The jazz standard C Jam Blues, originated by clarinetist Barney Bigard and arranged by Duke Ellington (see Song of the Week #56) is a popular tune among jazz musicians and there are hundreds of different recorded versions available.
This week's song is a live version by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with artistic director Winton Marsalis, an outstanding and highly reputable jazz musician.
Photo: Clay Patrick McBride
The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra is a key component of New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center program, serving as the highly versatile house band for a wide variety of concert events.
It maintains a heavy touring schedule, devoting around six months annually to appearances around the U.S. and at prominent international venues.
The 15-piece orchestra was founded in 1988. In 1991, trumpeter Winton Marsalis was hired as artistic director.
Under his lead, they are paying particular attention to the Duke Ellington oeuvre. The group's first recording – made under David Berger's direction – was 1992's Portraits By Ellington.
In the late 1990s, the group began to appear more frequently on record as Marsalis began using them for ambitiously expansive projects such as 1997's Jump Start and Jazz and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood On The Fields, and 1999's Sweet Release & Ghost Story and Big Train.
Also in 1999, the LJCO released another Ellington-oriented album, Live In Swing City – Swingin' With Duke, where our song of the week is taken from.
The orchestra is recording both as their own entity and as a backing group for Wynton Marsalis.
C Jam Blues (Live)
I love this version! It's happy, light and playful with many breaks, in a very comfortable tempo. The song is also great for teaching musicality classes and you can use it even for balboa beginner classes. A must-have!
What is your favorite version of C Jam Blues? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Song of the Week #56: “C Jam Blues” by Barney Bigard
Song of the Week #103: “When I Grow Too Old To Dream” by Arnett Cobb
Song of the Week #102: “Rosetta” by Al Casey
Song of the Week #101: “Gift For The Club” by Buck Clayton
Song of the Week #100: “Livery Stable Blues” by Original Dixieland Jass Band