YouTube provided a very encouraging coincidence — two inspiring jazz events taking place on the same day, May 23, 2010 — one in Denmark, one in Arizona. I always hope that Hot jazz is ubiquitous, that somewhere the Ghanian Revelers or the Croatian Wanderers are playing MABEL’S DREAM or DICKIE’S DREAM or SOLID OLD MAN — and these two clips suggest the truth might not be that far away.
First, the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys on a Copenhagen canal boat — recorded in lovely HD by Thorbye Flemming. Their choice is LOUIS-I-AN-I-A (by Joe Darensbourg, I think?) with a very lively and current impromptu set of lyrics by banjoist Michael Boving, who has a remarkable shouting style. He’s joined here by Robert Hansson, trumpet; Frans Sjostrom, bass sax; Ole Olsen; bass. Sit down, you’re rocking the boat!
Rae Ann Berry went to the Arizona Classic Jazz Society’s May meeting (how lucky for us!) and had a hand in this concert appearance by Ray Skjelbred and his Cubs, who are Ray on piano; Kim Cusack on reeds; Katie Cavera on guitar; Clint Baker on bass; Hal Smith on drums. (Hal would have me tell you, in the spirit of full and frank disclosure, that he had a terrible cold and was filled to the gills with immobilizing medicine. He sounds fine to me.)
Here’s their slow-burning take on IDOLIZING, which is entirely associated with Bix and Jean Goldkette, who took it at a much faster tempo:
And some Western Swing (I think of Retta Christie’s great version) on RIDIN’ DOWN THE CANYON, a special treat being Ray’s laconic but utterly idiomatic vocal:
And in honor of Lillie Delk Christian, Billie Holiday, and Benny Goodman, here’s I MUST HAVE THAT MAN:
This is only a sample: the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys also favored the passengers with CLARINET MARMALADE, and Ray and the Cubs performed about twenty more songs: enjoy what happened on May 23, 2010!