Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Jack Soref guitar, Stu Gunn double bass, Rich Malcolm drums
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band played uplifting and foot-tapping Traditional Jazz Thursday night at Primavera Ristaurant, with Stan and Phil taking turns on the melody or improvising around it, Gerry’s smooth (or growling) trombone, Jack’s marvelous gypsy guitar, Stu’s artful string bass supporting Rich’s one-beat drum-rolls behind the fine solos.
They played many of our favorite tunes: Set 1
I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
Georgia On My Mind
Blue Turning Gray Over You
My Gal Sal
Some Sweet Day
Out of Nowhere
All By Myself in the Morning
Dear Old Southland
When I Leave The World Behind
I Remember When
After You’ve Gone
Le Marchand de Poisson
Stan McDonald and Phil Person
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will return on the next first Thursday of the month, October 6th.
Thank you Stan and Ellen McDonald for keeping this art form alive!
Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante, January 7, 2016
Stan McDonald leader/soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kefalas trombone, Jack Soref guitar, and Gerry Gagnon tuba.
Stan McDonald anxious to play!
Stan McDonald was raring to go after a two-month hiatus from Jazz, and immediately led the band into a dynamic Rosetta. What Is This Thing Called Love, It Had To Be You. He sang My Gal Sal with passion.
A vital sparkplug, Gerry Gagnon’s booming tuba keeps the band in time, reinforced by Jack Soref’s guitar.
Wild Man Blues was a hot tune! Trumpet leading, sax taking the breaks, guitarist Jack Soref in a dazzling gypsy-flavored solo with tuba backup. Phil Person’s muted trumpet played from the heart, followed by Stan’s formidable sax. Embellishing the tune was Gerry’s roaring tuba solo.
Gerry Gagnon on monster tuba
Gerry Gagnon doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. With constant motion, he keeps the band in time, and softly backs solos.
They followed with a soft, sublime melody, Roaming, nice soprano sax.
John Kafalas’ mellow trombone tugs at your heart strings, playing warm melodic lines.
An unusual guitar/tuba intro to Running Wild really energized the audience, followed by an equally captivating Tijuana. Moving to inspiring ensemble, Stan was pleased with Soref’s guitar on Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives To Me.
Stan McDonald joins Jack Soref on Sweet Sue
Jack plays the same gently arched Selmer guitar as Django Rheinhardt.
Jack was featured with a roaring takeoff solo on Sweet Sue backed by tuba.
He will present a Gypsy Jazz Trio for the first time at Primavera on February 25 and March 17. For anyone who hasn’t heard this yet, it will be an initiation to Django Rheinhardt!
Phil Person, marvelous musician
Phil Person’s trumpet, so beautiful and moving, resonated on Rose Of The Rio Grande, inducing tuba and guitar into a fiery rhythms.
Irving Berlin’s Blues In The Night – a twelve bar blues, announced the approaching end of the evening. The Band closed with Bechet’s Marchand de Poisson, beginning and ending with a feisty Habanera.
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will return to Primavera on February 4th with another presentation of early 20’s and 30’s Hot Jazz. Hope to see you here!
(My apologies for the poor quality of the photos. My main Nikon camera has been sent back to the company for three weeks for repairs. Marce)
Tunes played tonight:
What Is This Thing Called Love
It Had To Be You
My Gal Sal
Wild Man Blues
Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives To Me
My Gal Rocks Me (With one Steady Roll)
Rose of The Rio Grande
Black and Blue
When I Leave The World Behind
Blues In The Night
Marchand de Poisson
Blue Horizon Jazz Band: Dave Didriksen, Stu Gunn, Gerry Gagnon, Phil Person, Jack Soref, Leader Stan McDonald
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band had a perfect mix of musicians this Thursday at Primavera with Phil Person leading on trumpet and Jack Soref on guitar. Phil brought along his sense of humor, tossing quips as they played, and everyone had fun. The whole band played a memorable, hard-driving performance!
The combined talents of the front line sharing ideas enlivened the evening.
Phil Person is leader of the Phil Person Sextet, Quintet, and Quartet, and teaches all levels of Ear Training at Berklee. In the summertime, he teaches classes of teens. He kept this evening light with his good humor, adding jokes for the musicians. They obviously enjoyed playing together, and it reflected on the audience.
They kicked it in with ensemble playing I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me.What Is This Thing Called Love?
Gerry Gagnon is a intense on that trombone.
All by Myself in The Evening – guitar played front line solo, Stan singing, tune has a nice bounce, with Gerry playing killer muted trombone!
