Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Video Playlist - Sitting in with Dixieland Direct

 This video playlist documents a fun evening for me. I won't be able to express it any better than I did on the playlist itself, so I'll just copy it here:
 On April 29th, I filled the piano chair for Dixieland Direct, at the Zoo Bar, in Washington, DC (and set the camcorder on a ledge to capture the second set). It was a kind of "going home" experience, even with guys I hardly knew. In the "old school" (not referring to my own generation, but rather the path I took) in which I came up, jazz sits in a different place than in the academically driven approach that began with be-bop (and continues to today). Playing with these guys was akin to holding hands in the happy place: where jazz is more about what you're feeling, and less about "how hip can you be?". My new friend (and serious jazz student) Christophe (whose foot makes a prominent appearance on the right side of the screen) commented about the gig later on Facebook: "We get so wrapped up in technique, complex harmonies or bebop lines, sometimes we forget the music. Give Dixieland Direct a "like" and go see them on their next show. A humbling experience and great music lesson." Christophe gets it. Even as loose around the edges as it got that evening, at times; it was, and is, always, about "the music". Henning (clarinet/soprano sax), in particular, represents the "old (school) pro" (most, sadly, are no longer with us), who took us "kids" (back in the day) and taught us the ropes. The lessons and stories that the "old guard" taught us are a cherished treasure to me. Dallas represents the happy and communal spirit of the whole thing. He spent all of the evening smiling, and much of it laughing, You won't see that on too many "modern" jazz stages. Mike (mostly hidden, but you see him from time to time) represents the tastefulness that was a given in the classic era. It was a joy to play with these guys. check them out at

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