[Dixielandjazz] Jon-Erik Kellso - Tribute Bands - GOOD Music

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 7 16:57:03 PST 2003

Hi List mates:

Here is a record review posted on another "traditional" jazz chat list.
This CD is a great example of how "Tributes" can be done without copy
catting. It is also a great example of the kind of OKOM that is very
rare these days. Yep, run right out and get this CD if you are a fan of
OKOM and you don't have it.. This is how is should be done, but rarely
is these days.

Sometimes we spend so much time talking and listening to the past
masters, that we skip right over the current masters in our very midst.
Jon-Erik Kellso is such a musician. And when he is in similar company,
such as on this CD, he is astounding, as are they.

Steve Barbone


"Before our talented and self-effacing good buddy Jon-Erik Kellso
returns from his European tour, I want to make sure everyone is aware of
an absolutely first-rate CD I discovered recently, a recording on which
he not only plays better than I have heard him elsewhere (I'm familiar
with much, if not all, of his recorded
work), but where he is afforded an enormous amount of solo space. If you
know of better Kellso than this, I would appreciate hearing about it."

"Recorded in October of 2001, the album, "Remembering Louis" (Jump JCD
12-25) features fifteen tunes associated in some manner with Armstrong,
wisely avoiding the most obvious choices.  The songs are
minimally arranged and swung nonstop by a quartet: Kellso, Ken Peplowski
on clarinet, Marty Grosz on acoustic guitar, and Vince Giordano playing
either string bass or bass saxophone.  Perhaps most reminiscent of the
Spanier/Bechet quartet sides, these have a spirit and a life of their
own, due primarily to the marvelous interplay among the four, along with
Kellso's unparalleled drive and creativity."

If you thought you knew how good he was (I thought I did) without having
heard this one (I hadn't), be sure to look for it.  Playing of this sort
doesn't happen often anymore.

"Review courtesy of "JAY KAY" an erudite contributor to that other
"traditional" jazz chat list."

And the answer below from Jon-Erik Kellso (two l's like in clarinetist
Reginald Kell)

"Wow, Jaykay, thanks so much for the glowing review! I'm overwhelmed."

"I AM back from my 6 week tour of Germany and Switzerland. It went quite
well, was big fun. Longest trip I've been on yet. For 3 weeks I was with
"George Masso's All-Stars:" George-'bone, Antti Sarpila from
Finland-reeds, Bucky Pizzarrelli-guitar, John Sheridan-piano, Dave Green
from London-bass, and Jake Hanna-drums. Not bad! And Banu Gibson sang
with us for the 1st few gigs. I also played as a guest for the remainder
with reed player Engelbert Wrobel's Swing Society, an excellent group
from Cologne, Germany."

"I'm flattered that you like the "Remembering Louis" CD (and others). I
was pleasantly surprised with how it came out.  We recorded it in an old
church in NYC, very reverberant, and acoustically it ended up being more
of a challenge than a benefit for me. I had to try to play hot at an
extremely quiet volume much of the time, just so I could hear the other
guys well enough. Peps is a fairly quiet player (has the virtuoso
control to do anything that comes to his mind, regardless of volume
level, basically), and of course Marty was playing acoustically, and my
trumpet really rang out in that space...but after a while I realized I
couldn't hold back so much, and let it fly. The ensemble interplay is
what makes that recording special, I think. We had a lot of fun tossing
leads and ideas back and forth, and "side-lining" for each other, as
they say in New Orleans (backing each otherup, making solos into
ensembles). Peps is an astounding player, and I was thrilled to finally
get to record with him. There was a real team spirit in making that CD,
no egos to worry about. We decided not to try to recreate anything, and
I avoided imitating Louis, as if anybody can REALLY imitate him. But the
love for Louis is definitely in there, and also part of what made it


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list