Song of the Week: “All of Me” by the Waco Early Jazz Quartet

The Waco Early Jazz Quartet (WEJQ) is Simon Burris (trumpet), Alex Thiltges (guitar), Bob Kane (bass), and Theresa Kennedy (vocals). The group has played together since 2019 when they formed through their mutual Baylor connections.

The WEJQ plays jazz standards and swing tunes from the pre-WWII era. Their version of “All of Me,” written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons, captures this period well, and they often play it at live performances.

Their take on the song consists of soothing jazz melodies, and Kennedy sings lyrics such as “Your goodbye left me with eyes that cry. How can I go on, dear, without you? You took the part that once was my heart. So why not take all of me?”

“It’s a classic. Everyone knows it. We have been working on it the longest and always start our sets with it,” said Kennedy. “If we have any nerves, it’s a good one to start with.”

Attending a WEJQ performance means you’ll experience traditional jazz music: smooth trumpet melodies, guitar, washtub bass, and vocals that come together to give new life to classic songs. The atmosphere at their shows is relaxed and lowkey, perfect for a night out.

The WEJQ’s vibe is captured in the video for “All of Me.” This isn’t stuffy–or manic!–jazz music in some low-light, smoky club. Instead, it’s an informal Sunday afternoon jam on a back patio that’s unpretentious and accessible.

The Waco Early Jazz Quartet has begun performing publically again, most recently at Brotherwell Brewing in early November. They also play at venues such as Valley Mills Vineyards, ​​Balcones Distilling, and the Waco Downtown Farmers Market.

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Alyssa Erchinger was an intern at Waco Insider in the fall of 2021 and is a 2022 graduate of Baylor University's Professional Writing and Rhetoric program.

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