Tag Archives: Panama

“IT’S HOT DOWN THERE!” (Part One): SWINGING JAZZ FROM CAFE BOHEMIA: JON-ERIK KELLSO, EVAN ARNTZEN, JARED ENGEL, ARNT ARNTZEN (October 24, 2019)

Wonderful music has been happening and continues to happen downstairs at the Barrow Street Alehouse on 15 Barrow Street, the hallowed ground of Cafe Bohemia.  Here’s the first part of the splendid music created on October 24 by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Evan Arntzen, clarinet, tenor saxophone, vocal; Jared Engel, string bass; Arnt Arntzen, guitar, banjo, vocal.

You’ll find so much to admire here: brilliant wise polyphony, hot and sweet soloing, respect for melodies and the courage to improvise.  Beauty is there for those who can listen without preconceptions.  And they swung from the first note of I DOUBLE DARE YOU:

Then, SOMEDAY SWEETHEART, with or without comma:

Something memorable from the pen of William H. Tyers:

Evan offers the verse all by himself, gorgeously:

When I grow too old to take the subway, I’ll have these sounds to remember:

Cafe Bohemia is also offering a variety of musical pleasures, including sets by trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and a rare session by the two sons of legendary jazz bassist Jymie Merritt — keep up to date with their schedule here on Facebook.  Their website is still in gestation but will be thoroughly informative soon.

I will have much more from this band, and Jon-Erik will be back at Cafe Bohemia on November 14 and several more Thursdays in December.  And — if that wasn’t enough — Matt Rivera will be creating his own clouds of joy by spinning 78s before and after: see here for the full story.  The Hot Club is fully in operation Monday nights (by itself, which is wonderful) and alternating with the live music on Thursdays.

Thanks evermore to Mike Zielenewski and to Christine Santelli, aesthetic benefactors who are making all this joy possible. M.C. Escher would be happy to know that glorious sounds scrape the clouds even from the basement of 15 Barrow Street.  S0 find your gloves and that nice scarf Auntie made for you — the one you never wear — and come join us.

May your happiness increase!

RAGSTRETCH GOES AROUND THE WORLD IN JAZZ: PANAMA / AUSTRALIA / DENMARK (WITH FRIENDS!)

My new friend Lars Ole Christiansen posted this video by the intercontinental band RAGSTRETCH.  That hot band characterizes itself here on Facebook as “New Orleans inspired jazz! Scandinavian horns meet New York-based Aussies for an upcoming tour of Denmark and Norway.”

That in itself would be enough to convince me.  But RAGSTRETCH is also fortunate enough to have my friend Shannon Barnett (an astonishing player, shoes on or off) on trombone in the front line.

They are playing William H. Tyers’ PANAMA . . . and they are playing it in Copenhagen.  Can you say, “Jazz is a universal language.”?

I was about a minute into this video before I said, “More people need to hear this RIGHT NOW.”  So here you are!

RAGSTRETCH is Chris Tanner, clarinet; Björn Ingelstam, trumpet; Shannon Barnett, trombone; Craig Fermanis, guitar; Sam Anning, string bass; Rajiv Jayweera, drums.  Recorded at the Copenhagen Harbour Jazz Festival, July 7, 2013

May your happiness increase!

MICHAEL McQUAID’S RED HOT RHYTHMAKERS 2008

This is a wonderful young stomping band from Australia, playing PANAMA (a homage to the ferocious Luis Russell Orchestra of 1929-30) at a gig in Ireland.  If that doesn’t say that jazz is thriving, internationally, I don’t know what evidence would do it.  McQuaid is one of those youthful heroes who can play a shopful of instruments, in the fashion of the late Tom Baker.  Someone to watch (on YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook — he’s the very model of modernity even though he knows his jazz history from the inside)!