Program : 
Riverwalk Jazz BBQ: The Lazy Days of Summer

Summer picnic, 1932. Photo courtesy forestlodgecatering.

Light the coals and crack open the cooler. Nothing says July like a barbecue on a lazy afternoon. The forecast may call for triple-digit temps or a passing shower. But whatever's in store, The Jim Cullum Jazz Band swings their way through some of your favorite warm-weather tunes this week on Riverwalk Jazz.


"Struttin' With Some Barbecue" record label in public domain.

Jim and the Band light up the sky with a number Louis Armstrong recorded with his Hot Five in Chicago in 1928. "Fireworks," a Louis Armstrong composition that lives up to its title, uses the extended forms more like a New Orleans march than a standard Tin Pan Alley tune.


Also on the bill, the 1927 Hot Five number "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," composed by Lil Hardin for her husband Louis Armstrong, incorporating some of his most-used jazz licks.


The first big parade of the season makes summer official in small towns across the country. George and Ira Gershwin's 1927 composition, "Strike Up the Band," a jam session favorite among jazz musicians, begins with the unmistakable drum cadence of a marching band.


Small town parade, 1947. Photo courtesy melrosememories.

And stepping down the street, a march syncopated in the classic ragtime manner, " Ba Ba" Ridgely's "Black Rag," popular with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra of New Orleans in 1925.


Special guest Vernel Bagneris, 2009. Photo by Jamie Karutz

New Orleans native Vernel Bagneris brings to life a summery scene with the story of the famous "Greasy Pig Contest" on opening day at New Orleans' Lincoln Park around the turn of the 20th century. More outdoor comfort food is brought to mind as Vernel sings "Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man," and The Jim Cullum Jazz Band plays the Preservation Hall favorite "Ice Cream."


Our Riverwalk Jazz BBQ celebrates the lazy days of summer with a trio of pop songs: an instrumental on Sidney Arodin's "Up a Lazy River," Johnnie Burke's "Go Fly a Kite" with singer Becky Kilgore and "Singin' in the Rain" with a hot rhythm treatment from the legendary Basie Band singer Joe Williams.


Photo credit for Home Page: CD Cover Fireworks – Red, Hot and Blue. Image courtesy Riverwalk Jazz.