Steve Straus leader/clarinet, Neil Flewellen cornet, Frank Batchelor trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Phil Hower piano, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Rich MacMillan drums.
The Riverboat Stompers are a seven-piece ensemble specializing in Traditional and Dixieland Jazz of the 20’s to 40’s. Members of this band come from towns all over Eastern New England. They mix old New Orleans music from the 20’s with tunes from the ‘recent’ 60’s. They obviously love this music – they’ve dedicated their lives to it.
They kicked it off with livewire ensemble on Struttin’ With Some Barbecue. This is fine New Orleans jazz, with cornet, trombone and clarinet against a four-piece rhythm section.
Jimmy Mazzy sat in on banjo singing many of his inimitable vocals, starting with From Monday On.
Steve Straus leads this rambunctious band on clarinet with amiable, good-natured humor. There is great passion and intensity in his clarinet playing. He sang several songs, especially adding drama to Ace In The Hole.
Neil Lewelling was featured on Sleepy Time Down South. He plays a 60’s Getsen cornet, beautiful rich tone, playing spontaneous improvisations, with admirable technique and solos that move lightly from phrase to phrase.
Frank’s trombone sound is deep and lush, and melodic and mellow when using several mutes. One of his favorites is a Fats Waller tune played by The Paris Washboard – Our Love Was Meant To Be. They played it with only four players – trombone, tuba, piano and drum.
Phil’s playing offers just the right chords behind all the soloists. Phil Hower’s heroes are the great stride pianists of the 1920’s and ’30’s, and he does his utmost to emulate their technique and style. When the band took its first break – after playing for an hour and a half, he sat by himself playing I Love a Piano!
Jimmy Mazzy’s soul-warming vocals are encouraged; he really gets his head around the lyrics. The band kept him busy – check out the list of tunes below to see how many he sang.
Pierre LeMieux was back after a lengthy absence. He plays bass lines on tuba and extends that by turning the monstrous horn into a viable solo instrument. He videotaped the whole evening, and we hope to get some of them later.
You feel the rhythm rather than hear the drum beats by Rich Malcom. He is a knowledgeable Dixieland Jazz drummer and maintains that essential Trad beat. His unique moves highlight the structure of the music by changing color, density, and dynamics on a minimal drum set. He sometimes softens reverberation by drumming with his hands!
The Riverboat Stompers closed with a rowdy Wang Wang Blues, then softly segued into ¾ time with ‘Till We Meet Again. They are wonderful and dynamic musicians, fun to watch and great to listen to. They inspire one another; you can easily tell this is the music they cherish. So do we, and sincerely hope to hear them again! http://www.riverboatstompers.com
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
From Monday On, Jimmy
Putting on The Ritz, Steve
Sweet Sue, Jimmy
My Blue Heaven, Neil
Downtown Strutters Ball, Jimmy
Do What Ory Say, Jimmy
Beale St. Blues, Jimmy
Lady Be Good, Jimmy
Exactly Like You, Jimmy
Ace in The Hole, Steve
Sunny Side of the Street
Our Love Was Meant To Be
Wang Wang Blues
‘Till We Meet Again
“Regulars” enjoyed listening to a fabulous afternoon of Swing and Jazz presented by Harold McAleer and The Lincoln Council on Aging, and produced by Steve Taddeo.
Connie, Bob, Jeannine
Maryanne and Marie Mosiejczuk
Jeff Barnhart and The Midiri Brothers expressed their joy at playing here and said they would be back! We will definitely let you know!
Thank you, Eric Devine, for the videos, and Harold McAleer and the Lincoln Council on Aging for the presentation.
Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
My Gal Sal
It’s The Talk of The Town
How About You – Caroline
If I Had You “
Shimmy She Wobble
Song My Mother Taught to Me – Antonín Dvořák
Sheik of Araby
Jeepers Creepers – Caroline
Sunny Side of the Street
Stan McDonald soprano sax, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Phil Person trumpet, Jack Soref guitar, Stu Gunn double bass, Richard Malcolm drums
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band was eager to play following a two-month hiatus at Primavera Ristorante. They played many of our Traditional Jazz Favorites; Gerry Gagnon, Stan McDonald and Phil Person carried the melody on front line. In Trad Jazz, somebody always plays the melody.
Front Line: Gerry Gagnon, Stan McDonald, Phil Person
They were backed by rhythm section: Jack Soref on guitar, Rich Malcolm drums, and Stu Gunn acoustic double bass. The front line played great ensemble backed by exemplary rhythm on Spreading Joy.
Stan McDonald, leader
Leader Stan McDonald was featured on Bechet’s Fantasy, and singing All By Myself.
Phil Person adds his own unique voice on trumpet with beautifully simple phrasing.
Rich Malcolm maintains that important Trad Beat with unique improvisations. It’s a joy to watch his antics!
Jack’s D-hole guitar was specially built for him by a friend in Worcester, combining several designs from various French guitars – sounding very much like Gypsy Jazz.
Stu Gun on acoustic double bass
Stu Gunn also maintains the beat, in sync with the drum. His solo on Memphis Blues expressed flawless intonation.
Gerry’s instrument is a 1946 Olds Super Trombone with wide tone band and hand engraved details. He is equally adept on tuba and fills in when Stu can’t make it.
Hand engraved trombone
Stan took a break after the second set. The rhythm boys were featured on I Remember When.
The Rhythm Boys: Rich Malcolm, Jack Soref, Stu Gunn
Then the 5-piece band took off with Sweet Sue, Chinatown, My Blue Heaven, Strutting with Some Barbecue, and Gerry singing The Sheikh of Araby. They closed the evening with Coquette.
My Blue Heaven
Coquette – video by Ellen McDonald
Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays at Primavera on the first Thursday of every month; they will return September 7th. Join us!
Blue Turning Gray Over You
My Gal Sal
Some Sweet Day
All By Myself
I Remember When
Strutting with Some Barbecue
The Sheikh of Araby
My Blue Heaven
Bo Winiker trumpet/flugelhorn, Ted Casher clarinet/tenor and alto sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter piano, Jim Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger leader/tuba, Zac Casher drums, Elaine Wu, Watson Reid and Nat Coolidge vocals, Carolyn Newberger washboard
Eli and The Hot Six is composed of seasoned veterans with the wisdom and expertise gained from playing many, many gigs in a variety of venues. They exhude rhythmic energy with delicate ornamentations — and it’s always new, enriching and nourishing for your jazz soul.
Eli leads them with a subtle pointing and each has the courage to follow his impulse and makes the melody come alive. His monstrous tuba becomes the rhythmic instrument that guides them.
Eli was the Tiger in Tiger Rag with swinging synergy inspired by the burning tempo. In the middle, Eli motioned to Bo and Bob, and they abruptly responded, trading two bars then one bar, at that fast tempo. It was done seamlessly; amazing!
Bo Winiker’s trumpet generally establishes the melody, but doesn’t always take the lead. His ability to improvise seems limitless.
Bo created arrangements for this 7-piece band that made it sound like a full orchestra on Don’t Get Around Much Anymore and a
Duke Medley of Mood Indigo,
Sophisticated Lady, I’ve Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good, with Ted switching to alto sax.
Clarinet master Ted Casher is also a full-blown tenor saxophonist with total command of the horn. it was a revelation to hear him on alto. His son Zac provided solid, swinging support every note of the way, with a loose touch that gets big sound.
Zac and Ted Casher, father and son team.
Bob Winter’s propulsive rhythms and fluent style were apparent on his unique version of Gershwin’s masterpiece Begin The Beguine. He plays challenging music that only top musicians can meet. He added so much!
