Although I grew up listening to recordings of people who had already moved on, I’ve tried hard to make this blog a chronicle of living music and musicians, so it isn’t JAZZ DIES. But I am still reeling from the deaths of Jim Dapogny and Connie Jones, and I do not use that cliche lightly. I will shine the spotlight more on Prof. in future, I guarantee you, but this post is all about Connie.
I was enthralled by the music Connie created so effortlessly, that I followed him when he appeared in California (2011, 2012, 2014) and once in New Orleans (2015). Others saw him more often, to be sure, but if you search this blog for “Connie Jones,” you will find more than fifty postings, all with video-evidence.
But here is something you haven’t seen yet, Connie and friends on their own magic carpet, taking us along to places unimagined yet familiar.
It is a glorious and mournful memory both: the last time I had the privilege of seeing, hearing, and recording Connie, here captured among brilliant friends Bob Havens, trombone; David Boeddinghaus, piano; Banu Gibson, rhythm guitar instead of her usual wonderful singing. This performance took place below decks on the steamboat Natchez, at the final Steamboat Stomp based in New Orleans. PERSIAN RUG is a song I associate with the Louisiana Sugar Babes but also with Jack Teagarden, with whom Connie worked at the end of Jack’s life. It is a charming piece of “Orientalia,” complete with verse, and it swings in celestial ways here.
I offer this video with great reverence. To some casual viewers, it may simply be “another live video”; to me, it is touching evidence of what Connie did so nobly and with such apparent ease. He made magic.
Blessings on him, on Bob, David, and Banu also:
No one can replace Connie, although we should all try to create — whatever it is we create — as beautifully as he does here.
May your happiness increase!