Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Bourbon Street Parade" - Heartbeat Dixieland Jazz Band

This Saturday lets take a look and a listen to Bourbon Street Parade by the Heartbeat Dixieland Jazz Band out of Connecticut.

Bourbon Street Parade was written by the New Orleans drummer Paul Barbarin (1899-1969) in 1952 and was popularized by The Dukes of Dixieland and just about every jazz musician has played it from Louis Armstrong and Al Hirt to Wynton Marsalis.

The Heartbeat Dixieland Jazz Band was founded by drummer Bill Logozzo, and the group specializes in playing Dixieland. Bill along with Wendy Manemeit founded a charitable organization called Musical Dreams for Human Harmony which helps people in need.

This video performance of Bourbon Street Parade was recorded on April 6, 2013 in Middletown, Connecticut for an event called Jazzin' With The Stars 2013. The musicians who are performing here are Tom Brown on trumpet; Sherman Kahn on saxophone; John Clark on clarinet; Skip Hughes on trombone and Ben Griffin on the trombone doubles as singer;  Shari Lucas on piano; and Steve Keeler on banjo.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Memories of A Jazz Journalist - Part Ten - Sabby Lewis by George A. Borgman

Here is a continuation of Memories of A Jazz Journalist by George A. Borgman, which has been augmented and broken up into a serialized format.

George first heard the name Sabby Lewis from his wife who was a local of Boston. He was from St. Louis and hadn't heard of Lewis prior to that time since Lewis' band could be described as a Boston based band. After George began writing about jazz in The Mississippi Rag and other publications in 1994 he interviewed Lewis and wrote a story for the Rag.

"A real gentleman was legendary pianist and bandleader Sabby Lewis (Braintree), who led a swing band in Boston from 1936 through the Fifties. Lewis' big bands were popular attractions in famous nightclubs in Boston and New York City, and his bands were known nationally through coast-to-coast network radio broadcasts. Some of Sabby's sidemen went on to play in such bands as Duke Ellington's and other eminent bands. In the Fifties, Lewis became the first fulltime disc jockey on Boston radio.
I interviewed Lewis for a story in the Rag, and found Sabby to be a truly fine gentleman, one of the nicest I ever  met in the business.  On June 26, 1994, he played with his trio at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, Newton, Massachusetts, and except for a swollen hand, he looked well. However, after a short illness he passed away on July 9th. He was well respected as a man and musician and Boston area musicians mourned his passing."

Sabby, born William Sebastian Lewis on November 1, 1914, in Middleburgh, North Carolina grew up in Philadelphia. He began piano lessons at the age of five and moved to Boston, Massachusetts sometime in 1932.

Listen to the Sabby Lewis Orchestra play Bottoms Up
from this 1947 recording.


FROM THE ARCHIVES - Swinging Photo of Ray Smith, Dave Whitney and Jeff Hughes

Here is a photograph that George A. Borgman took, possibly in the late 90s, at a jazz event.

 Pictured is Ray Smith on drums, Dave Whitney on cornet and Jeff Hughes on trumpet.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "When You're Smiling" - Neo-Passé Swing Quintet

This week we jump back to what appears to be the 80s and a performance by the Neo-Passé Swing Quintet, a group which was comprised of Kim Cusack on clarinet; Hank Tausand on drums; Jeff Czech on bass; Jerry Mulvihill on piano and Ted Butterman on guitar. The group played in clubs around Chicago about 25 years ago and presumably the musicians played with other groups as well.

The words and music for When You're Smiling (The Whole Word Smiles With You) were written by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay. This tune seems to be th biggest hit that these composers had. Fisher started out as a bandleader who played at hotels and dance halls. He often composed with Joe Burke.  Goodwin was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1889 and began his career in Vaudeville as a monologist he composed many tunes in colaboration with others. Shay's first published song was Do You, Don't You, Will You, Won't You which was  published in 1923.

The tune was a favorite of Louis Armstrong who first recorded it in 1929.

 Here now is the Neo-Passé Swing Quintet's version of When You're Smiling
When You're Smiling recorded in the Chicago area.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Kid Thomas Boogie" - New Orleans Delight

New Orleans Delight, also-known-as New Orleans Delight Creole Jazz Band is a Traditional jazz band from Denmark. The group was founded in 1996 and has played throughout Europe including Holland, Germany, Finland, Sweden and England. They proudly boast that they have also performed on, "on Bourbon Street in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans."

An interesting aspect of this band is their commitment to remain true to the music associated to New Orleans which besides jazz includes, Ragtime, parade and Caribbean music, the Blues, Boogie Woogie, Spirituals and dance hall music.

Kid Thomas Boogie sometimes called Kid Thomas' Boogie Woogie was named for and apparently written by, Kid Thomas Valentine a jazz trumpeter born in 1896 five years before Louis Armstrong. He moved to New Orleans at an early age and steadily became known as a hot trumpeter during the dawn of jazz. His popularity became such that he formed and led his own band in 1926.

Kid Thomas made his home at Preservation Hall where he became quite popular in the 1950s when the Dixieland Jazz revival was in full force. He played in his same style of jazz until his death in 1987.

David R. Young wrote in 1978 about a Kid Thomas performance. "The next number Kid Thomas Boogie brings down the house. It always does. Emanuel Sayles puts down an extraordinary  boogie woogie on the banjo, but it's Thomas himself who really gets the joint jumping. He blasts a cluster of notes here and a cluster of notes there, each time surprising the audience with the brashness of his trumpet, the rhythmic drive of his playing."

This video was recorded by Ronald Lind at the SeaSide Jazzklub, Frederiksund on October 31. 2011. The band in the video is made up of guest cornet player Fred Vigorito; Kjeld Brandt on clarinet; Bengt Hansson playing trombone; Erling Rasmussen on piano; banjoist Erling Lindhardt; Stefan Kärfve on bass and Claus Lindhardt on drums.

Not long after this performance bassist Stefan Kärfve passed away in February 2012.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - Luca Sestak - "Boogie Woogie Stomp"

The first Saturday's of the month are focused on pianists! Today we look at Luca Sestak. Sestak was born January 10, 1995 in Celle, Germany. He started learning the piano at age eight. He became interested in the Blues and by age 11 he was posting videos of his piano playing abilities online. After a television appearance in 2010 his first album, "Lost in Boogie" came out in November of that year.  Then in 2011 he performed at the Boogie Woogie Festival in Laroquebrou, France.
In this video we see Sestak play Boogie Woogie Stomp at SummerJazz in 2013 at Pinneberg, Germany. Boogie Woogie Stomp was composed by Albert Ammons (1907-1949) a Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist who influenced many other players, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Dr. John and Erroll Garner.