recording anything, although he let an amateur jazz photographer make low-quality cassettes. I gave Joe valuable publicity in The Mississippi Rag, which he appreciated: I don’t know whether he saw me with my camera and tacitly accepted it as part of the Michael-bargain or whether he was too busy with the music to notice, but I send him deep gratitude now. I hope you do also.
May your happiness increase!