During the summer of 2010, clarinetist Tim Laughlin asked cornetist Connie Jones to imagine a “dream band”. The list included—among others—John Sheridan on piano, Ed Wise on bass, Danny Coots on drums, and Larry Scala on guitar. Unbeknownst to him, Laughlin was planning a recording session. He brought in that very fantasy rhythm section, adding only himself and Jones.
The result is If Dreams Come True. In his liner notes, Laughlin opines that “Connie Jones should be recorded more, not as a leader or sideman but as Connie Jones, the superb soloist.” That more or less sums up the record. While others get their time in the spotlight, this is mainly a cornet/clarinet showcase. Jones and Laughlin take ample time to stretch their musical legs, whirling through a set that includes tunes by Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt and Sidney Bechet.
Jones and Laughlin share a great musical affinity. Both combine a complex harmonic vocabulary with a love for the simple melodic lines of traditional jazz. Consider the leisurely, seven-minute rendition of “Si Tu Vois Ma Mère”, on which the two trade long, involved solos that dance in and around the main melody, uniting only in the final minute for a delicate duet.