Since we are in quarantine, our nights out at concerts, restaurants and museums have been temporarily suspended. This has made us think more about how to entertain ourselves at home.
We play Scrabble and Bananagrams, and have, just once, resorted to Monopoly. We are learning about archeology with Tony Robinson and Time Team. We have movie nights with popcorn and dance parties to Glenn Miller or the Bee Gees. And last night, our favorite hot jazz band, the Hot Sardines, helped us out.
The group is made up of ten people, depending on the venue, but always features Evan Palazzo on piano, Elizabeth Bougerol as their fabulous vocalist, and A. C. Lincoln, a tap dancing percussionist. Trombones, saxophones, a stand-up bass, another drummer and even a ukulele make the magic happen. They focus on jazz from the first part of the twentieth century, about 1900 to 1950. Their repertoire includes Fats Waller’s “Your Feets Too Big”, Sophie Tucker’s “Some of These Days”, and Al Dublin’s “Lulu’s Back in Town”.
The group was live streaming a show they did last year at Joe’s Pub in New York City. That means we got to see the show, called Welcome Home/ Bon Voyage, which was their latest album at the time. It was shown for free, but you could donate to the band if you liked. Musicians have to pay rent, like everyone else, and this is a hard time for them.
It was almost like we were there. We missed the feeling of being part of the crowd, which always makes a concert more fun, but the good part was that when the music got so good we wanted to get up and dance, we DID!
Elizabeth Bougerol has a wonderful voice and fluid jazz style. She grew up just outside of Paris, and many of her songs feature songs we love, sung in French, which we also love. My favorite is “I Wanna be like You” from Disney’s The Jungle Book. She sings it in French because that’s how she first heard it, on a dubbed version of the movie.
As much as I miss being able to get out and about, I think we are all going to be fine. Different, but fine.