The Jim Cullum Jr. Jazz Band swings their way through some of your favorite warm-weather tunes this week on Riverwalk Jazz.
The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International, on Sirius/XM satellite radio and can be streamed on-demand from the Riverwalk Jazz website. You can also drop in on a continuous stream of shows at the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound.
Jim and the Band light up the sky with a number Louis Armstrong recorded with his Hot Five in Chicago in 1928. “Fireworks” has multiple strains and is played in two keys, making it more complex than most jazz standards. The Band’s version is an extended arrangement with Armstrong’s dramatic ending harmonized by the entire front line.
Also on the bill is a 1927 Hot Five number “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” composed by Lil Hardin Armstrong} for her husband Louis Armstrong, incorporating some of his most-used jazz licks.
The first big parade of the season makes summer official in small towns across the country. George and Ira Gershwin’s 1927 composition, “Strike Up the Band,” a jam session favorite among jazz musicians, begins with the unmistakable drum cadence of a marching band.
Stepping down the street is a march syncopated in the classic ragtime manner, ” Ba Ba” Ridgely’s “Black Rag,” popular with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra of New Orleans in 1925.
New Orleans native Vernel Bagneris brings to life a summery scene with the story of the famous “Greasy Pig Contest” on opening day at New Orleans’ Lincoln Park around the turn of the 20th century. More outdoor comfort food is brought to mind as Vernel sings “Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man,” and The Jim Cullum Jazz Band plays the Preservation Hall favorite “Ice Cream.”
Our Riverwalk Jazz BBQ celebrates the lazy days of summer with a trio of pop songs: an instrumental on Sidney Arodin’s “Up a Lazy River,” Johnnie Burke’s “Go Fly a Kite” with singer Rebeca Kilgore and “Singin’ in the Rain” with a hot rhythm treatment from the legendary Basie Band singer Joe Williams.
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