Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekend video: St. Louis Blues (And Around the Jazz Blogosphere)

After turning in my manuscript on Monday, I had a fairly relaxing week away from the computer, spending lots of time with the wife and baby and making a trip up to NY to catch two wonderful sets by David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Centennial Band. But now I realize that I've left this blog high and dry for too long so come Monday, I hope to resume regular blogging activity once again, hopefully churning out two to three entries per week. We'll see how long it lasts, but I have missed doing it regularly and besides, I never concluded the thrilling saga of "Ain't Misbehavin'!" Hopefully next week...

In the meantime, I want to point your attention to some other dynamite blogs out there. My pal Michael Steinman over at Jazz Lives has been posting some excellent videos of the great Swedish trumpeter Bent Persson playing Armstrong tunes at the Whitley Bay jazz festival last month. And over at Pete Kelly's Blog, Boston-based trumpeter Dave Whitney has been doing fine work on Bobby Hackett, The Five Pennies and more. And perhaps most excitingly, the authoritative jazz historian Chris Albertson has thrown his hat into the jazz blogging world with the endlessly fascinating Stomp Off in C..., a treasure trove of photos, anecdotes, autobiographical stories and more (Lil Hardin on Joe Oliver!), all amassed from his epic collection and epic mind. (Chris also let me use some of his treasures in my Armstrong manuscript, which wouldn't have been the same without them. Countless thanks for that...) Dig it all, my friends, dig it all...

And finally, a video to start the weekend in style: Pops and the All Stars, 1959, rocking on "St. Louis Blues." The first time I saw this video from Antwerp (available on one of those Jazz Icons DVDs), I was disappointed by the static camera work but it's grown on my over time; when it comes down to it, this is how the group looked from a good seat the audience, so fancy camera work be damned, I just try to enjoy the music. The band swings pretty violently and Pops sounds amazing. Enjoy it and I hope to be back on Monday with some all-new material. Have a great weekend!

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