There are many magnificent jazz pianists. But there’s only one David Boeddinghaus. I’ve enjoyed his rollicking swing, his lyrical groove, his tender ballads (he is a master of Porter and Rodgers and Carmichael) and deep blues, his evocations of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and Frank Melrose — in California, in New Orleans, in Newcastle (thus my title as well as a reference to the 1920 pop tune below, because David gets us where we’d like to go and more).
You can read his biography online; you can ponder his discography thanks to Tom Lord. But his glorious playing needs no more explication than this: it is beautiful without commentary. David is especially exultant as an ensemble player, no matter what the tempo: a one-man rhythm section full of subtlety and strength. Meaning no disrespect to Duke Heitger, Alistair Allan, Lars Frank, Henry Lemaire, Malcolm Sked, and Josh Duffee, I think David is the great engine of this romping CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME, captured at the 2016 Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party:
and here’s another performance from that set that has justly garnered a good deal of praise — with David swinging like a wonderful amalgam of Joe Sullivan and everyone wonderful uptown as well:
Musicians I know speak of his accuracy, his scholarship: he knows the verses, the right tempos, the best changes. Ask Banu Gibson, ask Larry Scala and three dozen others. But for me, it’s something larger: David Boeddinghaus transports us through sound. Bless him.
May your happiness increase!