Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton: Jeepers Creepers

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton is a musician who deeply understands and has assimilated Louis Armstrong's legacy. Doc Cheatham, for his part, occasionally subbed for Louis back in the mid-1920s - more than four decades before Payton was born. Yet the duo bridge the Jazz Age and the Internet Age on this Grammy-winning recording, which was Cheatham's last studio project before his death at age 91. Payton's solo work here is outstanding, and if he outshines Cheatham, the latter still delivers a heck of a performance for a nonagenarian. Payton's unaccompanied intro is all too brief, but packs a lot of swing into a few bars. Cheatham's vocal won't make anyone forget Satchmo, but the trading trumpets interlude is a shining example of cross-generational camaraderie.

August 18, 2009 · 0 comments


David Berger Octet: Jeepers Creepers

I can't remember the last time I heard such a dance-able big band chart. David Berger's version of "Jeepers Creepers" will get everyone out on the dance floor. But your Charleston skills will be seriously challenged when Harry Allen and Joe Temperley get into their sax battle. These two soloists fly over the changes, but never lose the swing. This piece perfectly captures the jazz ethos of the glory days. I wish my late father, who won many dance contests back in the Swing Era (only to have his disapproving mother throw away the trophies), were still around so I could play this for him. Heck, even grandma might have started snapping her fingers to this track.

July 17, 2008 · 1 comment


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