SOME OF MY FAVORITES
Click on the tabs above for audio cuts of many different jazz formats I've done. As an introduction, here below are recordings of some of my favorite Jazz gigs over the past four decades.
STRAIGHT AHEAD JAZZ
1993: Hired by iconic jazz pianist Bob Lucas to play with the great Bennie Barth on drums and the incredible Tom Shader on bass at an intimate open-air winery concert not far from Guerneville in the Russian River Valley, where Bob lived. I had first met him many years before when he played a night club gig in Santa Cruz and I sat in. Then in 1993 I ran across his group playing another public gig and sat in. He loved my playing and immediately hired me to do the winery concert with his incredibly fine trio. Bob died in 1998, too early to have much about him on the internet. Bennie Barth was from Indiana and was a friend of my bass-player buddy Max Hartstein, who died last year. Bennie had played with all the greats: Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Byrd, Irene Krall, Peggy Lee, Helen Forest, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Sylvia Simms, David Allyn, and Jimmy Witherspoon, Monte Budwig, Vince Guaraldi, to name a few. He was living in Guerneville with Bob Lucas and married to their singer Diane Cosgrove, who also performed on this winery concert. You can learn about Bennie here: http://www.afm6.org/archives/benny-barth/ Tom Shader was a virtuosic bass player who had done everything from dixieland to bebop. Learn about him here: http://www.tomshader.com/Site/Homepage.html Listen for the drum and bass solos to hear some really wild stuff!
CLICK HERE FOR A FEW TUNES FROM THAT CONCERT.
1998: I played many gigs with the great sax and clarinet virtuoso Frank Leal. We joined forces with Marcia K's State Street Band with her husband on bass, Erik Tonn on drums (an Abalone Stompers alumnus) and various pianists. Here's a cut from a recording studio session. Although we usually played straight-ahead jazz standards, this time we were doing a dixie thing.
CLICK HERE FOR CHICAGO.
2010: Kuumbwa Jazz Center concert with vocalist Ron Kaplan. I enjoyed the gig, but the video made a terrible recording from so far away. Well, it's a video on YouTube, so what the hell. We're all wearing tuxes, and this is the last recording of drummer Jimmy Baum before he was murdered. Ron Kaplan (vocal), Lewis Keizer (trumpet, cornet), Dale Mills (clarinet), Martan Mann (piano), Bill Bosch (bass), Jimmy Baum (drums) Drop Me Off In Harlem. So here 'tis: http://youtu.be/AsVns1Z7nds
1971-73: I started learning the Trad Jazz repertoire and styles with the Plum Forest Band. HERE are dixie cuts from this period beginning with the Lu Watters arrangement of Wild Man Blues and cuts from later dixie bands.
1974: All the musicians including me had quit the Plum Forest Band en masse because the leader wouldn't let us make out own home recordings (see Photo History page). No problem. A great trombonist had moved to town--Mo Isaak. He had played in the Brubeck Octet. He and I put together dixieland bands for fun and profit. One of our favorite annual gigs was the ACLU Benefit at the old Greenwood Lodge, which is now Land of Medicine Buddha. Here is a recording of Mo, Bill, and me playing one of those gigs in 1974. Not very good quality, but you can tell that I'm getting the dixieland thing down pretty good. This is Louis Armstrong's theme song, Sleepytime Down South.
1975: The drummer/band leader Red Malone retired to Santa Cruz after years of leading the Kentucky Derby dixie bands. He was also a performing magician and champion archer who had appeared once on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. We put together a hot dixie band and a swing sextet and worked a lot. HERE is an example. HERE is another. By then I was working regularly with Jake Stock and the Abalone Stompers playing college gigs, private parties, the Catalyst Happy Hour, and the Crosby Golf Tournament (now the AT&T), where all the famous movie stars attending knew Jake and sat telling us really great dirty jokes.
