Before you read a word, listen and be charmed: ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK RAG.
To my ears, that’s a delightful mixture of two appealing jazz genres, loosely defined: “gypsy jazz” harking back to Django Reinhardt and colleagues, and “modern New Orleans,” best defined by one’s ears. Andy MacDonald is an inventive Montreal guitarist-singer-composer who’s always created melodic, light-hearted swing. And he has three new issues on Bandcamp — SEEKING HOME, One, Two, and Three.
Andy has surrounded himself with players who float as he does: Aurélien Tomasi, bass saxophone and reeds; Bertrand Margelidon, trumpet; Joseph Abbott, clarinet and alto saxophone; Olivier Hébert, string bass and trombone; Jeff Moseley, guitar; Drew Jurecka, violin; Kalya Ramu, vocal.
The three issues contain fifteen songs — and I mean “songs” in the best memorably singable sense — with a few standards, APRIL SHOWERS, and I GUESS I’LL GET THE PAPERS AND GO HOME. The overall effect is, once again, charming — looking backwards to Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, and Adrian Rollini as well as the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, all of them magically transported to a balcony in the French Quarter — but it isn’t recreation of past recordings or fixed genres. The music meanders as happily as do Andy and his (now-famous) “pandemic puppy,” named Duke Ellington (no, not just “Duke,” if you please.
Here’s another sample:
If I heard that coming out of a speaker somewhere, I would want to follow those sounds! I hope you feel the same way.
And a sweet whimsy based on HONEYSUCKLE ROSE and the notion of “Don’t buy sugar,” but with Montreal pride mixed in, MAPLE SYRUP:
And here are a few more snippets:
Melodic, unforced, and witty:
It is, as they say, music to my ears.
May your happiness increase!