Jack Soref on domed guitar
Soref’s guitar played rhythm and also became part of the front line. Jack soloed on It Had To Be You, playing gypsy flavored ‘jazz manouche’ with swing articulation.
Note the Selmer guitar favored by Django Reinhardt. The top of the guitar is gently arched or domed—a feature achieved by bending a flat piece of wood rather than by the violin-style carving used in archtop guitars.
Jack brings an added flair to the band.
Found A New Baby – Stan plays the verse on soprano sax, I Would Do Anything For You, Baby Ain’t I Good To You – great trumpet, clarinet comping, fine string bass behind them.
Rose of the Rio Grande started with energized ensemble with Dave’s great timekeeping skills behind them. Dave Didriksen plays great Traditional Jazz, playing hi hat softly behind solos, brushes on snare drum. He lets the soloists shine. He let loose on one of the tunes showing he can romp with the best of them!
They played My Gal Sal in in marvelous fluid rhythm. They recalled that on the Jacky Gleason show, Gleason would be found wiping down the bar, singing the end of “My Gal, Sal” in his wonderful howl.
Stu’s magical string bass took the intro to W. C. Handy’s Ole Miss. Stu plays many styles of string bass, listening carefully, playing just the right cords.
Phil took the lead on trumpet with beautifully placed phrases, with Stan comping on soprano sax. Marvelous! Stan sang the vocal. Jack played a dazzling Django guitar solo.
Sidney Bechet’s Le Marchand de Poisson started with a 4-bar rhythm Habanera intro, Dave’s foot heavy on bass drum. Phil wasn’t familiar with it so Stan took the lead and played a fabulous first chorus on sop sax. Phil picked it up quickly. They played a fantastic Habanera ending with horns stinger taking it out.
Stan’s sax took a wild intro into Wild Man Blues, with two bar breaks on solos, Phil playing wa wa trumpet. Soref’s guitar began a wild finale, China Boy.
Fine musicians shared flow of ideas, playing in sync. It was a fine evening.
These fine musicians combined talents to play New Orleans old time jazz with new time energy and the fans took part with foot-tapping and head-nodding. The Jazz was fabulous, and we all had a good time!
Paul Monat cornet, John Clark tenor sax/clarinet, Craig Ball clarinet, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Bill Doyle guitar, Ross Petot piano, Justin Meyer string bass, Steve Taddeo Drums, Caroline Griep vocals, and special guest Jack Soref, guitar.
Harold McAleer videos,
Steve Taddeo presented his Swing Senders at Bemis Hall on June 10th, with an amalgamation of New England’s finest musicians, and special guest, Jack Soref on guitar. With a great four-piece front line and two guitars, we were guaranteed an evening of outstanding Swing!
They began with Steve’s explosive drum intro into Savoy. Paul Monat said It was like being in a Gene Krupa concert!
Caroline Griep does it all with style.
Caroline Griep puts heart and soul into I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, with the Quintet of John Clark on tenor sax, Craig Ball clarinet, Soref playing Django style guitar, Justin Meyer string bass, Steve drums.
Paul Monat Wishing Upon a Star
Paul Monat was featured on When You Wish Upon a Star, citing his idol, Wild Bill Davison. The high ceiling of this large hall provided a beautiful echo enhancing Paul’s excellent cornet.
Caroline was back for Slow Boat to China. Her voice is rich, with a great range and many layers.
Justin was featured on Just You, Just Me, bowing the base in rich harmony, bolstered by intricate improvised solos.
On one tune, Taddeo joined him with their own version of “Big Noise From Winnetca”
Justin and Steve mimic Ray Bauduc and Bob Haggart
Harold filmed an impressive video of the Swing Sender’s Theme Song, Dinah.
There was an innovative interchange between the two guitars on Everybody Loves My Baby, backed by two clarinets. They all love making music!
Jack Soref, Bill Doyle
Dave Didriksen sits in.
Steve asked Dave Didriksen to sit in on Flat Foot Floogie. Dave is a fine drummer, and manager of the group Swing Times Five with Debby Larkin.
Dave took over the drums. He said it was worth it to give Steve Taddeo a rare chance to sing. Who knew Steve could sing?
Caroline returned with a soaring vocal on Jeeper Creepers.
The band broke into quartets; the first featuring Jack Soref on a tune we had been anticipating, Django’s Minor Swing, with Bill Doyle adding rhythm guitar, Justin on string bass, and Steve drums. Judge for yourself:
John Clark on tenor sax
Can’t We Be Friends was led by John Clark with a brilliant interchange between tenor sax and string bass.
