MP3 wild carrot with Hank Ross - I've Heard That Song Before
Award-winning duo brings their folk roots to jazz in this set of standard swing tunes.
17 MP3 Songs in this album (57:55) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Swing/Big Band
People who are interested in Ella Fitzgerald Billie Holiday Madeleine Peyroux should consider this download.
I was fortunate to be on the scene when the idea first popped for wild carrot to make a CD with some great New York jazz men.
Pam and Spencer were visiting us on Bleecker Street a few years ago. One evening they ended up around the piano asking Uncle Henry to coach them a little – “Show us a few moves.” He played a medley—some of this and that. With that glorious voice of hers, Pam joined on the tune and Spencer found his easy way into solos and riffs that echoed Henry’s. So things were on their way even if we didn’t really know it. For a couple of years after, Henry would say to me that the thought of “those kids” singing and playing in this genre kept him musing about a record date. Knowing they already did some of this material in their folk sets, he wanted to find a particularly intriguing number for them. Every now and then he’d record himself on his old cassette player and mail it off signed, “Learn this one!!! Luv, Henry.
With a lot of luv, I’ve been asked to say a few words about Hank, wild carrot and the rest of the cast: Simon Wettenhall plays hot trumpet in The National Underground as well as in Woody Allen’s traditional jazz band made famous at Michael’s Pub and now Café Carlyle on Madison Ave. His back up and solos for our sessions are rich with his signature blend of traditional Jazz, Swing, Bebop and modern sounds. Pete Martinez, while practically a kid, attracted the attention of New York’s Vince Giordano of the big band “The Nighthawks”. Giordano knew young Pete’s Albert system clarinet was something special as did New York’s Dan Levinson who brought Pete on board for his renowned Jimmy Noon revival sound called The Apex Project. His playing in the sessions and on this CD makes us smile and shake our heads in wonderment at the apparent ease and joy of it. David Dreiwitz on bass is our heart beat and heart throb. The son of jazz players Dick and Barbara Dreiwitz, David lit up our sessions with his driving tempos and concepts. David teaches at New York City’s School of Rock, plus he has a whole other life in Led Zeppelin cover bands and as vocalist and bassist for the alternative rock band Ween, whose release Chocolate and Cheese is an international hit. Hank Ross (Uncle Henry) has that to-die-for lacy touch of pianist Teddy Wilson, and so I’ll bust Hank as the senior senior dude here: Hank was a student at Julliard when Mr. Wilson himself did his famous workshops there. Hank befriended the composer of “The Charleston” - the great James P. Johnson, often visiting and learning stride piano moves at Mr. Johnson’s home in Queens. Back in the day he played with Pee Wee Irwin, Bob Helm, Kenny Davern, Marty Grosz, Jimmy McPartland, and Tony Parenti. He’s blessed to still be playing with youngsters like Simon, Pete and David. wild carrot: Spencer Funk discovered the guitar when he was ten and later studied styles from country to classical, including jazz with jazz and swing guitarist Lloyd Hazelbaker. He is among the gifted few who, whether by teaching or performing has always made his living in music. He will be the first to say that this project has stretched his hands and mind on the guitar and that he is not going to stop exploring this fantastic music. At our family reunions, Spencer is the one who slips off to “practice” which is about how he lives, meditates and understands who he is. Pam Temple has sung all her life (as her family will attest) and began writing songs during a stint in the Peace Corps. Now there is no hat that she doesn’t wear for folk and roots music; making it with wild carrot; presenting it (with Spencer) for the Queen City Balladeers, a folk club which produces a weekly coffeehouse as well as concerts in Cincinnati; representing it as an artist on the board of The Ohio Arts Presenters Network; and spinning it on her own Sunday afternoon radio show on NPR affiliate, 89.7FM WNKU. George Bernard Shaw once wrote rather cryptically, “Only connect.” I always think of this breathtakingly brief eloquence whenever I’m around Pam and Spencer.
People often ask (and I keep asking): “How do jazz musicians meet each other at a studio for the first time and perform with no music and no rehearsal? Is that how it’s actually done?” Yes! And that’s how it was done here. With a few scribbled notes, live, in a few takes, out came the tunes as effortlessly as if they’d been playing together forever with nothing having ever been played before because each improv is new and springs from new and old ideas. First-rate, in-demand musicians are among the nicest, paradise-est of people – each wants to make the other sound good; each is well trained to be both out front and then almost completely hidden; to be both center stage and yet there to back you up in a dreamy blend of risk and generosity. It’s why we love them. It’s why many of you would have given a lot to be with me during these sessions . . . and now you will be.
New York City, 2008
Author of “In Troubled Waters” (novel) and “Parallel Lives” (play)