The Cangelosi Cards provoke enthusiastic affirmations wherever they go.
And recently they’ve gone as far as I can imagine — to the House of Blues and Jazz in Shanghai, China for a three-month residency. They’re returning for gigs between October 22 and November 4, including a stint at the Nanjing Jazz Festival, October 22nd-28th. The group will also make a four-city tour including Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing.
I am cheered by their widening circle of friends. But for those of us who can’t drop everything and follow the Cards to China, there’s new musical evidence to savor.
When I first heard the Cards at Banjo Jim’s some years ago, I was moved by their swinging momentum and deep feeling — unaffected sentiment with a rocking pulse. The singular instrumental voices always sounded like a conversation — intimate yet fervent — that I was privileged to eavesdrop on. When Tamar Korn began to sing, the experience became otherworldly, music coming from what Yeats called “the deep heart’s core.”
Tamar and the band loved the music of the Boswell Sisters — not only the beautiful repertoire and hot solos but the vocal harmonies and sophisticated arrangements. I saw Tamar and her sweetly singing friends Naomi Uyama and Mimi Terris create their own variations on the Boswell repertoire. I remember their acapella rendition of MOONGLOW performed on the sidewalk outside Banjo Jim’s brought me to tears.
Now that experience has taken tangible shape, for Tamar, Mimi, and Naomi, as “The Three Diamonds,” have recorded a mini-CD of three selections backed by the Cards (Gordon Webster, Dennis Lichtman, Jake Sanders, Matt Musselman, Cassidy Holden, and Marcus Milius).
It’s extraordinary music — connected by a celestial theme: STARDUST, MOONGLOW, and the lesser-known WHEN MY BLUE MOON TURNS TO GOLD AGAIN. The EP will be available at the Cards’ shows and can be purchased online at www.losmusicosviajeros.net for $3 plus shipping.
And since the Cards are back in New York City for a moment, they can be experienced at Harefield Road, where, to quote Jake, they’re “inviting a bunch of folks out this Sunday, some good friends-fine players from other groups.” Harefield Road is on Metropolitan between Graham and Humboldt in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the third stop on the L. The Cards will play from 5 to 9.
Members of the band will also be playing at MOTO (http://www.cafe-moto.com) on Friday nights from 9 to midnight.
And they will also be presented in concert by the New Jersey Jazz Society — at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown, New Jersey, on October 11. The concert begins at 8 PM: tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. The Bickford Theatre/Morris Museum: On Columbia Turnpike/Road (County Road 510) at the corner of Normandy Heights Road, east of downtown Morristown. The hall is near Interstate 287 and the Route 24 Expressway. It seats 300 and there’s ample on-site parking and wheelchair access. Weeknight concerts are one long set (8 to 9:30 PM). Tickets may be purchased via credit card over the phone by calling the box office at (973) 971-3706. The box office can also provide information and directions, or email Jazzevents@aol.com.