I’m very suspicious and I’ve contacted the authorities.
I thought not. In fact, I have verifiable information that trombonist Matt Musselman, born in Maryland and currently at large in New York City with Tamar Korn, Gordon Au, and Vince Giordano, just celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday. So the “Grandpa” moniker is clearly a ruse to bewilder the unwary. Maidens, beware. Lock your doors!
But let’s get to the music:
Here, Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators perform a King Oliver arrangement of Jelly Roll Morton’s “Froggie Moore Rag” at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on Saturday, July 10th, 2010. The Syncopators are Vince Nero, saxophones; Russell Moore, trumpet; Matt “Grandpa” Musselman, trombone; Bryan Reeder, piano; Dan Peck, tuba; Will Clark, drums.
The band’s website is http://www.grandpamusselman.com
And here, courtesy of “VerdiSquare” and YouTube, is a 2009 video profile of the band and its players, performing SWEET MAMA, PAPA’S GETTIN’ MAD:
Here’s a link to the band’s Facebook page:
And their MySpace page, with performances from their CD:
Wait. Did someone say “a CD”?
Yes, that’s its cover — worth buying for the graphics alone. It features the band seen on the videos in a riotous bunch of improvisations on everything from a 1905 rag to a Sidney Bechet classic to an Iggy Pop song. The selections are MISS TROMBONE / JAZZ ME BLUES / SINGIN’ THE BLUES / HARLEM NOCTURNE / I REMEMBER WHEN (also called SI TU VOIS MA MERE) / POSIN’ / WASHINGTON POST MARCH / I NEED SOMEBODY / STARDUST.
“How can I acquire one of these artifacts of twenty-first century creativity?” I hear my audience saying. Not so fast. Because Grandpa Musselman and the Syncopators clearly have criminal affiliations, there doesn’t seem to be a legitimate distribution network . . . however, Matt has some copies left and if you meet him at a gig (the best place to say hello) he might have a few in his trombone case.
Seriously, he’s a wonderful musician and improviser — someone who’s impressed me wherever I’ve seen him, and the occasions have been numerous. And his band is spookily good!
Once the CD — evidence of the imposture — is safely in your possession, then you may turn the perpetrator over to the local authorities.
Here’s another view of the culprit, contributed by crime photographer John Herr: