Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante April 19, 2018

8 pc Hot Band, two trumpets

Eli and The Hot Six

Bo Winiker and Phil Person trumpet, Ted Casher clarinet and tenor sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter piano, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger tuba, Bob Tamagni drums, Elaine Wu vocals

Eli playing tuba at the front of the band

Eli Newberger

 

This band is never dull!  On this cold and rainy day, Jimmy opened on his renowned one-string banjo singing April Showers. But it soon got HOT in here with two trumpets and clarinet, Eli strolling up front playing tuba.

 

 

 

Eli says  “I can’t get over the excitement that Phil  and Bo create, individually and together, and the band’s new energy.  Add Elaine and our vocal themes and solos, including Bob Winter’s, and we’ve got a joyful evening, full of honest emotion and unexpected brilliance, every single performance.”

They continued with optimistic tunes for better weather.

Keyboard player sings. Bob plays with the Boston Pops.

Bob Winter Sings!

 

 

 

Hope For Better Days–  Surprise – Bob Winter Singing!!  Wonderful!   Followed by band ensemble on Look For The Silver Lining.

 

 

 

Bo Winiker

Bo Winiker playing flugelhorn

 

 

Speaking of Silver Linings, Elaine Wu was back with tunes that help people relate to each other – Carol King’s Music, Ellington’s In a Mellow Tone, and off to Rio for One Note Samba, with Bo on flugelhorn.

 

 

 

 

Phil on muted trumpet

Phil Person

 

 

 

Phil Person’s sweet trumpet was featured with Honeysuckle Rose, with Jimmy scatting.

 

 

 

Bob Winter continued in propulsive rhythm and fluid style on keyboard with Without You.

Caroline seeming in ecstasy with head thrown back, playing washboard.

Carolyn Newberger

 

 

Carolyn Newberger joined Jimmy singing Coney Island Washboard Rondelay.

Carolyn is usually sitting in the audience drawing pictures of the musicians.  She had a successful showing of her art this month at Galatea Fine Arts in Boston.

 

 

Elaine with left arm swung out, singing

Elaine Woo rules!

 

Elaine returned singing Too Marvelous For Words, then introduced a couple of friends to sing a song.  This whole evening was about friendships.  Belinda sang All The Things You Are, and Nat tried some Jimmy Durante on You Do Something To Me, and with a Jazz Waltz from the movie The Yearling, and I’m All Smiles.

 

 

Herb up front on trombone with Eli on tuba behind him

Herb Gardner

 

 

Herb Gardner was featured on trombone and vocals with ‘Till We Meet Again.

 

 

 

Jimmy playing banjo and singing

Jimmy Mazzy

 

 

 

Jimmy dove through his plethora of songs for a 1927 tune played by the  Jean Goldkette Orchestra, Slow River.

 

 

 

Ted on tenor sax

Ted Casher

 

 

 

Ted was featured on tenor sax with Squattee Roo.

 

 

 

Eli and Jimmy have been a team for many years. Eli backed him on a very slow If You Knew How Much I Love You.   The band ramped up with a real barn-burner, South Rampart St. Parade.

Bob, with eyes closed and head thrown back, playing snare drum.

Bob Tomagni

 

 

Behind the band, always listening, adding emphasizing beats, keeping them in time, Bob Tomagni on drums.

 

 

This fine evening closed with Bo back on flugelhorn and Jimmy singing New Orleans.

The large, enthusiastic crowd clapped all night long! This was an exhilarating evening – we didn’t want it to end – but time was up.  But…Eli and The Hot Six, with Bo and Phil on  trumpet and Elaine and Carolyn will return on  May 17th   – Join us for an evening full of surprises!

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante April 5, 2018

5 pc. Traditional Jazz Band, no banjo

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band

 

Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kafalas trombone, Jack Soref guitar, Gerry Gagnon tuba.   The band’s drummer, Rich Malcolm, director of Audio/Visual at Berklee, was absent because he had to cover the class for a fellow employee who underwent surgery.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Bands plays every 1st Thursday of the month at Primavera, a fine Italian Restaurant family owned since 1989.  Great Traditional  Jazz in addition to fine Italian Cuisine at a fair price!

Stan on soprano saxophone

Stan McDonald

 

 

Stan McDonald played for the first set, opening on soprano sax with fine renditions of Swing That Music, Memphis Blues and Dardanella.  That was followed by Canal St. Blues.  Feet were tapping as they continued with Everybody Loves My Baby.   That closed the first set.

 

 

 

Gerry on tuba

Gerry Gagnon

 

Gerry Gagnon took over leadership of the band, but he gave everyone a say on what they would play and how they would play it.

The important job of keeping that Trad Beat was accomplished by Jack Soref on guitar, with help from Gerry playing 4/4 on a monstrous Conn 20J recording tuba with a deep, sonorous tone.

 

 

The band started the second set with a barn-burning version of Limehouse Blues, and I Would Do Most Anything For You (dedicated to the audience).  And they did!!

John on trombone

John Kafalas

 

 

John Kafalas fills in on trombone whenever Gerry moves to tuba.  John has been a part of this band for many years, improvising fine counterpoint harmony lines to the lead parts of the  trumpet player.

 

 

 

On the 85th Anniversary  of Louis Armstrong’s playing with King Oliver, they gave us Sugar Blues.

 

Phil on trumpet

Phil Person

 

 

They moved upbeat with Found a New Baby.  Phil Person took the lead on trumpet on Margie.   Phil plays a sweet, ‘pretty’ trumpet. He is an Assistant Professor of Ear Training at Berklee who helps students learn arranging, harmony, conducting, tonal harmony and counterpoint.

 

 

 

The band kept the tradition of New Orleans music of the 20’s to 50’s alive and vibrant.
That’s a Plenty.

 

Jack on 'Django' guitar

Jack Soref

 

 

 

They continued with a tune requested by “regular” Connie T.  It Had To Be you.  Jack Soref took the last 8, demonstrating what a  guitar solo should sound like!

 

 

 

China Boy, was a rouser!  They continued with The Mill’s Brothers’ When I Grow too Old to Dream, I’ll See You In My Dreams.

This Blue Horizon Jazz Band is a light-hearted, versatile band.  They closed with Just a Closer Walk With Thee.  a traditional gospel song that has been covered by many artists.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays the 1st Thursday of every month here at Primavera Ristorante, 7pm.  They will be back May 3rd.     Consider joining us??

Marce

 

 

 

 

Eli & The Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante, March 15, 2018

7 pc trad jazz - swing band

Eli and The Hot Six

Bo Winiker & Phil Person (trumpet), Ted Casher (clarinet/tenor & soprano sax), Herb Gardner (trombone), Bob Winter (piano), Jimmy Mazzy (banjo/vocals),  Eli Newberger (leader/tuba), Bob Tamagni (drums) & Elaine Woo (vocals)  .

After enduring three Nor’easters in three weeks, with loss of electricity, cancelled gigs, these musicians were raring to go!!  They hit it hot and fiery with That’s a Plenty that brought everyone to attention and sitting up on the edge of their seats.

Ted playing tenor sax

Ted Casher on smokin’tenor sax

 

 

 

Then Ted took out his tenor sax for a moody, smoldering Blue and Sentimental that turned our insides to jelly!

 

 

 

 

smiling and singing

Elaine Woo

Eli called on Elaine Woo, who had prepared a list of songs for spring, including the verses – many of were melancholy:  Spring is Here (why doesn’t my heart go dancing?)  Michel LeGrand’s You Must Believe In Spring.
She moved to something more cheerful – a Broadway tune that persuades flowers to bloom.  It begins as a shy prayer and ends up a classic Broadway Belt: Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here.

 

clarinet, two trumpets, trombone

Front line: Ted Casher, Bo Winiker, Phil Person, Herb Gardner

Musicians were soaring!  But there’s no doubt who is in charge here, with Eli pointing to each one, each picked up spontaneously, improvising straight from the heart!

Winter at keyboard

Bob Winter

 

 

 

Bob Winter swung with expressive joy on Carioca, from a 1933 film Flying Down to Rio.

 

 

 

 

 

Phil with hair in long white pony tail, plays trumpet

Phil Person

 

 

 

Phil Person was featured with Duke’s soulful, sensitive Satin Doll.

 

 

 

 

 

smiling, holding trumpet and handkerchief

No one does Louis better than Bo!

 

 

 

Bo Winicker instinctively plays Louis’s Hello Dolly;

 

 

 

 

playing trombone up front

Herb Gardner

 

 

 

Herb Gardner played mellow trombone and sang Richard Whiting’s She’s Funny That Way.

 

 

 

 

hitting snare with one stick and top hat stand with the other

Bob Tamagni

 

 

 

Bob Tamagni’s sound generates dynamism and perfect propulsive thrust, driving the band.

 

 

 

 

Eli introduced a young student of Bob Winter’s, Rui (pronounced Ray) Zhong who plays both piano and Euphonium. With Jimmy, Rui and Eli took a turbo charged duet on Summertime.

euphonium, banjo, tuba

Rui , Jimmy Mazzy, Eli Newberger

Until a couple of years ago, Elaine was an Internal Medicine Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and she only knew two songs. She reprised them for us, with all lyrics memorized:  I Got Rhythm, and Embraceable You.  Now retired and singing full-time, Elaine has become a seasoned professional vocalist, and belts them out with fervor.

Elaine singing with the whole band

Elaine Woo belts out a song!

Eli and The Hot Six closed with a march around the room on a flaming Tiger Rag.

That left us in a much better mood than when we arrived!

Eli and The Hot Six are here at Primavera on the 3rd Thursday of every month – next one is April 19th.  Come join in the fun!!

Wolverine Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante February 22, 2018

7 pc. trad Jazz Band

Wolverine Jazz
Band

Jeff Hughes cornet, John Clark, Leader, clarinet/bass sax, Tom Boates trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Ross Petot piano, Rick MacWilliams tuba, Dave Didriksen drums

An energetic, rambunctious Wolverine Jazz Band raised the temperature on this very cold February evening with uplifting, toe-tapping Traditional Jazz at Primavera Ristorante.   Just a week+ after Mardi Gras, this was an evening of tunes from the essential spirit of early New Orleans up to the 1950s in preparation for their umpteenth CD – and all of us were pleased to be a part of it!

Jimmy Mazzy kicked it off with banjo intro on Maybe, a song written in 1926 by George and Ira Gershwin, then Brown Bottom Bess, by Johnny Dodds.

Jimmy took banjo intro and vocal on Take Your Tomorrows and Give Me Today.

This front line lights up the room!  Trombone, cornet and clarinet against a four-piece rhythm section.

trombone, cornet, clarinet with

Tom Boates, Jeff Hughes, John Clark in Front Line

Clark playing bass sax set on seat of chair

John Clark on bass saxophone

The rhythm section had “strength up the middle.”  They laid back on ballads, but on a hot tune…look out!

Jelly Roll Morton’s Frog-I-More Rag was a killer with John Clark’s powerful bass saxophone! He reaches deep down and creates beautiful music.

John sang The Preacher, with the band in close harmony, and the 1934 Baby Brown, by Alex Hill with livewire ensemble band opening – marvelous.  Ross Petot was in full stride.

 

 

 

Ross looking up and smiling (this is rare - he never smiles when he's playing.)

Ross Petot, teacher and stride pianist

 

We were all happy to see Ross Petot back with the band.  He’s usually unavailable – teaching on Thursday nights.  Fortunately for us, school was out this week. His stride piano is inimitable!!

Check it out on the video of Honky Tonk Towne!

 

 

 

 

tom on open bell trombone

Tom Boates

 

Tom Boates requested I’m Gonna Charleston back to Charleston  –  love that growling trombone! He was featured on Stars Fell on Alabama.  (It refers to a spectacular occurrence of the Leonid meteor shower observed in Alabama in November 1833.)

Tom drove 125 miles from Connecticut to get here, putting heart and soul in a New Orleans tune recorded in 1940 by Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong
– Down in Honky Tonk Town.

video by Marce (sorry about shrinkage!  Listen to the music.)

Tell Me Why – sweet intro to Jimmy vocal with Jeff backup.  John actually played melody on that monstrous bass sax, with Tom on  trombone doing harmony.  Lovely!
Jimmy’s banjo opened on a sweet ballad, How Deep is The Ocean, with Jeff backing him on cornet.  (Jeff has been playing harmony for Jimmy ever since they were together in Ray Smith’s Paramount Jazz Band.)

Jimmy singing, Jeff playing cornet

Jimmy Mazzy and Jeff Hughes

Jeff and John  remembered playing In Our Cottage of Love with the Paramount Jazz Band.

Jeff Hughes is the Bix Beiderbecke in this Wolverine Jazz Band. His technique  encompasses a fabulous variety of moods and timbres, especially in a 1928 song Bix did with the Paul Whitman orchestra, Lonely Melody.

Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee is a song by Irving Berlin in the musical comedy Face the Music, which opened in 1932. The song is sung by a group of once-wealthy citizens who were awaiting better times, as mirrored in the song’s opening lyrics: Just around the corner, there’s a rainbow in the sky.

Banjo played verse on a sweet ballad recorded by Mildred Bailey and Her Orchestra in 1937 If You Ever Should Leave / Heaven Help This Heart of Mine.  Harold Arlen’s Kicking The Gong Around had Jimmy scat-singing, with the band alternating fast and slow tempos..

Dave Didriksen

 

Hot toe-tapping Dixieland tune,   Sensation Rag, is also on another  one of their CDs, with drummer Dave Didriksen tapping on woodblock.

The buoyant rhythm section sparked by drums provided solid support.

Dip Your Brush In The Sunshine 1931 by Ted Lewis –  Jimmy singing backed by clarinet.

 

Rick looking up, playing tiba

Rick MacWilliams

 

 

 

Band in ensemble took the intro to I Ain’t Gonna Tell Nobody with nice tuba solo. Rick’s tuba gives the music support and richness and pushes the beat without racing the time.

 

 

 

These musicians get absolute rapture in making music and delectable hot jazz!!

The Wolverine Jazz Band has been invited to several festivals. They won’t be back here at Primavera until April 26th!   Mark your calendars! Don’t miss this amazing Jazz band!

You can purchase any of their fine CD’s at www.wolverinejazzband.com.

Primavera Thursday Night Jazz Schedule

Picture of Primavera entrance

Primavera Ristorante

Thursday Jazz 2018 Is Pleased to Present
Jazz at Primavera Ristorante   www.primav.com/

20 Pleasant St. Millis MA 02054
Reservations (508) 376-2026
7:00 to 9:30pm   Admission $10

PRIMAVERA 2018 THURSDAY JAZZ

May
3             Blue Horizon Jazz Band
10           Sarah Gardner:  Very Special Sass ‘n Bones
17           Eli and The Hot Six
24           Dixie Diehards
31           Riverboat Stompers

June
7            Blue Horizon Jazz Band
14          Wolverine Jazz Band
21          Eli and The Hot Six
28          SteveTaddeo’s Swing Senders

July
5           No Jazz – Primavera closed
12          Christine Towle & The Eric Baldwin Trio
19          Eli and The Hot Six

26          Joan Bender Trio

                            August
                            2           Blue Horizon Jazz Band
                            9          Sarah Gardner:  Sass ‘n Bones  
                           16         Eli and The Hot Six
                           23
                           30          Dave Jost / Don Ryan Jazz Duo

 

 

American Jazz from the Roaring 1920’s through the Swing Era of the 1940’s. Come Enjoy Hot and Authentic Dixieland, New Orleans,Chicago style and Big Band music for listening and dancing.

$10 admission will be collected in cash by the hostess seating you. We apologize but we cannot charge the admission to your credit card.  Resv.  (508) 376-2026

All arranged by Ellen McDonald.  Thank you, Ellen!!

Image6

 

Scott Hamilton and Gray Sargent Trio at Chan’s Jazz & Blues Club, Woonsocket RI  26 November 2017

Scott Hamilton returned to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend at Chan’s Jazz & Blues Club with the Gray Sargent Trio featuring 2 members of Tony Bennett’s band: the amazing Gray Sargent on guitar, the incredible Marshall Wood on bass and Boston Pop’s Jim Gwinn on drums.Scott on tenor sax, all others as noted

                        Scott Hamilton with Gray Sargent, Marshall Wood and Jim Gwynn                                           With Guest Vocalist Donna Byrne
                                  November 26, 2017 at Chan’s in Woonsocket, RI

By Bill Falk
pictures by Eric Falk

This was a match made in heaven! The incomparable Scott Hamilton on tenor sax, Gray Sargent on guitar, Marshall Wood on bass and Jim Gwynn on drums.

