David Greer is the leader and organizer of the band. He alternates between the punch of an Ome banjo, the singing quality of a 1927 National tenor guitar, or the four-four drive of a 1936 Gibson tenor guitar, depending on the demands of the tune at hand. Apparently vaccinated in his youth by a phonograph needle, he has spent a lifetime collecting jazz and hot dance records of the 20's and 30's and filling his head with the lore of that music and its musicians. He will not be mistaken for Bing Crosby on the vocals, but his whisky baritone -- described, not wholly unkindly, as a mélange of Jimmy Durante, W. C. Fields and Ted Lewis -- serves to preserve some lyrics that should never be permitted to drift into oblivion.
Chris Moore from Yellow Springs, Ohio experimented at a tender age with a homemade cardboard trombone. Old jazz records lured Chris down the slippery slope which culminated in full-blown jazz junkie-dom. His hot, spare, lyrical style of cornet-playing places him at the forefront of present-day exponents of the traditions exemplified by King Oliver, Muggsy Spanier, and Bix Beiderbecke. Whether bringing a tear to your eye with a soulful blues or a tap to your foot with a driving stomp, he offers a tone and timing that is always authentic and sure to please.
A clarinet virtuoso, Erik gives the band a great range and variety of
presentation by his equal skills on soprano, tenor and baritone
saxophones. He plays reeds with energy, attack and clarity. Darnell
Howard, Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon and -- occasionally -- Pee Wee Russell are
among the contributors to the imaginative intensity he adds to the band.
Gordon Moore is
a fine ensemble player who pays homage to such greats as Jack Teagarden and Bob
Havens as leading masters of his instrument. His smooth solos and strong
sense of harmony provide the perfect complement to the hot playing of Chris and
Erik. The three of them have worked together as a dynamic front line for
over a decade and a half.
Greg Dearth Though the violin was often a part of earlier jazz bands it eventually died out, perhaps because it just could not be heard over the horns and drums. Today's sound systems help to remedy that problem and allow the Classic Jazz Stompers to offer a unique and not often heard sound in trad-jazz. Greg's imaginative solo playing provides more than its share of breathtaking musical moments. The band's most versatile musician, he adds a second clarinet to the front line and also plays banjo and guitar in Dave's absence.
John MacQueen is a second generation string bass player -- his father played upright bass in Dixieland and minstrel shows. John's past experience includes bluegrass, country and rock outfits. He holds a Jazz Studies degree from Central State University and alternates with Jack to drive the beat on tunes that swing with four-four rhythm.
Jim Leslie is a student of classic drum styles from Baby Dodds to Dave Tough. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jim has many private students and performs extensively throughout the state. Jim holds faculty positions at the University of Dayton and Wright State University, and is a clinician for Ludwig drums and Sabian cymbals. The youngest member of the band, he is already an accomplished master of his craft.
Ted Des Plantes is a well known master of stride piano and of the distinctive piano style of Jelly Roll Morton. A skilled soloist as well as a skilled ensemble player, he has recorded often with his own bands and others' on the Stomp Off, Jazzology and Solo Art labels. He joined the Classic Jazz Stompers permanently in mid-1999.
Eric Sayer - How about a bio write-up, Eric?
Photos courtesy of Liz Dearth
This page was last updated 10/18/10