Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" - Ambrosia Brass Band

On today's Saturday Jazz Performance we will hear Italy's Ambrosia Brass Band playing the traditional gospel tune, Just A Closer Walk With Thee.

The Ambrosia Brass Band is based out of Milan, Italy. The current members of the band are Francesco Licitra on saxophone; Giancarlo Mariani on trumpet; Rudy Migliardi on trombone; Beppe Caruso on tuba; Marco Castiglioni on the snare drum; Walter Ganda on the bass drum; and Fabio KoRyu CalabrĂ² as the grand marshall.

Just A Closer Walk With Thee has a murky past and it is almost impossible to know for sure where this tune was first developed and played. There is little doubt that it was a religious oriented song that was sung as early as the 1800s however, and it was quickly adapted by jazz bands and has been heard played by such bands since the dawn of Dixieland.

This video performance was recorded in June 2011 as part of JazzAscona 2011 an annual jazz festival held in Switzerland.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jazz Performance Saturday - "Rosetta" - Nova Scotia Jazz Band

For this Saturday's Jazz Performance we'll see a performance of the Nova Scotia Jazz Band with guest trombone player Roy Williams playing Rosetta.

Rosetta was written by Earl "Fatha" Hines who composed the music and Henri Woode who added the lyrics. Hines first recorded the tune on February 13, 1933. He would again record it on September 24, 1934. It even was recorded by Western swing bandleader Bob Wills in 1938. Rosetta would become a jazz favorite.

The Nova Scotia Jazz Band was founded in 2009 and won "Best Early Jazz Band" in 2011 as part of the Scottish Jazz Awards. The next year, 2012, found themselves featured in the film The Happy Lands.

In this performance John Burgess is on clarinet, Andy Sharkey is on bass and Roy Williams is on trombone. This video was recorded in the Fall of 2011 at The Lot in Edinburgh.

Here's Earl Hines' 1933 version of Rosetta.

Earl Hines & his Orchestra 1933

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance! - "Henri's Boogie" - Henri Herbert

The first Saturday of a month usually is just focused on piano performances so this Saturday's Jazz Performance will be all about Henri John Pierre Herbert or just Henri Herbert and his Boogie Woogie playing!

Henri Herbert was born in France and was inspired by the piano playing of Jerry Lee Lewis, Albert Ammons and others. After years of honing his playing skills and developing his own style playing in clubs, pubs and bars, he joined something called the mighty Jim Jones Revue in 2011, where he co-wrote tunes and partook in the recording of their album The Savage Heart.

When The Jim Jones Revue broke up in 2014 Henri began focusing on writing more tunes and performing solo piano.
This year (2015) Henri began his first solo tour in March and launched his own band on June 4th called The Henri Herbert Band.
The videotaped performance below was shot in 2013 at St. Pancras Railroad Station in London and uploaded on July 6th. The video is entitled Henri's Boogie which I can only assume was his own composition. Now sit back and listen to some great Boogie Woogie!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"My favorite form of music..."

I was raking yesterday, listening to music on my I-pod, when I recalled what my father George A. Borgman had mentioned to me several times over the years. He told me that his favorite form of music was Gregorian chant!

Why did these memories come to mind while raking, well, I happened to be listening to the album, Benedictine Monks of Fontgombault Abbey which was of Gregorian chants.

It was rather surprising that my father was a closet fan of the religious Gregorian chant especially since he was a consummate jazz fan and writer about jazz, ragtime and big band music. I knew that my father studied music and had a degree in musicology and that he would frequently listen to Classical music but I hadn't ever heard him listening to Gregorian chant.

I assume that he discovered Gregorian chant while he was studying music at university. Gregorian chant was developed during the early Middle Ages to recite the Latin liturgy. It was sung in unison in a single vocal line. 

This form of religious music received its name from Pope Gregory I who was head of the Church from 590 to 604. It was during Gregory's reign when this musical form was collected and codified.