Anderson Brothers Jazz Combo plays American Classical
Music like that came from the past for the reporter: 1950’s, at the North Texas Music Department jam sessions, listening in as a 10-year-old. These brothers, Peter and Will Anderson, and their Julliard brother, Alex Wintz, on the guitar, represented the American Classic music: jazz.
Alex Wintz performing on the guitar, especially, shone on his guitar solos, and appeared to be playing so intently his fingers bled.
The combo began on a high note, “Begin the Beguine,” a number revered and recognized the world around. From the classical medley line to the variations: outstanding. How impressive that the audience was close to capacity with so many conflicting events? Could it be that this is our music?
Memories of “Sweet Georgia Brown” crowded together the Harlem Globe Trotters and Bix Beiderbeck. “I’ll Be Seeing You,” brought memories of Frank Sinatra’s sweet crooning to our parents’ separations during World War II or Viet Nam. America’s music: jazz or rock? Maybe both.
“Stardust,” made famous by Hoagy Carmichael but inspired by jazz great, Bix Beiderbecke, was re-introduced in the 1960’s by jazz’s great, Frank Sinatra. It was highlighted in a flute solo by Peter Anderson.
Many songs by the revered Richard Rogers were featured. Rogers composed over 900 songs in his lifetime, featured in 43 shows. “My Favorite Things,” from “Sound of Music” was accompanied by Wintz on the guitar with excellent pizzicato, along with flute and saxophone, heavy on the improvisation. “My Funny Valentine,” another favorite by Rogers, was also featured.
“Some of you outstanding musicians,” said Peter, “doubtless know the words to these songs. Please don’t sing along. We hate that.”
Will and Peter are twins, Peter the older by 10 minutes, and they shared a saxophone instructor, Joe Timberly. Joe was honored by their composition, “Blues for Joe,” as good as any of the classics they played.
“Stompin’ at the Savoy,” made famous by Benny Goodman, was mistaken by the reporter for “Johnson Rag,” which it resembles. “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” a Gerschwin American jazz classic, was another subject for melodious improvisations. The Anderson Brothers encouraged all sorts of rowdy behavior - hand clapping, toe tapping, hooting, hollering and applauding. They got it all.
They ended witho the “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” composed by Jimmy McHugh but made famous by Louis Armstrong, baby. Of course a standing ovation. This is La Junta.