Eli enjoying Bob’s surprises on keyboard
Herb Gardner’s supple fingers showed digital dexterity on trombone. He once said “Each trumpet player is different, and you change your lines to fit his style. Jazz is an exercise in manipulating music and it can be incredibly rewarding with these top players.”
Herb’s expertise was featured playing and singing on Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Let’s Misbehave, with a great drum solo by Zac.
Carolyn Newberger – file photo
Carolyn Newberger added a little spice to the band with Miami Beach Rhumba on washboard, with Bob Winter’s encouraging assistance.
Jimmy Mazzy and Zac Casher
Jimmy’s one-note banjo and singing style are renowned. He kicked off this evening with banjo and vocal on Basin St. Blues.
But he’s a busy guy, so the band has added several new vocalists.
Elaine Wu’s deep feeling takes us inside each song, making each composition tender or perky, treating us with many tunes, including one we’ve never heard before, I’m an Errand Girl for Rhythm, send me.
Watson Reid realy enjoys singing with this band, he’s a tasteful, swinging and inventive interpreter of Bill Bailey and Flat Foot Floogie
Nat Coolidge gave a sweetly earnest performance on Summertime and You Do Something To Me – this was his first time with the band.
They finished with a fiery St. James Infirmary, with Jimmy scatting it to a close.
Music is a powerful motivator. Join them on Sunday and Monday presenting The Genius of Cole Porter Jul 23rd 8pm at Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201; Box Office: 413 236-8888 and Duke Ellington Swings! July 24 at 8:00 PM $45 firstname.lastname@example.org
Basin St. Blues – Jimmy
12th St. Rag
Nice Work If You Can Get It – Herb
Begin The Beguine – Bob
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Elaine
Tiger Rag – Eli
Summertime – Nat
Bill Bailey – Watson
Miami Beach Rhumba – Carolyn
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
I’ve Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good
Errand Boy (Girl) – Elaine
Let’s Misbehave – Herb
Route 66 – Elaine
Flat Foot Floogie – Watson
You Do Something To Me – Nat
Saint James Infirmary Blues – Jimmy
Bo Winiker trumpet, Ted Casher alto and tenor sax/clarinet, Herb Gardner trombone, Eli Newberger tuba/leader, Bob Tamagni drum, Elaine Wu and Watson Reid and guest Sarah (Gardner) Nova vocals
Skill and stamina – the musicians arrived early and practiced for two hours, then played for us from 7-9:30pm – preparing for their two-day Jazz presentation of The Genius of Cole Porter and Duke Ellington Swings! at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA July 23 and 24. Tonight we had all Duke Ellington!! Who doesn’t LOVE Duke Ellington?
There were great solos from all the deeply skilled musicians, tasty notes, long and coherent phrases that reflected the story of the genre, the songs, and their individual contributions.
Front Line – Ted Casher, Bo Winiker, Herb Gardner
Elaine Wu and Watson Reid are now retired physicians, very relaxed and delighted to be singing full time.
They played some well-known Ellington tunes, starting with In a Mellow Tone, Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady; and some not-so-well-known, Elaine singing Never Trust Your Heart.
Guest Sarah Nova sang Shuffle Boogie and her own composition of Keep Your Hands Off It.
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore was WILD with Eli on tuba solo and Bo on flugelhorn.
We always enjoy Ted Casher’s tenor sax, but this was the first time we’ve heard him on alto. He said “it plays in the wrong keys”.
Drummer Bob Tamagni took a solo In Flat Foot Floogie where we could hear the melody elaborated rhythmically, which makes it ever so engaging. Great vocal by Watson Reid.
Limehouse Blues was played at a good clip. Bob Winter played the melody rested in great chords, some expected, some not.
Herb played a solo like a young man with vim and vigor! Yet again the drummer played the melody, getting such a range of sounds on just a snare, bass and hi-hat. Eli sent those ripping riffs to the stars as he always has and we know he will continue to do so with such gusto.
I’m Beginning to See The Light, Take the A Train, Write Myself a Letter, Day Dream. Watson did his special version of Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home.
