Like most Americans, I commute to work by car, even though I know that my choice has huge adverse effects on the planet. When I can, I take the Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan, but the train is at best inconvenient. Even when I bring my iPod or The New Yorker, the LIRR is tedium on wheels.
Here’s the ideal solution to the problem. If my train ride could be like this, morning and evening, I swear I would sell my car:
This catches the West End Jazz Band (with friends) on the South Shore train line, recorded May 31, 2009, on their way to the annual Hudson Lake celebration. (Hudson Lake, as you know, is a sacred site that connects Bix Beiderbecke, Pee Wee Russell, and other kindred spirits.) You hear and see Mike Bezin and Sue Fischer on washboards; John Otto on clarinet; Frank Gualtieri on trombone; Andy Schumm and Mike Walbridge on cornets; Leah Bezin on banjo; Dave Bock on tuba; Josh Duffee on drums, performing LOUISIANA. And a slightly smaller version of the group offers a spirited SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL.
These clips are courtesy of “manidig” on YouTube — a fellow after my own heart. I subscribed to his channel about two minutes into LOUISIANA. Thanks, Mr. Dig!
What time will the next jazz train arrive?