[Dixielandjazz] I enjoy singers--usually.

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 4 11:44:00 PST 2003

    I have to say a word for singers.  Some of us enjoy them a lot.

    Of course, not the nuts, not the crazies who come on like lounge lizards
and imitate the entire Rat Pack.  But the good solid singers--like Judy K,
who knows what she's doing and can sell a song on its merits, like Peggy Lee
whom I've also backed on occasion.  Like Bonnie Kolac, the wonderful folk
singer with whom I used to do almost a duet on clarinet in the extreme high
register as she sang "Back Home in Indiana" at the slow, heartfelt tempo for
which it was written.  Bonnie is from Indiana and she is singing about her
home; and, believe me, you've never heard that song so movingly from the
heart!  I'd forgotten what the song was originally meant to convey, what the
words do say "in plain text."  On the second chorus we would play the duet
in the altissimo register, she using her voice as another clarinet, just the
simple melody.  Awesome, as the kids say.
    I always enjoy Judy Kaye.  We do a thing on "It's Been a Long Long Time"
that always gets to me.  But on any tune I always feel I can do a lot to
enhance whatever she's doing.  I enjoy this.  It's like John Bany, the fine
fine bass player, once said to me, "I really get off on what I can do for a
band--playing just the right note..."  I feel that way about singers.  At
least, about the ones who'll sing with me: there are some "Red Hot Mammas"
who just don't give a shit what's behind them.  Bar time.

I enjoy singers (so sue me!)

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