Tag Archives: Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Festival

WE LOVED IT: JOSH DUFFEE HONORS McKINNEY’S COTTON PICKERS at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith)

On November 5, 2011, at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, percussionist and jazz scholar Josh Duffee brought together this all-star crew to make the music of McKinney’s Cotton Pickers come alive — and it certainly did.  The brass section was Andy Schumm, Bent Persson, and Rico Tomasso, trumpets; Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Jean-Francois Bonnel, Matthias Seuffert, Mauro Porro, reeds; Keith Nichols, piano; Martin Wheatley, banjo / guitar; Phil Rutherford, sousaphone.  I won’t annotate these performances except to say that any history of swinging jazz ensembles that omits McKinney’s Cotton Pickers is surely mistaken — for their overall balance between inspired solos and imaginative arrangements — and that Josh and his all-star gang do the MKCP proud.

PEGGY (Thorbye):

A PRECIOUS LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE (Elin):

WILL YOU, WON’T YOU BE MY BABY? (Thorbye):

JUST A SHADE CORN (Thorbye):

I’D LOVE IT (Thorbye):

CRYING AND SIGHING (Thorbye):

MILENBERG JOYS (Thorbye):

CHERRY (Elin):

I FOUND A NEW BABY (Elin):

Thanks, as always, to the generous Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith for these videos: see more at “elinshouse” and “thorbye” on YouTube! And we all hope this project gets the widest possible exposure — a great mixture of respect for the originals and enthusiastic twentieth-century playing.

“LINCOLN GARDENS STOMP”: DOC and MIKE’S CREOLE JAZZ BAND at the 2011 WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (thanks to Thorbye Flemming and Elin Smith)

This session took us back to Chicago circa 1923, with New Orleans standing behind it all.  Four “good old good ones,” reminding us of King Joe Oliver, Little Louis, Johnny and Baby Dodds, and more — reinvigorated by Mike Durham, Michel “Doc” Bastide, cornets; David Sager, trombone; Norman Field, clarinet; Frans Sjostrom, bass sax; Jon Penn, piano; Jean-Pierre Dubois, banjo; Henry Lemaire, string bass: Nick Ward, drums

BUDDY’S HABIT (Thorbye) features a few of those famous two-cornet breaks, eloquent solos, driving drumming by Nick, and a truly rousing outchorus:

RIVERSIDE BLUES (Elin) defines, for me, the best kind of ensemble playing:

I think MABEL’S DREAM (Elin) is an irresistible multi-strain composition:

CAMP MEETING BLUES (Thorbye) has a melancholy grandeur, and it’s over too soon:

Thanks as always to Flemming Thorbye and Elin Smith,”thorbye” and “elinshouse” on You Tube, respectively!  And there’s more to see at thorbye and elinshouse

And someone — if it hasn’t already been analyzed to death by now — might be able to explicate the “habit” and the “dream.”