Last week I went back to the Café Populart to catch the Canal Street Jazz Band live, this time in the very nice company of three good friends, with the common feature of no previous jazz knowledge or interest. The excursion was absolutely successful, both for the quality of the performance and for having planted a seed -I hope- on three possible future jazz fans.
You can't go wrong with Jim Kashishian and his musical mates: their book contains a large selection of 1910's and 1920's tunes combined with a bunch of hits from the Swing Era, all spiced with a good menu from both the Fats Waller and the Duke Ellington repertoire. Their approach to the music is direct and vital. Paraphrasing the Spanish byword "vive y deja vivir", I'd say their leitmotiv would be "enjoy and let enjoy". In even less words: Hot Jazz as played in 2009.
As the photo coverage (courtesy of Salvador Arias) proves, Ucranian trumpeter Evgeni Riechkalov keeps on sitting in for Pepe Núñez, who is still recovering from gall bladder surgery. His trading bars with Jim Kashishian reminded me of those wonderful miniatures from the early Ellington band with Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley on board and even (why not!) of that relatively unknown masterpiece called "Chatter Jazz: The Talkative Horns Of Rex Stewart And Dickie Wells" (RCA, 1959).
In a brief talk with Jim at the end of the second set [see last picture], I managed to give him regards from his fellow trombonist Ron L'Herault and otherwise I was confirmed that there are no plans to record a new CD for now. I'm afraid we have to stick to the four discs they have recorded in almost forty years and, thanks God, to their live performances.
May they stay around for another forty years!