Ross Petot makes sure there are no blank spaces.
Moonlight in Vermont captivated the audience with only Ross Petot backing Caroline Griep – just the two of them, letting the song shine through. Beautiful!
Djangology gave Soref another chance to feature his expertise on Django Rheinhardt. For half of 2011, Jack studied the music of Django Reinhardt at its source by moving to Paris, France. We hope to hear more from him in the future.
Finale, with a drum intro into Stomping at the Savoy. Wonderful solos… concluding with Steve Taddeo’s extended solo on his Antique 1939 Slingerland Drums, in high energetic and buoyant style, crossing cymbals, using press rolls and cymbal techniques. The room exploded!
This really was a Dream Team! The musicians and audience were high from this fantastic Swing music and didn’t want it to stop. John Clark continued with I Got Rhythm, fine trombone by Gerry Gagnon and classic interchange between Craig Ball clarinet and Jack Soref. They hadn’t discussed how to end this, so Taddeo made it a wrap!
Steve Taddeo always come through with the finest musicians and amazing Swing. Save the date: Wednesday, August 12th. Steve is bringing back the marvelous Midiri Brothers to Bemis Hall. Details to follow.
Stan was interviewed by Dave Radlauer on Jazz Rhythm, where the Bechet-style soprano saxophone master recalled his half-century musical career. The set of 3 one-hour programs are available here http://nejazz.com/oldsite/McDonCD.htm
McDonald always picks the cream of the crop musicians from this area for his Blue Horizon Jazz Band; tonight was no exception.
Mike Peipman raises the roof with West End Blues
Mike Peipman’s fiery trumpet can be delicate and powerful. Mike generally plays modern, contemporary jazz, but displayed his aptitude for classic jazz with an impeccable rendition of Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues. Spectacular!
Combining the careers of lead trumpet player and Jazz soloist, he has toured with numerous groups such as the Artie Shaw Orchestra and the Woody Herman Orchestra.
Gerry Gagnon trombone, Stu Gunn string bass
Gerry Gagnon, veteran BHJB member, anchored the band tonight with his fabulous ‘Jack Teagarden’ trombone. Gerry normally plays with the Boilermaker Jazz Band, all over the U.S. Canada and Europe.
Stu Gunn has a masters degree from the Boston Conservatory. He covers the total range of music from classical to theater to jazz on both tuba and string bass. We remember him with Bob Connor’s Yankee Rhythm Kings. Now he’s with the Boston Symphony and Cape Cod Symphony Orchestras. His solid bass line keeps him on-call with many Trad Jazz bands.
Dave Didriksen filled in for Steve Taddeo with some solid drumming that kept the band on time; essential in Traditional Jazz.
He was followed by the band playing organ-type chorus on Baby, Ain’t I Good To You. Nice!
Chanteuse Mollie Malone was in the audience and stepped up for a fine vocal on Django’s Nuage, in French, backed by Stu Gunn, steadfast on string bass and Stan’s soprano sax
Jack Sorefplays high quality Jazz, Gypsy Swing. He introduced many of the tunes on guitar. His interpretation of Django Reinhardt’s romantic Russian tune, Ochi chyornye(Dark Eyes) even surprised the members of the band, and had everyone on the edge of their seats. Jack plays regularly with the Gypsy Swing Band Ameranouche.
We missed Ross Petot’s piano, keeping it all together. But Ross teaches on Thursday evenings, so many bands have had to improvise.
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will be at Primavera Ristorante on the first Thursday of every month; next will be April 2nd, 7pm.
Our grateful THANKS to Ellen McDonald, who has patiently kept these Traditional Jazz Bands playing LIVE JAZZ for over 20 years!
All the Blue Horizon Jazz Band ‘regulars’ were back!!
This was a special evening with no summer substitutes; all the Blue Horizon ‘regulars’ were back with their powerful brass front line.
Jeff Stout and leader Stan McDonald make a powerful team. Stu Gunn’s steady bass gives them freedom to fly!
They began with All By Myself, Stan taking the first of many vocals. Jeff’s trumpet was crystal clear on Roaming, Ross’s piano picking up riffs. Their repertoire consisted of tunes from the 20’s to the 40’s, strongly based on melody. They have a genuine passion and feel for this music: Tishumingo, Bechet’s Lastic, Roses of Picardie, Gershwin’s Strike Up The Band. Rosetta was hard-charging and wild! Honky Tonk Town had Stu weaving from side to side with the beat.
The front line is bolstered by the deep rich tone of Gerry Gagnon’s trombone.
