Jazz Friday – The Kashmere Stage Band

Recently I was riding in my daughter’s car and she was playing the soundtrack from Baby Driver  (iTunes) (Apple Music) and this song came on that blew my mind a little bit. After a little investigation, I discovered it was a jazz band from the late 60’s and early 70’s from Houston Texas known as the Kashmere Stage Band. Further investigation revealed this was not a band formed of seasoned professionals but instead high school kids. Bandleader and teacher Conrad O. Johnson wrote arrangements for his band that were a unique mix of jazz and funk and he got such a sound out of his band. It just makes you want to dance. It’s a crazy story that eventually became the subject of a documentary film, Thunder Soul, (YouTube) produced by Jamie Foxx. You don’t have to go that deep if you don’t want to, however. Just stream or buy their album, Thunder Soul, and prepare yourself for some big band jazz, unlike anything you’ve heard before.