Walter Lantz’s 1944 Universal Cartoon, The Pied Piper of Basin Street featuring Jack Teagarden and his Orchestra.
Out of the randomness that makes up YouTube content these days, real surprises occasionally surface that don’t have to do with dogs riding skateboards or cats playing the piano. One such find is the “Aurex Jazz Special” that aired on Japanese television in the 80s, apparently concurrent with the Aurex Jazz Festival. In the clip below (click movie to start play), J.J. Johnson explains his early musical influences:
There’s also a version of Jay and Kai playing It’s All Right With Me with a rhythm section that includes Tommy Flanagan on piano and Roy Haynes on drums. On what seems to be the same occasion, Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry join for I’ll Remember April, and Milestones. There are a few awkward Lost in Translation moments during the show as the musicians smile and “play along” with whatever is being said by the show hosts.
This YouTube post by Zemry features a host of be-bop greats: J.J. Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Howard McGhee, Walter Bishop, Tommy Potter, and Kenny Clarke. It’s apparently a video transfer of a kinescope made for British TV in 1964.
When I first saw and heard the YouTube clip, I thought the performance sounded familiar. Sure enough, I found that a CD I own contains the sound portion of the performance. Just to see if I could improve the sound of the video, I removed the original sound track in iMovie and applied the CD’s sound instead. The result does make the sound clearer, and the project is posted here in Quicktime form. Fortunately, J.J. “stomped” the tune off loudly enough on stage to make a fairly good audio sync possible, although it isn’t perfect.
Note that the video clip doesn’t include the entire performance. For that reason, you’ll hear the music continue after the clip ends.
Although it may not be obvious to as many today, the history of music has long been tied up in the history of worship. Not to worry — the historical treatise needed to back that statement up won’t be pursued here. Suffice it to say that musical cross-pollination between the secular, the sacred, and the profane has been pretty common over the years, and the trombone has been of mighty good service to all three. Anyway, it’s possible that the sweet trombone style of Tommy Dorsey meets the sacred in Marcy Tigner’s Christian Faith trombone album from the 50s. How to describe the recording? The best thing for anyone to do is simply to listen. Whatever you think of the musical style, the trombone playing itself is fantastic.
…in a modified form. What’s happening is that Commander Trombone is moving to a publishing platform called WordPress. In any case, please bear with the Commander as he gets things working under this brave new system, which of course is going to be so much better than the old system, or something like that.