Three birthdays were celebrated: pianist Bob Winter, Marce, and Sarah Abramson. We all shared a delicious birthday cake brought in by Jeannine James. This was Sarah’s first time here – she loves tuba; Eli gave her a Happy Birthday solo right at her table. She was enthralled!
Eli plays Happy Birthday
Marce wants especially to thank two very special ladies who took time out from their busy schedule to be here for this occasion, Music Therapist Kathleen Howland and vocalist Sarah (Gardner) Nova.
….and Marce’s family, with three grandsons:
Jason Towne, Marce, DJ Sardonini (from Florida) and his friend Sarah, Brian Towne.
It was a memorable evening for all of us!
Folks in Pittsfield MA are in for a treat when Eli & The Hot Six present The Genius of Cole Porter July 23rd and Duke Ellington Swings! July 24th 8pm at Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 email@example.com Box Office: (413) 236-8888.
Dan Levinson and The Swing Senders at Bemis Hall
Dan Levinson, Tom Ferrante, John Clark reeds; Jeff Hughes trumpet, Paul Monat cornet, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Ross Petot piano, Bill Doyle guitar, Justin Meyer bass, Steve Taddeo drums, and…
Caroline Griep vocals.
Dan Levinson returned to Bemis Hall with the Swing Senders for a fine afternoon of great music, produced by Steve Taddeo. We’ll let Harold McAleer’s videos show how great it was……
Caroline sings Out of Nowhere
At one point, we had the Taddeo Trio with Dan, Ross and Steve:
Fine and Dandy Taddio Trio
And a surprise Happy Birthday to Me – with three saxophones!
Finale – Crazy Rhythm, Taddeo drum solo:
The musicians still played their heart out despite the small crowd. Besides Fathers’ Day, there was a lot happening this week.
Mark your calendars – Steve will be bringing more fine musicians to Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Rd. Lincoln, MA. Please join us in supporting this fine Jazz and Swing!
August 13, Sun. 2-4pm The Big Four with The Midiri Brothers with Jeff Barnhart piano/vocals, Steve Taddeo drums and Caroline Griep. FREE
October 11, Wed. 7:30-9pmSarah Spencerand her Transatlantic All Stars, Sarah Spencer saxophone, Jeff Hughes cornet, John Clark reeds, Herb Gardner piano, Justin Meyer bass, Jimmy Mazzy banjo, Bill Doyle guitar, Gerry Gagnon trombone and Steve Taddeo drums FREE
Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kafalas trombone, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Jack Soref guitar, Rich Malcolm drums.
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band played fine Classic Traditional Jazz at Primavera Ristorante on May 4th. Stan McDonald dug into his massive collection of Traditional Jazz and provided charts for the musicians, bringing us great tunes the band hasn’t played in a long time.
Stan McDonald and Gerry Gagnon
Stan McDonald led on soprano sax, Stan plays with the taste and inflection and inspiration of Bechet. Gerry Gagnon’s turbo-charged tuba played booming bass lines. Gerry is the longest continuous band member, 23 years. Initially he played tuba, later switched to trombone. A master of both instruments, he plays tuba when bass player Stu Gunn is away and the band has a reunion with John Kafalas on trombone.
John Kafalas’s trombone improvised counterpoint harmony lines to the sax and trumpet. John remembered the intro to “Farewell to Storeyville” perfectly from when he was a full-time member of the band years ago. It was good to hear that tune again! The band was glad when John moved back to New England.
Two Videos of Blue Horizon Jazz Band with John Kafalas by the late George Borgman: Featured in this video are band leader Stan McDonald, the leader switches between the soprano saxophone and the clarinet, longtime member Walter Miller on trumpet, Hans Brack on bass, John Kafalas on trombone & double-bell euphonium, John Rayworth on banjo, Stu Grover on drums and Phil Hower on the piano. – Recorded at the July Fourth “Jazz Picnic” 1989.