This is one of the finest groups I’ve ever seen or heard. They blended perfectly to produce marvelous swinging jazz that kept the sellout crowd enthralled all night. Everything they played was a hit from the time they opened with Chinatown My Chinatown.

Scott on tenor sax

Scott Hamilton

 

 Scott was at his best – which means he was phenomenal. My late wife Grace always said that he was the only one who could produce such an unbelievable sound. He smiled all night – meaning he enjoyed working with the trio behind him. I believe he is the greatest jazz tenor sax man ever whether he is soloing, blending in with the group or backing up a singer.

 

 

 

Gray Sargent on guitar soloed excellently. Plus, he coordinated with Marshall Wood on bass beautifully. I like it when Gray blasts away on his guitar. Marshall Wood

is a treat on bass. His facial expressions are priceless. He makes the bass sing. Jim Gwynn on drums set a terrific beat for the group. He took some breaks and soloed great later in the program.

All the players were smiling and enjoying themselves all night. Their happiness made the music sound even better. The crowed clapped and clapped as the group ripped through song after song.

If this group ever gets together again, and if you can get to see them, I guarantee you’ll love their music and upbeat mood.

Scott called Donna Byrne up from the audience for several entertaining song renditions. She, too, was a hit. Donna captured the spirit of the evening and performed very well.

Some of the songs played were Laura, Russian Lullaby, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Best Things in Life Are Free and Emily. There were many others, but I was unable to remember them.

Bill Falk

 

Sarah Spencer International Jazz Band at Bemis Hall  October 11, 2017

9 pc Real Trad Jazz Band - two reeds

Sarah Spencer International Jazz Band

Sarah and Minnie Mouse

Sarah and Minnie Mouse

 

Sarah Spencer returned from her home in England; stopped by at Disneyworld to catch up with friends, then settled in Connecticut, playing at Bill’s Seafood.  We were fortunate to have her with us in Lincoln, MA, with her International All Stars.  Our local musicians were thrilled to have Sarah here – that was obvious!

 

Jeff Hughes cornet, John Clark clarinet/soprano sax, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Herb Gardner piano, Justin Meyer  bass, Bill Doyle guitar, Steve Taddeo drums, Sarah Spencer tenor sax/vocals/clarinet/alto sax.

They opened with Jimmy singing Exactly Like You.  Sarah and The All Stars  played New Orleans Traditional Jazz – it was refreshing to hear it again!  She explained where the tunes came from, and what bands played them, like The Sam Morgan band, Papa Celestin,  Billy & Dede Pierce, Kid Thomas, Ma Rainey’s Tiajuana Man.

Clark on soprano, Sarah on tenor sax

John Clark and Sarah duet

 

 

John Clark took up soprano sax for Sweet Jenny Lee, a  Cab Callaway tune.

 

 

 

 

Steve Taddeo has been studying Baby Dodds – surprising the members of the band on Traditional Jazz – his passion is playing drums!
Sweet Jenny Lee

Sarah sang several songs, including Love, by Jabbo Smith.

Sarah singing. Taddeo reveling on drums, Jeff Hughes trumpet

Sarah sings Jabbo Smith’s Love

both singing on same mic

Sarah and Gerry sing

 

 

The band reveled in playing unusual pairings of musicians.  Sarah played clarinet on Savoy Blues, persuaded by John Clark.  Jerry Gagnon sang a duet with Sarah – that was a surprise!

Jimmy playing banjo and singing, head lowered

Jimmy sings with Justin Meyer behind him

 

 

 

Jimmy Mazzy sang Sweetheart of TKO, from “Papa” Celastin’s Original Tuxedo Orchestra.
Closer Walk With Thee had both Sarah and John playing clarinet, backed by the rhythm section. Justin Meyer was behind Jimmy with fluid intonation and flawless timing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herb Gardner learned and played many new songs this evening.

 

 

 

Herb Gardner enjoyed playing  on Bemis’s antique grand piano showing his astonishing improvisational skills – he had never heard some of these Traditional Jazz tunes!

