Monday, February 1, 2010
From Blackout To Whitebread: A Jazz Weekend
"Anyone know what time is it? It's Miller time! Glenn Miller, that is."
I guffawed in disbelief when The Noteables' uniformed vocalist used that cornball line in her introduction to "Little Brown Jug".
I should have known that the official representatives of the United States Air Force would pay tribute to the bandleader during their appearance Sunday at Asbury United Methodist Church. After all, Miller died as a member of the Air Force during World War II.
In addition to Miller's hits, the Noteables offered a mix of patriotic songs and nostalgic material like "Big Spender" from Sweet Charity. An audience of about 250 was delighted.
I liked it too. Sure, the Noteables are square. That doesn't mean they're not any good. So what if their rendition of Duke Ellington's "The Mooche" was jaunty rather than seductive? That's precisely what the members of the military intended.
I attended the concert in the Prairie Village church in an attempt to snap out of the blissful daze I found myself in after the previous evening's outing by Stefon Harris and Blackout. (I more or less agree with this account of the concert.)
The New York-based ensemble's performance was so revolutionary that I wasn't certain that I could ever enjoy the sound of a traditional big band again. That's why I felt compelled to expose myself to the opposite end of the jazz spectrum the next day.
Thanks to the Noteables' brassy effort, equilibrium has been restored.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)