Meteorologists would tell us that as one gains altitude, the temperature drops: in the mountains, one should bring a sweater. But this theory would have been disproved by the Wolverine Jazz Band‘s appearances at the 2019 Evergreen Jazz Festival, where this hot, disciplined yet energetic band heated things up noticeably.
This session in the nearby church sounds clear although echoey, and you can barely see banjoist-vocalist Bob Barta, but the delightful character of the band does come through. They are John Clark, clarinet and reeds; Jeff Hughes, cornet; Tom Boates, trombone and vocal; Ross Petot, piano; Rick MacWilliams, tuba; Dave Didriksen, drums, and the aforementioned Prof. Barta, filling in for the eminent Jimmy Mazzy.
The Wolverines romp effectively and energetically, but you’ll also hear the polish and variety that comes with a regularly working band — not just ensemble / solos / ensemble, and also a wide-ranging repertoire, full of surprises.
DOWN AMONG THE SHELTERING PALMS, with the verse, featuring Bob Barta:
AT THE CODFISH BALL, with Bob remembering Shirley Temple and Edythe Wright, but in his proper vocal register:
HONEY PIE, yes, by Lennon and McCartney, sung by Tom Boates:
CHEROKEE MAIDEN, again by Tom — from the Bob Willis book:
Johnny St. Cyr’s ORIENTAL STRUT:
BLUE PRELUDE, featuring Tom:
DIP YOUR BRUSH IN THE SUNSHINE, featuring everyone:
And if that wasn’t enough, the WJB recorded a splendid CD in 2018, called TELL ME, with an even more glorious array of songs (the same personnel except Jimmy Mazzy is there on banjo and vocals, and Herb Gardner appears three times as trombonist, pianist, composer, vocalist): IN OUR COTTAGE OF LOVE / IF I KNEW THEN / TELL ME / SWIPSEY CAKEWALK / BABY BROWN / TAKE YOUR TOMORROW / I AIN’T GONNA TELL NOBODY / ROSE ROOM / KICKIN’ THE GONG AROUND / I’M GONNA CHARLESTON BACK TO CHARLESTON / LONELY MELODY / GUNSHOTS AND SIRENS / SWEET MAMA, PAPA’S GETTING MAD / HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN? / FROGGIE MOORE RAG. Buy, download, and listen here.
Here’s a sample:
May your happiness increase!