[Dixielandjazz] Jazz Limited Alumni Reunion Band

Charlie Hooks charliehooks@earthlink.net
Sun, 18 Aug 2002 13:38:58 -0500

on 8/18/02 7:06 AM, Don Ingle at dingle@baldwin-net.com wrote:

> That is why the rare but occasional get
> together of the Jazz Ltd. Alumni Reunion band is so much fun. Cusack, Beebe
> at first then Dan Williams on trombone, Wayne Jones, Dan Shapira, and Dave
> Phelps and my own cornet contributions just plain fall onto place even if we
> only do this reunion thing once every four to five years

    He ain't tellin you the half of it!  Don sent me a CD awhile back of
that very band with just those guys he mentioned, and I gotta tell you: it
is one of the most pleasant experiences I've had in a long time.  Ingle just
plays his ass--and it doesn't sound like something just marked up for the
recording: sounds like that's the way he does it, always, every time--just
the way he happens to play.  Yeah.  Well, it can only have come from years
of listening and playing and listening some more to the best lead line
players in the business.  And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find a bit
of genetic material in there: Red Ingle wasn't his father for nothing!

    Cusack plays like Cusack: that is to say, wonderfully.  That SOB was in
Florida when I first came to town over twenty years ago, and I carelessly
ignored him.  Oops.  Shouldn't 'a done that!  He came back to town and took
my jobs.  Rid of him for awhile when he retired to Minnesota, but then he
moved back.  Took all my jobs again.  I'm trying to get him some fantastic
gig far out of town, but as yet have not succeeded.  I've talked to Vito and
the boys about both him and Hedges....

    Danny Williams is, as always, Danny Boy.  Used him for years on the
Brunch at Holiday Inn O'Hare International.  Now (partly) alive in Suck
City, Mississippi, or some damn place.  He owns a house there (via his wife)
and lives on 16 cents a day or something like. Still plays great, though!

    But then: Danny Shapera.  In you're Jewish, you'll understand what it
means to be a direct descendant of the great Vilna Gaon.  No dummy, this
boy!  And as musical as they come!  On this recording his bass sound was
especially well recorded--so much so that most bass players would sound
worse in slightly-off intonation, all the little problems magnified: not
Daniel.  He sounds better!  At last you can really hear what Danny can do.

    Of course, Wayne Jones keeps perfect time.  Wayne makes metronomes
blush, yet he is never mechanical.  I first played with him in 1974 at the
Big Horn, Mendelien, IL., with the Soprano Summit.  We were both paired with
them that day--Bob Wilbur and Kenny Davern, Milt Hinton on bass: I mean it
was a fairly wholesome group except for me, scared to death but determined
not to show it.   Anderson sent me a tape of it from Australia, and I was
happy to see I didn't disgrace myself.  But Wayne sounded great--well,
mostly he FELT great.  We came off the stand and I said, not knowing him,
really, "Man, that time is right there!  Great playing with you!"

    In short: it's a most enjoyable recording.  If you have a chance at it,
buy it!