So what if the Preservation Hall Jazz Band came after "So What." It's the spirit that counts. And occasionally a bit of that spirit rises to the fore here. William Tyers's "Panama" is much beloved by fans of ragtime and early jazz, and it is played fast and loose for the Lake Wobegon crowd on this recording, with lots of hot New Orleans counterpoint. The horns are convincing in their anachronistic stylings. The weakest point is the bandleader. I'm not sure how Sweet Emma got her nickname, but it certainly didn't come from the touch her fingers display at the keyboard—they are about as subtle as ten falling bowling pins. But the band reaches the end of the song without any noticeable casualties, and lives to swing another day. There is, of course, no truth to the rumor that Jimmy Carter tried to give this version of "Panama" back with the canal, only to have Torrijos reject the offer.
August 16, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: panama
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