Like many of you, I spend a great deal of time watching traditional jazz bands on YouTube. I am always excited when I discover something really good. And I am now going to recommend to you a video that I believe to be the best to appear in 2013. It provides half an hour of first-class entertainment.
Of course, your taste may be different from mine. So I must declare that, on the whole, I am not keen on mere exhibitionism. And I am not often excited by bands playing from printed music or arrangements - with sheets of paper on stands in front of them - though I accept that the skills and slickness of the musicians in such bands are sometimes truly admirable.
I prefer my musicians to have memorised all that is necessary and then to play more freely - right from the heart. I like them to be spontaneous, creative, surprising, original, and - above all - ever ready to respond to each other in outstanding teamwork.
If you have not already watched this video, I urge you to sit down with a good drink, click on and then marvel at the performance.
It was filmed at The Abita Springs Opry, a few miles north of New Orleans, and features The Shotgun Jazz Band. To my mind, this was the performance that launched The Shotgun Jazz Band as one of the best traditional jazz bands in the world today. Under the leadership of the dynamic Marla Dixon, there is raw, no-frills, lusty, passionate playing of such tunes as Climax Rag, The Oriental Man, Yearning, and Love Songs of the Nile. The six-piece band on the day had the great James Evans (who had recently joined them after emigrating from Wales) on clarinet and Justin Peake (who later went off to college) on drums. With Justin in the team working with Tyler Thompson and John Dixon, the rhythm section is phenomenal.
You can watch the video of The Shotgun Jazz Band BY CLICKING HERE.