My Creole Belle
You Do Something To Me
Back to 2017………..
Phil Person’s purity of tone reinforced the melody and lifted the whole band. He gave us a moving solo on “I Remember When.”
Rich Malcolm’s drums maintained the Classic New Orleans Street Beat that is so essential to Traditional Jazz. He played for the Sox at Fenway the night before! He was well warmed up for tonight!
Jack Soref played two solos. First a Django inspired “It Had To Be You.” Second a spellbinding “Dark Eyes. Youngest member of the band, he appreciates Stan McDonald’s depth and knowledge about the musicians of the 20’s and 30’s.
A special request altered the second set. “Marjorie” was celebrating her 89th birthday in the dining room and kept peeking in on the music. Finally she came into the music room with her daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandsons. The band played a lively version of “Margie” as a birthday present. The entire family danced energetically with Marjorie to everybody’s enjoyment
The whole band played a memorable, hard-driving performance! There are only a few bands still playing New Orleans Traditional Jazz; Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band perseveres at Primavera on the first Thursday of every month. Please join us at 7pm on June 1st at 20 Pleasant St. Millis MA?
Tunes this evening were: June Night, Four or Five Times, All of Me, I’ll Never Be The Same, Rosetta, Running Wild, My Gal Rocks Me, Some of These Days, Blues in the Air, When I Leave the World Behind, Roaming, Rose of the Rio Grande, I Remember When, After You’ve Gone, Farewell to Storyville, Margie.
Eli and The Hot Six: Bo Winiker trumpet/flugelhorn, Ted Casher clarinet/tenor sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keys, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger leader/tuba, Bob Tamagni drums, Elaine Wu and Watson Reid vocals.
(by Marce. Click on pictures to see enlargements.)
The Hot Six play contemporary, classic jazz, joining the present with the glorious past. They kicked it off with sparkling spontaneity on At The Jazz Band Ball, a tune by Nick LaRocca, cornetist with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. (They were the first to record a commercial jazz recording 100 years ago.)
Elaine Wu and Watson Reid
Vocalists Watson Reid and Elaine Wu (two doctors, no waiting) came up complaining about the weather with Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
We never get enough of the heartfelt Jimmy Mazzy vocals and unique one-string banjo, tonight singing You’re Nobody Sweetheart Now and There’ll Be Some Changes Made.
The Amazing Jimmy Mazzy – one of a kind – and we have him here!
Elaine Wu with Ted Casher
Elaine sang Lullaby of Birdland with Ted backing her on tenor sax. She also graced us with I’ve Got You Under My Skin, and I’ve Got The World on a String – and she does. She’ll be retiring from Medicine soon and singing full time!
Bob winter gets absorbed in Irving Berlin’s How Deep is the Ocean. He creates soaring melodies with much musical sophistication.
Ultra-tight all-star assembly on The Sheik of Araby, propelled by Bob Tamagni’s drumming.
They continued with one of our favorites, Limehouse Blues.
Bob began it with an incredible piano intro, then a Herb & Bo duet moved it to double time, Bob Winter was amazing, backing them using only his left hand.
Eli added fine tuba solo.
Jeannine is surprised with a birthday cake.
Overtime, the Fans here have become one big Family. Tonight there was a birthday cake for ‘regular’ Jeannine James. It was a complete surprise.
Bo Winiker plays Louis. Sings in his own voice, not imitating Louis.
We welcomed Bo Winiker back with his powerful trumpet. He grew up in Millis and many of his friends were here to welcome him back. He dedicated Louis’s Wonderful World to the Harkey family.
Herb Gardner, back from playing hot spots in NY.
Herb was featured singing and playing You’re Driving Me Crazy, nobody plays trombone like Herb Gardner!
Caroline’s flying spoons on washboard.
Carolyn Newberger joined the band with a rousing Washboard Roundolay.
Watson Reid surprised is with the complete verses of Bill Baily. There were so many, we didn’t even recognize the song until the band started the chorus.