 

 

 

 

Bill hidden behind mike, Gerry on muted trombone

Bil Doyle and Gerry Gagnon

 

Gerry Gagnon is amazing on trombone, improvising harmony lines, playing lovely slow glissando.
It was impossible to get a clear picture of Bill Doyle, playing guitar in the rhythm section, making every note count – invaluable to the band.

 

They closed with an astounding Panama.

All agreed that they will do this again next year.  The attentive and enthusiastic  audience applauded wholeheartedly!

The following Wednesday, Sarah Spencer played at a private house party in Concord MA that was well attended by Jimmy Mazzy fans.  She’s been driving from Connecticut to this party for years!

Thursday 26th she drove up to Primavera in Millis, Massachusetts and sat in with Jeff Hughes, Craig Ball, Jimmy Mazzy, Steve Taddeo and Ron L’Herault.  She said it was the most magnificent send-off possible; last few hours of her trip with the very best of friends.  Next morning she headed back home to England.

We look forward to her returning next year!!   We all love you, Sarah!

by Marce
videos by Harold McAleer

 

 

Jeff & Joel’s House Party #8, October 13-15, 2017

Banu with 13 male musicians

Jeff & Joel’s House Party #8

by Marty Fay
videos Cine Devine

As always, it was a mixture of the familiar and the new. There were musicians and songs that have thrilled previous House Party audiences, as well as new performers and songs that have not visited the House Party before now.

singing into mic

Banu Gibso

Banu Gibson was the new headliner and brought an interesting mix of musical talent (she stuck with vocals for the House Party), charts and humorous stories. She is a consummate performer and was well received from her Friday night spotlight and throughout the whole weekend. She stuck primarily to working with “charts” –  it is difficult to travel and develop a quick rapport with new musicians to back up your vocals – but it all came out very well.

She actually arrived in New York City a few days earlier and spent some time with the NYC crew.

 

Vince on banjo, Banu smiling

Vince Giordano and Banu

 

 

Friday night she was backed by Vince Giordano (on his multitude of instruments), Dan Levinson (on reeds), Tom Palinko (on drums) and Jeff Barnhart (on keyboards). She also featured some vocal duties by Vince and Jeff. The charts gave the show more structure than we usually rely upon.

Jeepers Creepers
Banu Gibson – Vocal
Mike Davis – Trumpet
Dan Levinson – Reeds
Jim Fryer – Trombone
Dalton Ridenhour – Piano
Vince Giordano – Bass
Kevin Dorn – Drums
 
Joel and Banu laughing

Banu and Joel Schiavone

 

 

At the start of her career, Banu  actually worked for Joel Schiavone, so it was a homecoming of sorts for her. Your Father’s Mustache was alive and well in Branford this past weekend!

Vince Giordano – My Blackbirds are Bluebirds Now
For the rest of the weekend most of the structure was Jeff’s freewheeling mix of musicians and styles. He always prepares a list of which musicians are featured for
each song with only a suggestion of style of music and a nominal tune caller. Then he tells the musicians that they are free to ad lib and add others as they go.
On some of these Banu used charts and on others she joined into the loose structure for which we are known.

New for this year was Jeff’s depiction of a NYC crew and suburban crew.

The suburban crew included Jeff, Tom Palinko, Joel, Frank Tate (on bass), Fred Vigorito (on trumpet and cornet), Tom Boates (on trombone) and the inimitable Noel Kaletsky (on reeds).
China Boy

Big Noise From Winnetka featured Tom Palinko drums.

The NYC crew included Vince, Dan, Jim Fryer (on trombone and other brass instruments), Kevin Dorn (on drums), Dalton Ridenhour (on keyboards) and Mike Davis (on trumpet). Dalton and Mike were new to the House Party and performed well beyond their years. Note their names because you will be hearing more about them as time goes on. They were great new additions.

Shake It and Break It

 

Canal Street Blues

 

Jeff & Dalton play 4-handed piano – Everybody Loves My Baby

Dave Whitney Big Band at Bemis Hall, October 1, 2017

17-pc band (missing one trumpet)

Dave Whitney Big Band

videos by Harold McAleer

An extension of Dave’s small bands, his fourteen piece orchestra was formed in 1989.  The focus of this band was playing and preserving the classic sounds of the big band era.

