Jazz Fit For A King
Bangkok Post - 12/01/2010
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band tells 'Outlook' about its new album in celebration of the King's 84th birthday
If the King loves music, it is well with the land, said Chinese philosopher Mencius (Mengzi) around 400 BC. This is true for Thailand today, over 2,400 years later. His Majesty the King loves, composes and plays music and is devoted to his country and people. His more than 30 musical compositions have long brought happiness to Thais.
As the musical king turns 84 next year, his favourite band, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, has joined the Thai people's celebrations with a special album featuring 14 royal compositions and a new song in the New Orleans Jazz style. What is extraordinary about the album is Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's role in playing the vibraphone with the band on two songs.
The band's new album entitled, Royal New Orleans Jazz Celebration, features Thai composer and saxophonist Pathorn Srikaranonda, and the first album to feature His Majesty's 14 royal compositions played in the New Orleans jazz style. The 14 songs are Royal Marines March, Lay Kram Goes New Orleans, Smiles, Candlelight Blues, Lullaby, Love at Sundown, Can't You Ever See, Near Dawn, H.M. Blues, Never Mind the Hungry Men's Blues, Love in Spring, Friday Night Rag, New Year Greeting and When. A highlight is a new song, Royal Celebration 2011, co-written by Pathorn and the band's creative director and tuba player Benjamin Jaffe.
Pathorn, who is also a member of His Majesty the King's Or Sor Wan Sook Band, and Jaffe, who represented the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, recently talked to 'Outlook' about the new album and also His Majesty's penchant for jazz.