5 April 2013

Post 36: 'BURGUNDY STREET BLUES'

George Lewis
One of the great classics of the traditional jazz canon is Burgundy Street Blues - a sequence of exquisitely beautiful 12-bar blues choruses created in 1944 by George Lewis. Most clarinet players ever since have aspired to play it as a party piece. You can hear George himself playing it in a version running for just under three minutes by clicking here.

And now we find the great Shaye Cohn playing Burgundy Street Blues as a CORNET feature with Tuba Skinny.
Shaye Cohn
Is there nothing that young lady cannot do? You can watch Shaye's performance (well recorded by the videomaker codenamed RaoulDuke504) by clicking here.

George Lewis - and clarinet players generally - play this tune in the key of C. As she does with all the vintage tunes in her repertoire, Shaye plays it in her own way, without slavish imitation. She has also brought it down to the key of F, where it is more comfortable for the cornet's range and where it still sounds exquisitely beautiful. The Tuba Skinny version runs for over six minutes - filled out with a couple of improvised choruses from each of the saxophone and clarinet, and one from the banjo.