Tag Archives: Peter Cleaver

CELEBRATING FRANK TRAYNOR

 

I didn’t know who Frank Traynor was until a few weeks ago.  And I apologize!

My friend John Trudinger sent me a CD called TROMBONE FRANKIE — a production of the Victorian Jazz Archive — and I confess that because none of the names were particularly recognizable to me in my mind-glossary of Australian musicians (no Bob or Len Barnard, no Fred Parkes) I let the CD sit to the left of my computer monitor for a perversely long time.

One morning, looking for something new to play in the car on the way to work (an ineffable mixture of craving novelty and feeling guilty) I slipped the CD into my pocket and then into the player . . . also because I had been thinking of Bessie Smith’s performance of TROMBONE CHOLLY — a raucous paean to Charlie “Big” Green, who’s Bessie’s partner on that joyous record.  So I began listening to Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers with the alternate take of TROMBONE FRANKIE, vocal by one Judith Dunham, someone also new to me (although I learned that she became world-famous as a member of the Seekers).

Here’s a version of what I heard — and the elation I felt meant that I played this one track over until I arrived at work.  Listen for yourself:

If you’d like to know much more about Traynor and his singular adventures — including a remarkable folk / jazz club, click here (there’s also a beautiful biography and discography):

 www.franktraynors.net.au.

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CLASSIC SMALL-BAND JAZZ: “MY BUDDY” (TWICE)

I keep returning to these two YouTube videos.  One reason is my fondness for Donaldson’s sweet song, written to mourn the death of his young wife, and how beautifully it lends itself to jazz improvisation.  (Benny Carter recorded it memorably in the late Thirties, as did Lionel Hampton.)

Another is my admiration for this variety of loose-limbed Australian jazz — here exemplified by the heart-on-sleeve playing of Neville Stribling and Bob Barnard, among others.  Barnard makes what he does seem so easy while he is pulling off breathtaking marvels.  Ask any trumpet player!  The rhythm sections rock; the soloists create friendly, cohesive ensembles.

The first clip features Neville Stribling’s Jazz Players at the Eureka Jazz Festival in Ballarat in 1986: Ian Smith (tpt), Neville Stribling (rds), Ade Monsbourgh (rds), Graham Coyle (pno), Joe McConechy (bs), Peter Cleaver (bjo/gtr), Allan Browne (dms).

The second version, from the same place, features “The Australians”: Bob Barnard (cnt), Stribling, Monsbourgh, Coyle, Conrad Joyce (bs), Cleaver, and Browne.

Thanks to Simon Stribling, himself an extraordinary trumpeter (catch his own sessions and his CD with Jon-Erik Kellso, KELLSO’S BC BUDDIES, on Gen-Erik Records, for evidence) for these clips.  And he’s living proof that children of artists do sometimes grow up to be wonderfully creative: he’s Neville Stribling’s son.

Category: Music