The Hot Sardines Lower the Bar for Classic Jazz

An Unfortunate Twist at Tanglewood Escaping the rain and chill on June 16 in anticipation of a concert of hot jazz by the New York-based Hot Sardines, your reviewer, who’s performed and studied classic jazz for decades, brought optimism and a strong sense of support to an ensemble of young performers engaged in its contemporary revitalization. (Full disclosure: my most recent recording is entitled Contemporary Classic Jazz Live.) The Hot Sardines On their website, the Hot Sardines assert their intentions: “Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, the Hot Sardines are on a mission to make old sounds new again and prove that joyful music can bring people together in a disconnected world.” On the Facebook page to promote their new recording, French Fries + Champagne, they list as their “Band Interests”: “Drinking, spit-shining our taps, mending our top hats, postmodernism,” As well as their “Genre”:“New-old jazz / liquor-drinking music” Noting what they are “About:” “LIQUOR-DRINKING JAZZ” [sic] And their “Influences:” “Fats Waller, Prince, Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, Mildred Bailey, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Fives [sic], Bix Biederbecke [sic], James Brown, Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Georgia White, Sippie Wallace, LaVern Baker, Sam Cooke…” The Band The members of the evening’s ensemb
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Dr. Eli Newberger played tuba with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band from 1971 through 2001 while maintaining a busy practice in pediatric medicine, and still regularly performs as leader of Eli and his Hot Six. His CD, Contemporary Classic Jazz Live, and other recordings are available through his website. Visit him online at

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