Saturday, July 25, 2015

Jazz Performance Saturday - "Come Fly With Me" - Thomson Big Band

The performance for this Saturday is by the Thomson Big Band of Singapore. It was posted to YouTube on September 16, 2008. The Thomson Big Band has been existence for over 20 years. In 1993 Eddie Chan Fook Pong formed the Thomson Jazz Club in Singapore and the Thomson Big Band was the first band that played there. Since then the club has grown substantially.

The band has performed on television including "Tonight with Gurmit" on TCS 5 and "Jam!" on Arts Central. They have also travelled to various jazz festivals such as Japan's Kutchan International Jazz Festival, Australia's Jacaranda Jazz Festival, Thailand's Bangkok Jazz Festival as well as opening  the SIA International Jazz Festival with sax master Ernie Watts and bassist/singer Eldee Young.

In this video the band performs the 1957 tune Come Fly With Me with music by Jimmy Van Heusen, and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. The tune was composed especially for Frank Sinatra and was the title track of his 1958 album, Come Fly With Me which featured Sinatra backed up by Billy May and His Orchestra.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jazz Performance Saturday! - "Indiana" - The Dixie Swingers

This Saturday we examine the Dixie Singers reportedly Cape Town, South Africa's only traditional Dixieland jazz band.

According to their promotional videos the band was started many years ago with some of Cape Town's best musicians. They are still around as of 2015.

In the following jazz performance the Dixie Swingers play the Ballard MacDonald and James F. Hanley tune Back Home Again in Indiana which was originally published as Indiana in 1917. The tune contains musical elements of an older tune On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.

Here the Dixie Swingers play Indiana in a performance recorded at the Nuthouse Studio in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa. I think they have a pretty good sound and wish I could hear more performances by them!

On May 31, 1917 the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the tune for Columbia which released it on record on August 10, 1917. The record number was Columbia A2297. This recording has sometimes been given the mistaken date of January 1917. However the version of the tune recorded in January was apparently never released and most likely destroyed.

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band comprised of Nick LaRocca, cornet; Eddie Edwards, trombone; Larry Shields, clarinet; Henry Ragas, piano; Tony Sbarbaro, drums.

Here is a promotional video on the Dixie Swingers from 2006.

Here is a 2012 promotional video on the Dixie Swingers.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Jazz Performance Saturday - "Handful of Keys" - Stephanie Trick

The first Saturday of the month is usually reserved for a jazz piano performance instead of just the regular jazz performance with a group that I have been trying to display on Saturdays.

This months piano performance is by Stephanie Trick which took place when she was 22 years old in 2009. Trick began piano lessons at the age of five. Her teacher introduced her to some jazz piano pieces before high school and she was apparently hooked. She is now one of the foremost stride pianist in America. Trick has released eight CDS and one DVD.

Handful of Keys was first recorded, it appears, by its composer Thomas Waller in 1929. Waller is the legendary Harlem stride pianist Fats Waller who it is claimed copyrighted over 400 tunes many written in collaboration with Andy Razaf. His popularity hasn't flagged despite his early death at the end of 1943.

Stephanie Trick plays Handful of Keys at Sue Keller's
5th Annual Ragtime Piano Concert at the
Harald Viking Lodge Concert in Tinley Park, Illinois in 2009.

Thomas "Fats" Waller playing Handful of Keys, 1929.