If we believed in the narratives forced on us by advertisers, we would know that NEW is best, NEW AND IMPROVED better still, and anything OLD is to be discarded. I present joyous evidence to the contrary. Here’s a tune all the musicians like to jam. And even though it is nearly a hundred years old, no one worries about having to dust it.
This performance was created on November 6, 2016, at the Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The band was originally called DUKE HEITGER’S RHYTHMAGICIANS, a name Duke politely disavowed, but I hope he doesn’t mind my retitling this group his JOYMAKERS, because that is truth in advertising. This performance speeds my heart rate in the most healthy ways.
The Romping Masters here are Duke Heitger, trumpet; Alistair Allan, trombone; Lars Frank, reeds; David Boeddinghaus, piano; Henry Lemaire, banjo; Malcolm Sked, string bass; Josh Duffee, drums. Please notice Duke’s little Louis-flourish at 3:20 onwards and the immense wisdom of his putting an ensemble chorus at 4:38, in the middle of the performance, to keep it rollin’. Also, riffs, backgrounds. a drum solo with stop-time accents. These fellows are my heroes and I hope yours too.
Once you’ve caught your breath, you may read on.
For the past eight years, I’ve attended the Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party with great pleasure, and I’ve come home with a basketful of videos, which the musicians allowed me to disperse for free. This was generous of them, and it took a good deal of labor for me to create and distribute them.
This year, a variety of difficulties — technical and logistical — got in the way of my being an unpaid Jazz Cornucopia. There will be videos, but perhaps two dozen rather than four times that. I wish it were otherwise, but not everything is within my control.
I write this in sadness, but also with a point.
Several jazz fans, who I am convinced are good people who love the music as I do, came to me during the weekend and were unhappy with my news: “This is not good for us!” said one to me in the hallway.
I am sorry to have let the imagined Team down, but I am not a natural resource like the sun, and I cannot reproduce an entire event for public consumption, nor do I want to. Let these words be a reminder that not everything is for free, nor can it be, and let these sentences act as encouragement for people to slowly and carefully — those who can! — get out of their chairs in front of their computers and GO SOMEWHERE in front of the actual musicians rather than expecting it all to be given to us.
I hope this doesn’t sound excessively rancorous, but it is the truth, at least what the man behind the camera perceives it to be. And I plan to be very selective about posting comments, pro and con, on this point. (To paraphrase Lesley Gore, “It’s MY blog and I’ll post if I want to.”) Exultant praise of Duke and his band is, as always, welcome.
And to mute any bad feelings, or to attempt to, here are Duke and his Joymakers again. I could watch and listen to this a dozen times and not stop marveling:
Thanks to CineDevine for rescuing me so graciously from some of the technical problems: without him, this video would not be shared with JAZZ LIVES.
May your happiness increase!