Sunday, April 18, 2010

What it is? Le Jass Hot! In April Showers At Gloff's

High School jazz band blasts it out at the Ford station

The band is playin' dixie - double-four time.
Oh, but the horns, they blowin' that sound...
Way on down south,
way on down south London town...
- Dire Straits

When the drummer stepped into the bass on the downbeat and
began to rap out the tattoo of "Sing, Sing, Sing" on that
floor tom so eloquently tuned to B-flat, you knew these kids
mean business.

Then the trombones and saxophones swung into the marching,
charging war tune that sounds like the testimony of a ball
turret gunner on a B-17.

It was on.

With enough horns to put Bill Basie or the Bennie Moten
Kansas City Swing Band to shame, Clifton High School's Jazz
band socked it to a crowd of more than a hundred under
intermittent showers Saturday night at the venerable Gloff
Ford dealership.

Sales Manager Duke Machado explained that it's all part of a
new community outreach program designed to bring the
community out and get them together to get the good news -
whatever that may be.

Saturday it was tunes like "Blue Rondo a la Turk," the
baffling composition of the Dave Brubeck Quartet that shifts
back and forth from the Turkish tabla rhythm of 9/8 to a 4/4
blues segment and back, again, to the rhythms of the
minaret, the fez and the finger cymbals before another eight
bars of Beale Street's finest from the one to the four to
the five, with side trips to the seven and the eleven, then
back to Istanbul for more that of wild stuff.

They gave the Van Morrison classic, "Brown-Eyed Girl," a
smooth work-out for big band, then sequed into such
perennial favorites as Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia" and the
Ohio Players' "She's A Brick - House!"

Kids scampered in and out of the crowd, playing football on
the parking lot, gnoshing on hot dogs and popcorn. It was a
slice of the only truly American musical idiom other than
blues and rock and roll - jazz played on the pentatonic
scale with syncopation, style and finesse of the dancers
down in Congo Square and the sophisticated stylings of The
Duke and Mr. Eckstine, Erroll Garner and such luminaries as
George Gershwin and

DVD's of the concert will be distributed to proud parents of
boys and girls in the band for no fee whatsoever.

Watch this column for more updates in the future.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, let's settle down for some
more of that American dream.

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