Filed under: Jazz Music, myCulture, myLifestyle | Tags: 20s, 30s, authentic, band, classically, cornet, created, decade, drum, energy, erika lewis, folk, fun, genre, hot, hot jazz, immersed, jazz, listen, listening, music, musician, new orleans, night, original, piano, player, popular, screen, Shaye Cohn, singer, street, style, syncopated, time, trained, tuba, tuba fats, tuba skinny, tune, washboard, watch, youtube
I was up late the other night listening to a band on YouTube called Tuba Skinny from New Orleans. I could not stop listening. These are young folks that can really capture the hot jazz sounds 20s and 30s. Singer, Erika Lewis (also bass drum), is particularly interesting. With a style and approach that is strikingly authentic and true to the style, Lewis seems as if she is somewhere else deep in the music. The group often plays on the streets of New Orleans, where the band originated and can range in size. No matter the size, they play very hot jazz with no music in front of them. They have an energy that can only come from young folks who are immersed in this genre of music. Turn off the colour on your screen and the band looks as if it is back in time, back when their music was just being created for the first time.
Cornet player Shaye Cohn is classically trained in piano, however took up the cornet to play this music. I find that most classically trained musicians don’t usually play with a hot syncopated style. I have found it rare, however that is not the case with anyone in the Tuba Skinny band, despite how any of them may have been trained. The washboard player is truly interesting to watch.
Tuba Skinny takes its name in recognition of a popular New Orlean tuba player, Tuba Fats, who passed away just before the band formed in 2009. Initially, the band was a collection of street musicians, however, in the less than a decade of existence, it quickly garnered great attention as a unique and authentic sounding jazz band that now travels extensively. YouTube is full of great Tuba Skinny videos. While they do many popular tunes, most of gathered from lesser known sources and some are originals. This band is well worth a listen and fun to watch.
Filed under: myNews | Tags: airmiles, amazing, anticipation, arrangement, art, articles, attention, backups, baggage, baking, band, bars, blog, blogging, book, business, clay, cleaning, co-op, cooker, cornet, costco, craft, cutting, deep cove, Deep Cove Jazz Band, degree, donating, dream, editing, engineering, entertain, expire, exposé, family, flyers, friend, future, gig, gigs, glossary, graphics, gym, hair, health, hobby, horn, hunch, idea, index, indexing, influences, intentions, jazz, job, kitchenaid, lead, life, lives, living, malcolm, mechatronics, members, men, michelle, mixer, model, Mondays, money, moustache, Movember, music, musicians, Name Jazz Band, natural, ordered, overdue, Patricia, photoblogs, photography, photos, points, pot, priorities, priority, profession, projects, publish, publishing, purchased, redeem, rice, rice cooker, sale, sang, schedule, seniors, shaving, sing, singer, software, sorting, story, strained, technojungle, technology, u.s., valves, vocalist, voice, volunteer, wash, website, wife, woman, work, workflow, writing, yogurt
It would appear that I have been getting back to this blog less than twice a year and I feel it is time to come back and try to be a bit more regular. II have been writing, truly I have been writing everyday and some of that writing could have gone on this blog and some on the Technojungle blog. I write a little in the morning and a little at night. I can’t explain why I have not been blogging. I hope that may change with this entry.
The last update was pretty comprehensive. I continue mostly in and same directions.
My hair is now very long, over a foot in many places. However, would you believe it, I have no photos of my hair. I have been enjoying it, although I am surprised at how much comes out when I wash and brush it. I figured recently that, if I only lost ten strands per day, and that might just be a conservative guess, I could have lost 4000 strands since I started. I tried to imagine what that many strands of hair might look like. These thoughts had me thinking that I should get on with cutting it off and donating it before I have little to give. Still, I like having my hair and tending to it. If I cut it off, I might grow it again. Someone mentioned that November is Movember for men’s health and typically means growing and then shaving off a moustache. I think I had better get some photos of my hair before the end of next month.
Writing (& Book)
My book is still in editing mode, although I have not really worked much on it for a week or so, the longest and perhaps only break I have taken since getting on a schedule of writing and then editing the book. I’m not really sure when I will be ready. I might just have to bite the bullet, as they say. Although, I’m sure I could tighten it up. I may add a glossary. The idea of an index just got squashed as I read about what is an actual profession, craft and art called indexing. It could cost over a thousand dollars for this. I’ll hold off for now.
I mentioned something about my dream cornet and that I was going to do a separate entry for this amazing event in my life. As you may have noticed, I did not get to it. I suppose what happened is that I had this cornet out to be fixed up and, in particular, have the valves redone back near where the horn was originally made during 1921 in the U.S. I did lots of before photos, but when it came back, I just got playing it and have not stopped. Well, that means that playing music and all my other projects have take priority. I am still planning to do the photos and then an exposé on the entire matter, so you can wait in deep anticipation for that.
I had mentioned that I was playing in a band to entertain seniors and that I had also started my own band, both giving me a long tiring, nevertheless exciting, blow on Mondays. The evening band, affectionately called the No Name Jazz Band, it still going along and we are improving. I am learning to lead and make-up the arrangement as I go. The Deep Cove Jazz Band was turned over to me, so now I have two bands. This band has been in need of rebuilding and I am happy to report that it looks like this is finally happening and we may, in a few weeks, be able to get back to doing gigs for seniors again.
