Happy–time music from the trad Jazz book (with some modern touches), enthusiastically performed by a septet of Swedes who seem to know precisely what the doctor ordered. One of the nicest aspects of the album is that the songs the Jazz Doctors play aren’t the same ones we’re so used to hearing from such groups, the “Basin Street Blues,” “Muskrat Rambles,” “Twelfth Street Rags” and so on, but original compositions by the Swedes themselves — half a dozen by saxophonist Benny Rigman, five by trumpeter Staffan Kjellmor and one by bassist Göran Petersson. Even so, most are highly syncopated, anchored in the tradition, and thoroughly delightful, even more so for being fresh and new to one’s ears. The instrumentation is much the same as in most Dixieland bands with Helger Gross keeping the rhythm going on banjo (six tracks) or guitar (five). Tubaist Bo Juhlin is added on the last two tracks, conguero Lars Johnson on Kjellmor’s well–cooked “Steamboat Steak.” Track four, “A Special Way of Feeling,” is a duet between Kjellmor (who also wrote it) and pianist Bernt Helsing. Rigman is an excellent writer, crafting a number of soulful melodies and even throwing in a lighthearted waltz, “Three Quarter Doctor,” and a slightly more “modern” piece, “Before Sunrise,” that shows the Doctors’ versatility. Kjellmor’s “Steamboat Steak” is built along those same lines (the Lighthouse All–Stars meet the New Orleans Rhythm Kings?) with typically solid solos by Rigman, Helsing, trombonist Gunnar Larsson and the author. On “A Gentle Song,” Kjellmor is joined on the front line by Larsson and accompanied only by guitarist Gross and bassist Pettersson, while Pettersson’s “Ol’ Times” is another composition that embodies only the merest traces of the Dixie heritage. Despite its brief forty–two minute playing time, a positive cure for anyone’s blues courtesy of the resourceful Jazz Doctors.
Contact: STIM / Svensk Musik (Swedish Music Center), Box 27327, SE–102 54, Stockholm, Sweden. Phone +46 8 783 88 00. E–mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; web site, www.mic.stim.se .
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.