EARL AT THE NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL - 2001

 


If you ever have an opportunity to organize a musical event, invite Earl

Okin - spats@spats.demon.co.uk - British; a great musician and showman. It

had been a long time since I witnessed an artist win a crowd's favours in

two minutes. Earl only had fifteen, so he had to!

 

This happened last night at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague. His

music? You have to find this out for yourself. He sings (with a beautiful

voice, perfect for the Brasilian/Jobim type of Bossa Nova songs he does). He

plays guitar and piano. (He didn't play piano at North Sea, but I have his

Pitter Panther Patter and Blood Count on CD. Brilliant. Delivering the

message, with good taste and ample technique).

 

A real treat is his 'voice trumpet': he can make those fantastic sounds that

helped make the Mills Brothers famous. Earl's inspiration here is clearly

the early Ellington horns. He can do an astonishing Whetsol. But he also did

a brief Cootie, Brown and Bigard. Earl's instrumental imitations are to my

ears art - not just 'funny' or a novelty-type trick. They're too good for

that. It's quality, for lack of a better word. How to incorporate Ellington

in your music and make it work? Check out Earl.

 

And yes, he does wear spats in public.

 

Loek Hopstaken.

(Duke-lym DUKE ELLINGTON LIST)


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