I must say that it is certainly challenging to keep a band of volunteer musicians together. I am working on acquiring and maintaining a core group of members for each band and backups. It is also challenging to keep all the music in order. We had a long music sorting spree yesterday with the Deep Cove JB music. One other challenge that is working out well now is that I added a vocalist.
I was playing in a band and a woman came to sing. She only sang a few bars when she realized that she would not be available for the gig, so she left. However, I heard enough to form a hunch that she could be a jazz singer, so over the last few months she has been working at it and is a regular member or both bands. Yesterday she experienced what I experience on Mondays and nearly strained her voice.
I am playing a lot and getting better, although, I do find that I have limitations, which I may discuss another time.
I continue to do very little in this long time hobby area of my life. I still have intentions though. Since my photography seems to be on hold, so are my photoblogs, however, they too will get some attention one day.
Turning to the area of graphics and publishing, I had an unfortunate experience. We were doing high-end flyers and then my friend decided to go another direction with his life and work. This left us, my wife and I, without this work. I had built up my workflow with the necessary software and suddenly there was no more work. I decided to take my little graphics business and hold it on the side until I am ready to publish my book. At the moment, I suppose, music and working on my book are the main priorities.
I have just come off of taking a break from baking. Our KitchenAid mixer stopped. My wife, somehow, managed to return it to Costco and then we began to wait for it to go on sale. Now it seems Costco is no longer carrying them. It may be that Costco is having KitchenAid develop a different model. In the meantime, we needed to use our Airmiles before they expire and my wife was looking on the Airmiles website for items to redeem our points on. Suddenly she said, “Is this what you are looking for?” Sure enough, it was the KitchenAid mixer and it was an even better model. It required points and money, but in the end, we came out $71 ahead. Next she found a fancy rice cooker with a natural clay removable pot. It makes yogurt and other things too. This she purchased entirely with points, so it was free. The item is back ordered, but the KitchenAid has arrived and is in use.
We keep on muddling along. My wife Patricia is still working, as am I, both of us part-time. Michelle has another job at a gym and Malcolm is in the final legs of his Mechatronics engineering degree and is currently working at a co-op job. We are all fine and living, coming and going, under one roof.
As I realized when I was considering a name for my book, the future never arrives… at least not as expected and it always brings baggage. While my book states this about how technology influences our lives, it seems to be applicable in most areas of our lives.
I have somewhat promised that I would post some photos of my hair and post the story about my cornet and some photos. Before I do that, I think I would like to wash it. I have been playing for many months and it is long overdue for a cleaning.
As for further writing, there may be less here than other years, since I have the Technojungle blogfor all the technology related posts. On the other hand, I have plenty of music going on now and that may become a source for articles here.
Is it sexy or music? That is the question. I was sidetracked from working on taxes and ended up looking at some music related images. Some were quite humorous. Suddenly there was a beautiful blond woman in a black dress (I think) with a trumpet. “Oh common!” I thought to myself. Then I read the caption that said she is a superstar. OK, I had better have a listen. Wow! What a discovery! Close your eyes, listen and never mind the beautiful blond part, that is not what it is about. With a tone that matches her looks and a seemingly delightful British personality Alison Balsom is truly one great classical trumpet player.
I watched several videos and she can certainly squeeze pure expression through the most technical and masterfully executed classical pieces. In a giant, lavish auditorium, possibly the Royal Albert Hall, she enters, not from the side of the stage as most soloists might, but joyfully jaunts down the centre isle of the audience with her trumpet in hand, smiling and greeting the audience in a friendly manner. She takes her place next to the conductor and in front of the massive symphony orchestra. She is wearing an expensive looking dress that one might see an opera singer wear. The orchestra begins, she empties her spit valve and begins to play. I could hardly believe my ears. After a particularly difficult passage, her hand leaps off the valves and into the air as if to indicate the masterfully executed passage as finished with verve.
I was reminded of local girl jazz trumpeter Bria Skonberg who I first heard about from local bandleader—possibly the oldest living and working bandleader from the 1930s in the world—Dal Richards (97). Originally from Chilliwack, BC, she now lives in New York and travels the world as a trumpet superstar in the classic jazz genre. She began playing traditional jazz in high school and then sang and played trumpet in the Dal Richard orchestra. I know she is well trained, having studied at Capilano University. Initially, she was perhaps taken as a bit of a cute trumpet playing blond girl novelty. I’m not sure about that, but one could see it happening. Today she is accepted as a great player.
I listened to some videos of her several years ago and found a developing talent that would certainly top the Vancouver scene very soon. Well, she has certainly passed that finish line and is soaring. Revisiting I found a seasoning jazz musician, with emerging soul and deep expression in both her trumpet playing and singing. While a serious musician, she seems to also be a lot of fun. Joy is at the heart of liberating jazz.
I studied trumpet in my youth and have just returned to playing after decades of absence. I played in a youth band and then in a small group for a few years that played in retirement homes. I spent many years as a vintage jazz and swing record collector and listened purely to this music. Today I am happy squeaking out a few notes playing along with a choir and with a jazz band, once again for the retired folk, whom I shall someday be joining. I may do more one day, I don’t know.
I am having fun, yet have always known I lack what it takes to head to the top. Allison and Bria are the genuine articles; the full package of talent, skill, style and charisma that makes them top calibre musicians, superstars and a joy to listen to—never mind pleasant to look at too. Is it sexy? I say beautiful music.