The High Sierra Jazz Band is the only musical aggregation able — or willing — to evoke Joe Oliver, Jimmie Rodgers, Paul Whiteman, and Peter Lorre in the space of a single set, as they do here. That versatility counts for a good deal with me. They also regularly honor Louis, Bix, Bechet, and Jelly Roll.
If you’d like an embodiment of true jazz loyalty, you have only to attend a High Sierra set where you can hear fans gently debating with each other about whose love for the band is stronger, deeper, and more durable. “Well, when I first saw them in 1978,” begins one, and the person in the next seat says, “We’ve known Pieter long before that,” at which point I pretend to be adjusting the lighting on my camera in case the debate escalates. But you get the idea.
Here’s a set recorded on March 9, 2014, at JazzAge Monterey’s Jazz Bash by the Bay — the noble perpetrators being Pieter Meijers, leader, clarinet, soprano saxophone; Howard Miyata, trombone, vocal; Marc Caparone, cornet; Stan Huddleston, banjo; Earl McKee, sousaphone, vocal; Bruce Huddleston, piano; Charlie Castro, drums.
In honor of the Creole Jazz Band and its many descendents, MABEL’S DREAM:
For M. Morton, WININ’ BOY BLUES:
CALIFORNIA BLUES, a soulful melding of two Jimmie Rodgers’ blue yodels (numbers 4 and 9) with Marc and Earl honoring not only the Singing Brakeman but his colleague Louis:
More for Louis, a three-trumpet version of POTATO HEAD BLUES, with the famous solo transcribed for Dick Hyman’s New York Jazz Repertory Concert, where the trumpets were originally Pee Wee Erwin, Joe Newman, and Jimmy Maxwell:
Tell the children to be good. Here comes THE YAMA YAMA MAN (with the verse):
Back to M. Morton for the KANSAS CITY STOMPS:
And a Bixian duo, withLOUISIANA:
And a concluding FROM MONDAY ON:
Hot and expert.
May your happiness increase!