I couldn’t make it to the Bootleggers’ Ball (I’ve supplied the apostrophe, if anyone wants to know) in San Francisco on July 15, 2017, because they haven’t perfected Swing Teleportation yet — or if they have, it’s out of my price range for now — but JAZZ LIVES’s readers are well-covered.
First, Clint Baker’s Golden Gate Swing Band was in charge: Clint, trombone and vocal; Marc Caparone, trumpet; Dawn Lambeth, vocal; Robert Young, saxophone and vocal; Jeff Hamilton, piano; Marty Eggers, string bass; Bill Reinhart, guitar; Riley Baker, drums. RaeAnn Berry was on the case, possibly in the second balcony, shooting video, which I can now share with you. I also knew that things would go well with Lori Taniguchi at the microphone and (unseen but sending out swing vibrations) Brettie Page on the dance floor.
My title is my invention: that is, everything in this band is beautifully in place in ways that connect to the jazz paradise we love — but the music is better, because it is created and accessible in the here and now. I love blue-label Decca 78s with surface noise, but we’re also living in 2017, and Miniver Cheevy’s life in swingtime is not I one I think is a good model.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (with the delightful Dawn Lambeth, whose phrasing is a model of swing elegance):
I WANT A LITTLE GIRL (at a nice tempo, with riffs, no charge):
LINGER AWHILE (I feel Harry Lim, Fred Sklow, Jack Crystal, and Milt Gabler grinning):
MILENBERG JOYS (with the Palme du Joy to Messrs. Caparone and Hamilton — but the whole band is a marvel. During the outchorus, the spice jars in my kitchen were swinging.):
IT’S A SIN TO TELL A LIE (Dawn eases us into the moral lesson: lying and romance don’t mix: and what an easy tempo for this!) And by the way, was that Dicky Wells who just walked in?:
And that nifty Ellington blues, SARATOGA SWING:
Making the most of a documented meteor shower, Dawn sings STARS FELL ON ALABAMA:
They sparkle! They bubble! (Dawn sings THEM THERE EYES):
Care for an extended ocean voyage on the S.S. ROMANTIC CAPTIVITY? Dawn sings ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA:
JOE LOUIS STOMP (with an unexplained shriek at 2:57, echoed by quick-thinking Maestro Hamilton. I hope it was a shriek of delight):
MY BUDDY (sung by ours, Robert Young):
DIGA DIGA DOO (for Lips Page and Specs Powell — some Krazy Kapers there, too, as mandated by moral law):
I like Dawn’s reading of Mercer’s optimism: “DREAM . . . and they might come true”:
A dozen performances are still yours to watch here. “Mighty nice,” as we say.
May your happiness increase!