One of the highlights of my recent life has been getting to know and to admire Kevin Dorn — a creative musician blessed with singular perceptions. He’s been leading his own Traditional Jazz Collective, a stirring group of improvisers. Here’s a recent incarnation of the TJC at Banjo Jim’s, doing a fast one and a slow one. From the left, there’s Michael Hashim on alto sax, Kevin on drums, Charlie Caranicas on cornet, J. Walter Hawkes on trombone and vocal, and Jesse Gelber on piano. Nadia’s in the audience, although she’s hard to see here.
First, the TJC has an energetic workout on “Everybody Loves My Baby,” which goes back to the middle Twenties but has lost none of its liveliness:
When the TJC had a regular Monday-night gig at the Cajun, one of the songs I loved most was J. Walter Hawkes’s slow, soulful rendition of “Rose Room.” Most of us Art Hickman’s ballad simply as an instrumental, as a set of chord changes to improvise on at a medium tempo, but JWH, sweetly perverse, sings it as it was originally written: a yearning plaint.
“Oh! to be sweetly reclining.”
I didn’t request that Walter sing this one, but I’m thrilled to have caught it on video — and to be able to share it here. (Did you know that he’s an Emmy-award winning composer as well as one of the great unheralded jazz trombonists? You do now.)
Kevin and the TJC appear intermittently at a variety of New York jazz haunts, including the Garage; Kevin himself plays with the Gully Low Jazz Band at Birdland and with John Gill at The Ear Inn. Check his website, on my blogroll, for vital information on when and where you can hear him play.