“Heaven on Earth, they call it 211 West 46th Street.”
Last Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at Club Cache in the Hotel Edison, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks did what they’ve been doing every Monday and Tuesday night for many weeks: they made the past come alive. But last night they also peeked around the corner of the present into the future.
The future didn’t announce itself melodramatically: it wasn’t a larger-than-life baby wearing nothing but a sash. It was a young man, sixteen years old, who plays the banjo in the jazz band led by trumpeter Kevin Blancq at New York’s LaGuardia High School. The young man’s name is ELI GREENHOE, and he sat in with the Nighthawks to play one of the tunes he loves and has learned from his time in the LaGuardia Jazz Orchestra — Duke Ellington’s growly THE MOOCHE. I’ll have that performance for all of you to see and hear in a future posting.
To hear about Kevin’s band — rehearsing in a room with pictures of Benny, Hawkins, and Carter on the walls — is exciting. JAZZ LIVES hopes to pay them a visit, so stay tuned.
And the Nighthawks always excite! Here’s some of the hot music the boys offered last night — that’s Vince on vocals, bass sax, tuba, and string bass; Ken Salvo on banjo; Peter Yarin on piano; Arnie Kinsella on drums; Mike Ponella and Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpets; Harvey Tibbs on tronbone; Alan Grubner on violin; Dan Levinson, Mark Lopeman, and Peter Anderson on reeds.
You can’t go wrong with Benny Carter, who remains the King. Here’s his 1934 EVERYBODY SHUFFLE (which bears some relationship to KING PORTER STOMP, I believe): the original recording drew on Fletcher Henderson’s men and I recall a typically slippery Benny Morton trombone solo:
The nightly jam session — always a rouser — was BLUES MY NAUGHTY SWEETIE GIVES (or GAVE, if you’re lucky) TO ME:
Something for Bix and Jean Goldkette and Joe Venuti and a very young Jule Styne, SUNDAY:
Who knew that Ellington had written two compositions called COTTON CLUB STOMP? This is the later one, from 1930:
In honor of the Bennie Moten band (with Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham, Count Basie, and Jimmy Rushing), OH, EDDIE!:
And since Vince and JAZZ LIVES always try to bring you something old, new, and futuristic all at once, here’s a Nighthawks premiere of arranger / composer / reedman Fud Livingston’s IMAGINATION (from 1927). Readers with excellent memories will recall that I posted the piano sheet music for this advanced composition on this site some time back at https://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/imagine-this/. If you can open two windows at once on your computer, why not play along on your piano!
More to come!
DROP A NICKEL IN THE SLOT TO HEAR THE MUSIC PLAY! ALL MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS: