Thursday, October 20, 2016

the fat babies

band  members

Beau Sample- string bass / leader
Andy Schumm-cornet
Dave Bock- trombone
John Otto - reeds
Paul Asaro - piano
Jake Sanders - banjo
Alex Hall - drums

For those of us who feel we've been wasting away in a culturally valueless universe this past half century, 'never fear,' b'cuz the cavalry is here. Fat Babies, drawn from the 20-40 age cohort, play a scholarly, wonkey, square jawed, and restrained version of the music that started in Chicago and migrated to New York City in the 20's. They render it carefully, with great precision, but leave plenty of  room for individual expression.

The Babies' organizaton is key to their approach; it's the brain child of bassist and front man Beau Sample. On the bandstand, the front line of horns appears to be directed  by Cornetist Andy Schumm, a talented & dedicated Beiderbecke devotee. 

It's the cornet which provides Z energy that propels this precision instrument called 'fat babies.' Check out the sounds AND the sources, and I think you'll agree.

"Stampede" by Miff Mole's and Red Nichols's Stompers  (1926) highlights the New York style at it most idiosyncratic. Fletcher Henderson wrote this tune when the Bix movement was waxing strong as a pop influence, AND Andy SCHUMM's superb re-invention (cue up yr tape player to 14:00 minutes to catch the beginning) is reverential enough 2 satisfy the strictest know-it-all purist; I only wish the Babies could get a drummer who doesn't need to read every stroke he plays. A little more starch in the rhythm section generally is in order if the Fat Babies are going to come up to the (very high), old - timey standards of our ancestors. 

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