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All that Jazz

"Jazz is the sound of God laughing. And I believe in it." (Colleen Shaddox)

The following statement about music by Branford Marsallis surely applies to all of life -
"You don't know what you like, you like what you know. In order to know what you like, you have to know everything."

I have begun a page of links relating to the early History of Jazz

Some people find jazz esoteric. God knows what they make of my predilection for "traditional jazz" - by which I mean that jazz that consciously celebrates its roots in the vintage jazz that emerged in New Orleans, Chicago and other places in the early decades of the Twentieth Century. For those who want to know more there is nothing better than a leisurely visit to redhotjazz.com Also, the entry for "Trad Jazz" in Wikipedia has an interesting feature that allows you to see the significant developments in jazz year by year. For a brief and very interesting introduction to this early jazz you may want to watch the video The History of Jazz - Dr. Jazz.

News Flash:  If you would like to get in on something about which you will be able to say later, "I knew him when..." check out Jazz Clarinetist Dave Bennett. He is young but has been playing in jazz bands since he was in his teens. I have heard him twice in person and will definitely look for future opportunities to hear him again. He is an American but plays gigs in Canada fairly regularly. Don't fail to check the "Video" tab on his site as there are some excellent samples of his playing. Remember, you heard it here first.

Michael Kaeshammer - Too Creative to Be Categorized
I have been listening to Michael Kaeshammer since before 2000 when he was just out of his teens and he continues to amaze and entertain me. The earliest of his music was in the style of Boogie Woogie piano - something with roots in traditional jazz. I heard him live a couple of times in those years before he became quite so famous and he was already mixing in some creative stuff with his traditional piano music. I have always enjoyed hearing him interviewed and include a couple of his personal reflections on music which are available on YouTube. In the first video clip he reflects on the beginnings of his move into boogie-woogie. The second video clip recorded in Ireland acknowledges his creative progression since those early beginnings. For a demonstration of his performance dynamics listen to him playing Hamp's Boogie in the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto. And this video clip from his appearance at the Brantford Jazz Festival in 2010 indicates how some of his creativity emerges in a jam session. Michael Kaeshammer's website documents his current performance schedule.

It may not be Jazz but I like it anyway!  Just to demonstrate how eclectic I am in my musical tastes, I confess my fascination with the Levan Polka as performed by the Scandinavian musical group Loituma. You will either be charmed by this or it will drive you crazy - or maybe both. To see the video click on The Levan Polka And no, I don't understand a single word of the Finnish dialect in which it is sung. Talking eclectic and Finnish there is always the high energy of a group like Varttina that really lets it all out with a selection like Nahkaruoska

Even a Little Harmonica  Here is another selection that merits an accolade if for no other reason than that it turns the ordinary into something special. Listen to Buddy Greene, who, by the way, is a Christian believer, play his Harmonica in Carnegie Hall.

The Red Wing Jazz Band  The selection "Highways are Happy Ways" isn't exactly traditional jazz but then when it is played by the Red Wing Jazz Band it comes out sounding pretty good. Though the audio on the Red Wing Youtube postings isn't great I can't help but like their lead singer Eva Karin Andersson. I must post a few more of her selections to demonstrate what I mean. For example, listen to her do Same Old Love or listen to her sing the old Gospel classic His Eye is on the Sparrow.

Just Having a Good Time!  The sound quality just isn't there and the video techniques are very basic - but there's no denying that everyone seems to be having fun. Click on the clip to view the video full screen.