With ensemble backing him he also entertained us with Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.
When this infectious music gets to your feet, you can’t sit still! Six of us just had to get up and dance!
We just couldn’t sit still!! This was so much fun! Photo by Harkey.
Ted on gut-wrenching tenor sax
Ted Casher played Blue and Sentimental with marvelous subtones on gut-wrenching tenor sax Thank you, Ted!
Bo took over with an Ellington tune, Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me, with smokey flugelhorn. Bob Winter was asked to play something. He surprised us with Angry, creating chordal subtleties and melodies.The Hot Six closed this delightful evening with Ida, published in 1903.
There is nothing like this anywhere else; we had such fun! This music is so uplifting; weeks later we were still glowing. They will be back here April 20th. Join us!
Dan ‘Daddy’ Gabel – 1912 King Trombone, Cow Moos
Jeff ‘LaRocca’ Hughes – 1910 Conn Cornet, Horse Whinny
John ‘Shields’ Clark – Clarinet and Rooster Coos
Ian ‘Rags’ Frenkel – Piano and fashion consultant
Bill ‘Sbarbaro’ Reynolds – 1915 Snare drum, traps (no hi-hat), barn sound effects
Rick ‘Robinson’ MacWilliams – Tuba and President
Many Traditional and Dixieland Jazz Bands across the world this month are celebrating the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recording the first commercially issued jazz 100 years ago! We had our own version Thursday Night at Primavera Ristorante in Millis, MA with Dan Gabel’s Tribute to the #OriginalDixielandJassBand.
They played all ODJB tunes, starting, of course, with the Original Dixieland One Step. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!
It continued with Livery Stable Blues, that became the first jazz single ever issued. It has the barnyard animal sounds that Gunther Schuller called “Barnyard Hocum.”
John Clark was dynamite on Clarinet Marmalade. John is leader of the popular Wolverine Jazz Band, and arranging and composing tunes of his own.
Larry Shields co-wrote the ODJB classics Clarinet Marmalade with Henry Ragas, which became one of the landmark compositions of early jazz and was a very popular jazz standard in the 1920s. He also co-wrote At the Jazz Band Ball, Ostrich Walk, and Fidgety Feet.
Dan’s Centennial Jass Band made Ostrich Walk into a polyphonic thriller! Singing The Blues is usually associated with Bix Beiderbecke, but the ODJB were the first to play it. They went to London in the 1919, where they played I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.
This was the first time the musicians had ever played these arrangements together; the intensity grew as they absorbed the techniques.
Fidgety Feet was a Hot One!
Till My Daddy Comes Home, front line trading fours.
Alice Blue Gown started out as a waltz, but not for long – second chorus turned into hot toe-tapping Dixieland.
Downtown Strutters Ball has been played by just about every band, but they played faster than usual. Nice tuba by Rick MacWilliams.
(The ODJB didn’t have a tuba so Rick was given the title of “President” of the band.)
Drummer Bill Reynolds (Tony Sbarbaro)
knows his Trad Jazz beat and kept the band in perfect time on cymbals and a 1915 snare drum, using the same simple drum set they had back then. No hi hat.
Astounding playing by Ian (Henry Ragas) on Syncopation Rag, with his wide finger spread. This was recorded by Benny Goodman in his Carnegie Hall Concert.
John Clark sang When You and I Were Young Maggie. He dedicated it to his #1 Fan, 90+ year-old Betty Weaver, who is a regular at Primavera, as she was at The Sherborn Inn and Sticky Wicket. She talked John Clark into singing years ago.
St. Louis Blues –
Dan Gable sang Pardon Me, Pretty Baby, resplendent leader in long-tailed tux and two-toned shoes.
Jeff Hughes’s Dad’s favorite was the 1919 Tell Me. Piano and cornet took first chorus; what a sweet cornet!
Dan Gable added some fancy crooning – he first heard it on a Bill Crosby recording.