One of the eternal pleasures of jazz improvisation is that — as Hot Lips Page is supposed to have said, “the material is immaterial.” So in the hands of inspired improvisers, it doesn’t matter how elderly or familiar the song is: their task and delight is to reimagine and levitate what we thought we already knew by heart.
This happened when Randy Sandke, trumpet; Harry Allen, tenor sax; Andy Schumm, cornet; Jim Dapogny; Glenn Holmes, bass; Bill Ransom, drums, took the stage in mid-September 2011 at Jazz at Chautauqua for three “good old good ones.” Listen closely: there’s an innate respect for the original songs and their associations, but an inventive originality throughout.
WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS (for Bing Crosby and the many musicians inspired by him):
SWEET LORRAINE (music for sensitive brass, by way of Jimmie Noone and Nat Cole):
THE SHEIK OF ARABY (for Valentino and the aforementioned Lips Page):
Old chestnuts made fresh and lively!