Stan played a forceful soprano sax solo on Save It Pretty Mama. He played low register clarinet on a rhythmic Wild Man Blues, with every instrument taking spontaneous, off the cuff solos on its many breaks.
I Would Do Most Anything For You, Taddeo maintained a resourceful Traditional Jazz beat on his Swingerland drums all evening with the use of brushes,wood block, bell, choke cymbal and pinging the hi hat stand.
Ross Petot was featured with the rhythm section on You Can’t Take That Away From Me, keeping the music fresh by using his magical left hand as a walking bass line instead of his famous stride piano. Marvelous!
Ross Petot strayed from his famous stride piano to keep the music fresh.
Trumpet and sax were perfectly synchronized on When I Leave The World Behind, undergirded by Steve’s drums and Stu’s pulsating string bass.
The band has had fine substitutes like Paul Monat cornet and John Kafalas trombone over the summer (Gerry moved to impressive tuba). But it was refreshing to have the whole band back for the Fall Season. They sent us home with a gentle, sweet, Rose of San Antone.
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band is in its 19th year at the Sherborn Inn. They’ll all be back, along with our New England Fall Foliage on October 21st. Take a nice ride and join us!
John Kafalas trombone, Paul Monat cornet, Stan McDonald clarinet and soprano sax, Ross Petot piano, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Steve Taddeo drums
Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band presented another fine evening of Traditional Jazz at the Sherborn Inn on August 19th, with some changes in personnel. Gerry Gagnon moved to tuba, John Kafalas filled in for him on trombone. Paul Monat was back. He’ll be playing all around New England until September.
They kicked it off with congenial ensemble on All By Myself and Sugar, Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me. Gagnon plays a swinging tuba, 1955 Conn 20J recording bell-front, with a deep sonorous sound boosting the rhythm section. Monat said “It felt like playing on a magic carpet”. Gerry was tubist with the Boilermaker Jazz Band of Pittsburgh until 1994, when he moved to New England and joined The Blue Horizon Jazz Band. Seven or eight years later, Stan moved the band to string bass, and Gerry changed to trombone. Stan took the vocal on Darktown Strutters Ball, backed by this rock solid rhythm section with Ross Petot on piano, and Steve Taddeo drums. The evening was dedicated to John and Elizabeth, who chose to celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary at the Sherborn Inn with the Blue Horizon Jazz Band. Congratulations!!
Stan played elegant clarinet solo on Bechet’s lovely Blues in the Air. Clarinet and cornet collaborated on Memphis Blues, rich voices interweaving in New Orleans polyphony.
The front line played a captivating Tijuana with John Kafalas on fierce trombone. Listeners couldn’t sit still, dancing in their seats.
Stans’ soprano sax took the intro to a spirited Save It Pretty Mama. Paul Monat surprised us, putting heart and soul in the vocal. Not bad!
There was solid melody and harmony on Roses of Picardi, with McDonald back on soprano sax. His Blue Horizon Jazz Band has complete command of the Trad Jazz language! Stan asked that the next tune be played slow as possible. Taddeo set the beat, very, very, slow on Lotus Blossom; different, and very effective.
Paul’s cornet went wild on a tune recorded many times by Wilbur and Sidney DeParis, Yama Yama Man
Ross Petot introduced the closing tune with a four bar vamp on Dardanella; fine ensemble, closing with Stan’s soprano sax.
Traditional Jazz enjoyed a revival here in the mid-1970’s, but there are very few bands in New England still playing authentic Traditional Jazz; Stan McDonald only hires musicians that are comfortable with the genre. They’ll be back, as always, on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Sherborn Inn, September 16th. See you there?
Stan McDonald clarinet/soprano sax, Jeff Stout trumpet, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Ross Petot piano, Peter Gerler guitar, Al Ehrenfried string bass, Dave Didriksen drums.
Blue Horizon Jazz Band, now celebrating 18 years at the Sherborn Inn, performed another evening of fine Traditional Jazz, with a superb front line backed by the splendid rhythm section.
Stan started on clarinet for Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland, moving to soprano sax, complemented by the powerful trumpet of Jeff Stout and tailgate trombone of Gerry Gagnon. Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You, Rose of the Rio Grand. Four or Five Times is always played in a slow beat.
All By Myself – Berklee Professor Jeff Stout was introduced to ‘new’ old tunes played by the Bechet-Spanier Big Four. The Big Four consisted of soprano sax and trumpet with only guitar and bass – but the Blue Horizon also has invaluable trombone, piano and drum.
Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me, Stan conjuring the echo of Sidney Bechet on soprano sax, with trumpet and trombone following in rhythmic harmony.
Stan McDonald sings Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom, Stan singing one of his favorites.
Ross’s lovely piano solo was backed by Dave’s soft brushes on snare drum. Stan closed it with crisp high note on soprano sax.
Ross Petot, pianist extraordinaire
PIanist extraordinaire, Ross Petot’s artistry as a stride pianist is renowned; he played improvised New Orleans stride on W. C. Handy’s Ole Miss, backed by Peter Gerler’s guitar.
Kansas City Man Blues was a sublime piece of ensemble playing. Bechet recorded it with Bob Wilbur in 1947.
Gerry Gagnon, Dave Didriksen, Jeff Stout
Marie Elena was played in Habanera style, front line inspired by the burning tempo. Didriksen listened carefully, anticipating where they were heading, with Al Ehrenfried’s pulsing string bass beside him. Exciting!
Gerry Gagnon belts it out!
Lonesome Road, Stan began on vocal, then gave Gerry Gagnon a chance to belt it out. Astounding! He could reach the back of a theater without a mic!
Stan doesn’t stray far from Bechet, returning with Marchand de Poisson.
They Closed with rapturous Indian Summer, this month’s theme. This timeless song was written by Victor Herbert in 1919 but not made famous until 1940 by Sidney Bechet. In 1978, Stan recorded his own compelling version (available on Blue Horizon Records). http://bluehorizonjazzband.com/
Blue Horizon Jazz Band, with Dave Whitney trumpet and Dave Didriksen drums
Dave Whitney trumpet, Stan McDonald clarinet/sopranos sax/vocals. Gerry Gagnon trombone, Ross Petot piano, Peter Gerler guitar/banjo, Al Ehrenfried string bass, Dave Didriksen drums
It’s Tuesday at the Sherborn Inn, and we’re ready for an evening of our favorite Traditional Jazz. The Blue Horizon began with Meet Me To-night in Dreamland, Dave playing melodic trumpet with a congenial Stan McDonald on subtle clarinet, and Gerry Gagnon’s trombone using broad slides. Peter Gerler was on banjo.
Sidney Bechet and Mugsy Spanier’s Four or Five Times wasn’t raucous, but had a nice easy beat, Whitney playing melody, Stan with intricate counterpoint on soprano sax, Peter on guitar.
Then they revved it up, with a rollicking Honky Tonk Town, with tight New Orleans polyphony, and suddenly they had the listeners sitting at the edge of their seats. The band was on fire, lit by sparkplug Dave Whitney. You could feel it in the air. Save It Pretty Mama, Stan on soprano sax, muted trombone.
They kept the fires burning with Jelly Roll Morton’s Tijuana, with solo by Stan.
Stan had vocals on My Gal Sal and When I Leave The World Behind.
This band plays music of the early 20th century. Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble, by spencer Williams was published in 1917. Marie Elena was a fine Latin beat. Dave Whitney on propulsive trumpet, If I Could Be With You.
Ross Petot has amazing technical prowess on piano.
There was much discussion about who would start the next tune, Ross won, playing the beautiful verse of When I Leave The World Behind, Dave keeping steady drum beat. Magnificent solos by the front line, with Stan closing in a high cadenza.
Ross introduced What Is This Thing Called Love?
Bechet’s Marchand de Poisson and Blues in The Air were exceptional, with Dave and Stan on a roll.
Dave Whitney and Stan McDonald in high gear. photo by Marce
The crowd was ecstatic, responding to the band, and the band was feeding off the crowd.
All listen while Al Ehrenfried plays acoustic string bass
Ehrenfried keeps a full, rich tone, playing proper bass lines, lifting the whole band.
Gerry Gagnon makes fine use of many mutes.
Gerry’s trombone lead into a solid up-tempo Good Ol’ New York. Dave Didriksen let go on drum solo.
Don’t You Leave Me Here Whitney in wa wa, vibrato trumpet, Gagnon on muted trombone.
Dave Didriksen thoroughly enjoying the band
Time was running short, they were really cookin’ with I Got Rhythm, and everyone knew it.
They closed with Bechet’s Dans Les Rues D’Antibes, with horns holding on to the last note.
Dave Whitney and Dave Didriksen don’t usually sit in with the Blue Horizon Jazz Band, but the chemistry was there from the start; the band worked together with heartfelt solos and ensembles. We were fortunate to have shared this deeply moving evening of fine Traditional Jazz!
Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band is in its 19th year at the Sherborn Inn, every 3rd Tuesday of the month. See you there September 17th??