Comments from a fan after hearing the Fulton Street Jazz Band at
Rivers, California, Jazzaffair Jazz festival on April 12, 2008
The Fulton Street Jazz Band is everything it always aspired to
be times ten. I'm not an expert but I've been around the jazz
festivals long enough to know
what I don't like, what I do like and what blows me out of my
Your entire Saturday night set and especially that particular
rendition of "Sing, Sing, Sing" had me on my feet shouting like
a fool. It's been a long time since a band has had that effect
I told Bob Williams your front line sounds like five or six
strong guys. Edgerton I remember from Wooden Nickel and I
believe from Hot Tomatoes. He dreams things that flower through
those reeds. Sakoi is a treat, amazing range and full of
Williams is your anchor, know he's there and all is well. And I
was a drummer a million years ago. I know the difference between
showing up, showing off and carrying the band where it wants to
go. Vince is a great creative drummer who never loses his
perspective or control. Same kind of feeling for your
bassist...if Vince is your carriage, Darrell is your wheels. And
I would listen to you play Chopin, chopsticks or Mares Eat Oats
all day, any day. You have the happiest fingers I've ever heard.
Good God, I'm writing unrequested liner notes. Sorry to take so
much time. It's two days later and I'm still Fulton Street
jazzed! Thanks for the great time.
--Dave Williams, KNX All-News Radio, Los Angeles, CA
THE AMERICAN RAG
Vol. XIX No. 8
CHOICE CUTS By CAM MILLER.
What goes around comes around. A case in point the venerable
Fulton street Band whose name now reads Bob Ringwald's Fulton
Street Jazz Band as it did when the pianist/vocalist Bob
ringwald founded the group in the 1960's.
However, for the past 28 years, it has been known as the Fulton
Street Jazz Band. With Ringwald having returned as leader after
a lengthy stay in the Southland and the band left leaderless
when former top dog Dean Nelson retired, the band's original
name has been restored.
So much for the band name. That's about all that has changed.
It's still essentially a Chicago style sextet boasting blue
ribbon musicians including a front line made up of multiple
reedman and guitarist Paul Edgerton, trombonist Bob Williams and
trumpeter Bob Sakoi. The rhythm section is anchored by drummer
Vince Bartels, who's been with the band for 29-years, as well as
bassist Darrell Fernandez and the ever present Ringwald.
The leader is the band's principal vocalist though for this
recording, Bob's actress daughter Molly Ringwald, who was
singing at Sacramento Jazz Jubilees when she was a youngster,
takes a turn at the vocal mic too.
Just look at the tune list and you'd think the CD is trad all
the way. But if you're acquainted with Fulton Street at all, you
know they put their own stamp on any tune they play. To wit the
first track, "Algiers Strut"" that swings a lot more then it
struts or "Shout 'Em, Aunt Tillie," an Ellington tune with a
boring melody that the Fultons turn into a respectable romp.
As for the balance of the program, well, it's all top drawer.
The Bobs, Sakoi, the trumpeter and Ringwald, the vocalist, turn
in a fine performance of "Blue Turning Gray Over You," the other
Bob, Williams, lays down a nice intro for a spirited take of
"Once In a While." With a second trombonist, Jim Maihack the
FSJB provides a lush background for Molly R. who also handles
the lyrics on "Oh Daddy."
Amid the well worn standards like "Something For Annie" and
"Save It Pretty Mama," the Fultons rescue "Old Bones" and the
instrumental, "One Foot In The Gutter" from the world of
obscurity with Ringwald at the vocal mic on the former song.
Highlight of the disc, however, is a torrid take of "High
Society" with Williams paving the way for clarinetist Edgerton's
nifty work on the difficult part made famous by Alphonse Piccu
and then essayed by the full Band. Great stuff.