1985: Reunion with trombonist Ed Zimbrick. We had worked gigs together all during high school, but after that he joined Monte Ballou's Castle Jazz Band and played dixie while I played bebop and modern jazz clubs. Ed had run a top forties band in Los Angeles, played in the dixie bands at Disneyland, worked professionally in Los Vegas, then finally got his real estate license and opened what would become the largest Century 21 franchise on the West Coast in Silicone Valley, San Jose. We ran into each other on a dixie gig and started playing together. First we played weekly with the Dixie Peaches. Then we formed the California Rhythm Kings to do traditional jazz and play his old 10th Avenue Jazz Band book, which he had transcribed directly off old recordings. Back then we often sung duets, with Ed on harmony. HERE we sing Radio, which I had brought back from an all- summer 6-day/week gig at the America's Cup Races in Newport, Rhode Island, with New Orleans musicians. We still sing this tune! HERE is the version of Ugly Child Blues I used to sign to my cute little daughter Tessie when she was in the audience (probably scarred her for life).
1995: Probably one of the best front lines you'll ever hear in a dixieland band! 10th Avenue Jazz Band's annual Easter concert at the Monarch Hotel in clarinetist Jim Buchmann's hometown of Oregon City, Oregon. As Ed Zimbrick, bandleader and trombonist said, we were "keepin' no prisoners." We had Bob Pettingill on Tuba. Ed, Bob, and I had all played together at Beaverton High School. This was time we were honoring our old band director Al Robertson, who was in the audience. He had created many opportunities for us and was really responsible for our being able to develop as professional musicians. That may have been Monte Ballou singing his song, "When the Gang's All Gone." Ed and Jim Buchman had played together in Monte Ballou's Castle Jazz Band for several years. I think the pianist was Jerry Heermans, who also played with Ballou, and passed away in 2011.
CLICK HERE FOR A FEW TUNES FROM THAT EASTER CONCERT.
CURRENT GIGGING BANDS
10th Avenue Band
This is my main current band. We re-formed in 2008 and have been playing dance gigs once or twice a week ever since. Our long-term regular personnel are Ed Zimbrick, Vocals, Trombone, Arranger, Patron; Me, Cornet and Backup Vocals; Nancy Cassel, Bass; Marshall Root, Drums; and Anthony Steinberg, Piano and Backup Vocals. Here's our web site: http://www.10thavenueband.blogspot.com/.
This latest incarnation of the 10th Avenue Jazz Band is basically a dance band featuring leader Ed Zimbrick on vocals. He removed the word Jazz from the band's name because we really can't play dixieland any more. Why? 1. people won't pay to hear it, and 2. hardly any good players are still alive in our area. But we have taught our rhythm section dixie tunes, and from time to time we bring in a clarinetist, school him, rehearse him, and play dixieland. But we can also play dixie without a clarinetist. We did a concert at Vasona Park in 2009 with just Ed and me in the front line featuring both swing and dixie.
CLICK HERE FOR EXCERPTS FROM THE VASONA 2009 CONCERT
Most of our gigs are swing dances, but we also play special concerts at assisted living homes. Click here to watch a video of a Christmas, 2011, performance we did for Sunshine Villa in Santa Cruz. http://youtu.be/OCc3Aqv9CnA
Sweet Thursday Band
One of the other bands I occasionally play with is Sweet Thursday, led by all-star pianist Bob Phillips, another Abalone Stompers alumnus, and featuring all-star reed player George Young, an alumnus of the Saturday Night Live Band. This is a fun, relaxed band where everything is seat-of-the-pants improvised, like the old Abalone Stompers, who never rehearsed. Here are some YouTube videos that were uploaded from the Dixieland Monterey Jazz Festival in 2011 by SFRaeAnn. We are all wiped out, some of us are sick, and the room has terrible accoustics, so the performances are not the greatest. Oh well. The band is augmented with Bob's brother Doug on second cornet, Bill Dendle on banjo and trombone, and his wife the wonderful singer Shelly Burns. Personnel: Bob Phillips, leader, piano; George Young, saxophone; Lewis Keizer, cornet; Doug Phillips, cornet; Bill Dendle, banjo; Alan O'Dea, sousaphone; Eric Tonn, drums; and Shelly Burns Dendle, vocal.
http://youtu.be/7vmaUI09bg4 Them There Eyes
http://youtu.be/9zNpFjdJsQw The Man I Love
http://youtu.be/iy8aLLTG5v8 Limehouse Blues