Herbicide presented excellent music - not always in the traditional Dixieland style. There were some crowd-pleasing vintage set pieces, some new things - including a new face in the area, something borrowed and something blue(s). And it all worked seamlessly.
Together, the band underscored the notion that while jazz is a serious music on many levels, it also can be a lot of fun in the right hands.
The highlights included:
- The band's first-time performance of a Dick Hyman arrangement of "Old Man River," beautiful for its sections of horn riffs and counterpoint.
- Its versions of "Storyville Blues" and Terry Waddell arrangements of "I Never Knew" and "Royal Garden Blues."
- Bruce and Snyder doubling their reprise (on trombone and clarinet) of Alphonse Picou's classic clarinet solo on the New Orleans standard "High Society."
- Jones, subbing for regular trumpeter Don Johnson - who was home mending broken ribs after a fall, delivered exquisite solos all night long in the sometimes growling trad sound. He was featured beautifully on "Pete Kelly's Blues."
- The band's frenetic delivery of "Cake Walking Babies (From Home)." The 1925 recording by composer Clarence Williams' Blue Five featured a classic head-to-head solo battle between a young Louis Armstrong and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet.
- Dean's second-set vocals, which included "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," which became a tip of the hat to Bruce, her husband of nearly 16 years, and a stunning voice-and-bass duet with Silva on "Bye Bye Blackbird." In their hands, it was spare and sultry.
|Eddie Metz Jr.
|Herbicide Jazz Band