119

Swingtime! / The Re-discovered Louis and Bix

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Archiving with a Difference. The German label Nagel Heyer is beginning to make a name for itself by documenting that rococo period in jazz between traditional and big band swing. My introduction to the label was the Terrie Richards Alden vocal release Voice With Heart (Nagel Heyer 048). I said in that review that, "In the realm of jazz, vocalist Terrie Alden, with the support of the Warren Vaché's quartet, effects a historically informed performance of an inventive collection of standards, evoking the musical sounds of the 1920s and '30s.... That observation becomes a trend on Swingtime! and The Re-discovered Louis and Bix. Both releases bubble with good-time pre-swing music, impeccably executed and crisply captured in numbers.

The Little Big Band. Trumpeter and coronetist Warren Vaché assembles a crack little big band for a collection of standards that he all but redefines in his inventive arrangements. The center piece(s) of the disc are bold interpretations of "The Way You Look Tonight," "Stompin' at the Savoy," and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." These war-horses are thrillingly transformed into performances retaining only the briefest hint of the original arrangements. The result is a fun riddle, looking for the original melody among the transmogrified notes. If there is a down disc to this disc, it is the choice of the Jerry Jeff Walker tome, "Mr. Bojangles" as a jazz vehicle. This tune did not translate well, though the performance is very fine.

On Basic Principles. The concept behind The Re-discovered Louis and Bix is impresario George Avakian's assembly of hand-written lead sheets, song sketches, and previously unrecorded compositions by Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. All included pieces are expertly arranged and performed by trumpeter Randy Sandke with a cast of the finest sidemen, including trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Dick Hyman, and clarinetist Ken Peplowski. The resulting music is vintage New Orleans/Chicago traditional jazz clearly captured. This disc is more than merely interesting; it represents composition discovery every bit as important as previously undiscovered Beethoven or Mozart. The music on both discs is lovingly performed without being stilted by hyper-reverence. I say "Hooray for Nagel-Heyer." The label has carved out a perfect niche.

Track Listing ( Swingtime! ):Swingtime!; From This Moment On; I've Got My Fingers Crossed; Mr. Bojangles; The Way You Look Tonight; Stompin' At The Savoy; B.D. Blues; Jumpin' At The Woodside; A Portrait Of Jenny; Ain't Misbehavin'; Saturday Night Fish Fry; When You're Smilin'; Let The Good Times Roll. (Total Time: 64:17)

Personnel ( Swingtime! ):Warren Vaché: Trumpet, Vocals; Randy Reinhart: Trumpet; John Alfred: Trombone; Matt Bilyk: Trombone: Chuck Wilson: Alto Saxophone And Clarinet; Harry Allen: Tenor Saxophone; Ricky Woodard: Tenor Saxophone; Alan Barnes: Baritone, Alto Saxphones, Clarinet; Steve Ash: Piano; Murray Wall: Bass; Jake Hanna: Drums.

Track Listing ( The Re-discovered Louis and Bix ):Papa, What Are You Trying To Do; When You Leave Me Alone To Pine; Drop The Sack; Weather Bird; The Jive Don't Come From Kokomo; Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt; Mr. Jackson Form Jacksonville; Got What It Takes/I Need Your Kind Of Lovin'; No One Knows; Play It Red; Lily; Did You Mean It?; Betcha I Getcha; Cloudy; Stampede. (Total Time: 64:17)

Personnel ( The Re-discovered Louis and Bix ):Randy Sandke: Trumpet, Coronet; Jon-Erik Kellso, Nicholas Payton: Trumpets; Wycliffe Gordon, Dan Barrett: Trombone; Kenny Davern: Clarinet; Ken Peplowski: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Chuck Wilson: Alto Saxophone; Scott Robinson: Tenor, Bass, C-Melody Saxophones; Howard Alden, James Chirillo: Guitar, Banjo; Dick Hyman: Piano, Celeste; David Ostwald: Tuba; Peter Washington, Greg Cohen: Bass; Joe Ascione: Drums.

Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!