Giant Valley Polo Club, at Giant Valley Farm in Hamden, Connecticut, held their 22nd Big Feathers Open, with the Finals on July 13, 2014, with Butch Butterworth narrating. The Club features polo games every Sunday, but this anniversary was complete with delectable barbecue and the The Galvanized Jazz Band playing some delectable jazz.
Fred Vigorito cornet, Tom Artin trombone, Noel Kaletsky and Russ Whitman reeds, Jim Fryer French horn/trombone/trumpet, Art Hovey bass/tuba, Bob Bequillard drums, and vocals by Carol Leigh and Cynthia Fabian.
This anniversary was special for Big Feathers, Frank Butterworth.
The Big Feathers HISTORY
After the Polo Match, (see pictures below) The Galvanized Jazz Band, with the sterling assistance of Jim and Tom, began with Sidney Bechet’s Dans Les Rues D’Antibes, a French “rendez-vous du jazz et de la gaité”. Reeds complemented each other, Noel on soprano sax, Russ on tenor sax; the solos and ensemble creating beautiful classic jazz!
We were happy to hear Carol Leigh step out of retirement for a few songs, beginning with How Long Blues, backed by hubby Russ on tenor sax, and the1926 Cake Walking Babies, and I’ll Be a Friend With Pleasure.
We remember recording her with the Salty Dogs in 1976 at the Indianapolis Battle of the Bands.
When Butch and Leigh Butterworth were married, The Galvanized Jazz Band played Stuff Smith’s It’s Wonderful. They played it now in memory of a dear departed Connecticut Musician and mentor, Red Balaban. Marvelous trombone, piano, French horn, Bequillard keeping Trad time on drums.
We were sitting in the barn on haystack seats, feet tapping to St. Phillips’ St. Breakdown, with both Noel and Russ on fiery clarinets.
Next was a Mexican love story, with two trumpets, Art slapping bass, Tom playing low, glissando tailgate trombone; a powerhouse group, they love playing this music!
Cynthia Fabian, featured vocalist with the band, brought her own genuine sound to the group with a Louis Prima 1946 Sunday Kind of Love, and a great tune done by Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the 40’s and 50’s – Strange Things Are Happening Every Day.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find, 1917, HOT number with Cynthia, Fred, and the two trombones of Jim Fryer and Tom Artin.
Jim Fryer began his career in Northhampton MA with Dave Pinardi’s band. They played a tune he recorded with Dave Huxtable on banjo. Dave wrote it for Jim’s sister, on a riverboat, I’m Going to Skedaddle Back to Seattle. (Here done by the Titan Hot Seven – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KhGdXLN2fE Recorded by Michael Steinman for Jazz Lives.)
Galvanized Jazz Band played it with Art on his big black tuba, and Bob Bequillard let loose on drums. We could hear the fine drum solo, but couldn’t see him behind the front line, so we caught him later, front and center.
The band played When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New for Holman and Fran Rice, fans of the band for many years, who were celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary. It was a touching moment, Holman sang it tenderly for Fran.
POLO COMPETITION at The Big Feathers 22nd Anniversary
We enjoyed tailgating at the game – a first for us!
Butch and Score Keeper Gayle Duignan were in the center, Butch narrating the plays.
Giant Valley Polo will have a benefit for The Wounded Warrior Project on August 17th, followed by the Annual WTF Invitational Tournament finals on August 24; People, polo, good music and beer. See www.giantvalleypoloclub.com for more information. Polo will continue on Sundays through September 28th. www.facebook.com/giantvalleypolo
Galvanized Jazz Band can be heard on the 3rd Thursday of EVERY month, with Tom Artin trombone, featuring vocalist Cynthia Fabian, at Aunt Chilada’s, 3931 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 203-230-4640.
A very special thanks to Dan Hulub, who gave us his time, and drove the 110 miles and made it possible for me to be here!