Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Jazz Performance! - "Got A Great Big Date With A Little Bitta Girl" - Alex Mendham & His Orchestra

Not too many really exciting things can be said to be occurring these days in the world of classic jazz. The discovery of a couple of Louis Armstrong masters is definitely one piece of exciting news. I will now discuss another exciting development, the production of a music video of Alex Mendham & His Orchestra playing Got A Great Big Date With A Little Bitta Girl! It was released onto YouTube by the band on February 4, 2016. Every time I watch it it just knocks me out. They did a great job capturing the era of the music they play.

Got A Great Big Date With A Little Bitta Girl was written by Joe Sanders (1896-1965) half of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra which he led with Carelton Coon. The Nighthawks first recorded the song in Chicago on July 26, 1929. Its catchy beat and perfect performance makes it a classic tune. It only recently seems to have taken off online however, where many bands can be seen and heard playing it.

Alex Mendham & His Orchestra is a British group that plays dance music from the 1920s and '30s. They released their first album Whistling in the Dark in 2013. They are currently the house band at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Here is the original version played by the Coon-Sanders Orchestra in 1929.

But wait, there's more! So impressed by Alex Mendham & His Orchestra I want to share another of the groups music videos, this time featuring the Dunlop Sisters. They play He's the Last Word composed by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jazz Performance Saturday! "Sunday" - Des Moines Metro Concert Band

The Des Moines Metro Concert Band has been in existence for 70 years this year 2016! It is currently under the direction of Clarence Padilla. However, Dan Stevenson the group's clarinetist was musical director when this performance was recorded on July 13, 2014 on the West Terrace of the Iowa State House in Des Moines. So, let's get a little Sunday on Saturday as the group plays Sunday.

Sunday was first recorded by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra on October 15, 1926 the same year it was written and composed by Ned Miller, Chester Conn, Jules Stein, and Bennie Krueger. 

The performers in this video are Dan Stevenson on clarinet; Bruce Martin on keyboard; Steve Charlson on bass; Scott Davis on cornet; John Benoit on trombone; Wayne Page on saxophone; and Kurt Bowermaster on drums.

Here is Jean Goldkette's version of Sunday recorded in October of 1926.