Here is a very generous helping from an old-fashioned stomping band — led by the very amiable cornetist and singer Bob Schulz — that played beautifully at the 2012 Dixieland Monterey Jazz Bash by the Bay.
There are thirteen songs for your listening and dancing pleasure (a set and a half). If you think this unlucky, email me and I will do my best to allay your fears.
In the front line alongside Bob, we have Doug Finke — slippery and sly, someone I’d heard with great pleasure on his Independence Hall Jazz Band discs for Stomp Off — and the remarkable and always surprising Kim Cusack, now and again singing a song in what I think of as the subtlest barroom style.
Propelling the band is the dangerously swinging Hal Smith, the steady Jim Maihack on tuba, the engaging Scott Anthony on banjo, guitar, and vocals, and the inimitable Ray Skjelbred. Quite an assortment of stars — with one purpose only. You can guess what it is.
I’LL BE A FRIEND “WITH PLEASURE,” with its variant title, with a vocal by Scott that certainly makes us forget the original by Wes Vaughn:
THE GYPSY, sung by the romantic Mr. Schulz. It would be such a pretty tune even if Louis and Charlie Parker had never taken charge of it:
BROTHER LOWDOWN, for Bob Helm:
GEORGIA BO BO, music to dance to:
SAND BAG RAG, featuring Ray:
MISTER JOHNSON, TURN ME LOOSE, where Kim voices the fears of all the potential miscreants in the audience:
THE LADY IN RED — catch Hal’s brushes and the rhythm section’s rocking start:
WHO WALKS IN WHEN I WALK OUT, featuring Kim and the front line in Nijinsky-inspired choreography. Or is it Busby Berkeley? You decide:
Then, a brief pause for deep breathing, battery changing, and healing infusions of food and drink.
BEALE STREET BLUES, a la 1954 Condon:
CAROLINA IN THE MORNING, sung sweetly by Scott:
ORIENTAL STRUT, in honor of the Hot Five:
LOUISIANA, with all the proper Bix touches:
I think that music is a tangible good-luck charm, thirteen or not! Thanks again to Sue Kroninger and the wise folks who make Dixieland Monterey so fine for this rocking music!
May your happiness increase.