Now an 18-piece band, members here were:
Saxophones
Dave Jost
Art Bakopolus
Diane Heffner
Bob Drukman
Kathleen Howland

Trumpets
Dave Whitney, leader
Joe Musumeci
Jeff Hughes
Brittany Betts, vocals

Trombones
Scott Hill
Mike Strauss
Hikaru Sato

Guitar: Karen Quatromoni, vocals
Piano Steve Dale,
Bass Dave LeBleu,
Drums Reid Jorgensen

This orchestra is comfortable playing for the listener and is equally at ease playing for dancers.  Besides saluting the big name bands such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Harry James, the Whitney Orchestra also plays the music of other fine bands such as Tony Pastor, Vaughn Monroe, Frankie Carle, Scat Davis and Red Nichols.

They greeted the full house with Dave’s theme song, When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful, and continued for an exhilarating afternoon of  fine swing and Jazz.

blowing trumpet

Dave Whitney

Well known in New England for his work with the Yankee Rhythm Kings, White Heat Swing Orchestra, and Chris Powers Orchestra, Dave Whitney was influenced by Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Bobby Hackett and many other great trumpeters of the pre-bop era.  Dave has been called “Premier early style trumpeter” of this area” and “Dean of swing trumpet”.   He was featured on Boy Meets Horn, and sang several tune including Marie and Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long.

 

on Steinway

Steve Dale

Pianist Steve Dale was featured on Sunrise Serenade.  Steve does many arrangements, and transcribed Louis Armstrong’s Back ‘o Town Blues.

 

 

 

An original member of the band, Reid Jorgensen’s drums pulsated on Louis Prima’s Sing, Sing, Sing.

singing

Brittany Betts

 

 

Trumpeter Brittany Bett’s sang several songs, including And The Angels Sing,

 

 

Guitarist Karen Quatromoni sang Peggy Lee’s Let’s Do It and I’m Beginning To See The Light.

Jeff Hughes was featured on flugelhorn with Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life.

flugelhorn and piano

Jeff Hughes and Steve Dale

on baritone sax

Kathleen Howland

 

Jeff and Kathleen Howland blew the roof off on Count Basie’s 920 Special.

 

 

 

on alto sax

Art Bakopolus

 

 

Art Bakopolus, another one of the band’s originals, was featured on alto sax with All of Me.

 

 

 

 

on clarinet

Diane Heffner

 

Diane Heffner, clarinet, played in a medley of The Things I Love, Peaceful In The Country, and Something New.

 

 

 

There was even a touch of Dixieland, with a six-piece Band within a Band: Jeff Hughes & Dave Whitney trumpets, Dave Jost trombone, and Mike Strauss clarinet, Steve Dale piano, Dave LeBleu bass, playing Battle Hymn of the Republic.

6 pc Dixie Band, no banjo

Band within a Band playing Dixieland

Dave closed with everyone taking a fabulous solo on Mary Lou Williams’ Roll ’em.

The Dave Whitney Orchestra has entertained for numerous swing dance parties and has performed at Ryles, the Sherborn Inn, Rockingham Ballroom, Bridgwaye Inn, and bi-monthly at Angelica’s in Middleton, MA.  The Band now has a compact disc titled “Swingin’ at the Wunderbar”.  To get the CD email Dave davjazzer64@yahoo.com or write to Dave Whitney 33 Wyman rd.Bilerica,Ma. 01821.  $15, add $2 for shipping.

Tunes:
Intro: When Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful
Big John Special
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Tenderly
920 Special
Marie
I’m Beginning To See The Light
Back o’ Town Blues
All of Me
Pedido
Lush Life
Let’s Do It
And The Angels Sing
Battle Him of the Republic
Dixie Band
Sing Sing Sing
Are You Having Any Fun?
I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me
Too Little Time
Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long
Sunrise Serenade
Harlem Butterfly
Boogie Blues
The Music Makers
Back Home Again in Indiana
Medley:
The Things I Love
Peaceful In The Country
Something Now
Boy Meets Horn
Imagination
Roll ‘em

Wolverine Jazz Band at Primavera September 28, 2017

6 piece Trad Jazz Band no trombone

Wolverine Jazz Band

Jeff Hughes trumpet/flugelhorn, John Clark leader, clarinet/alto sax, Herb Gardner piano, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Rick MacWilliams tuba, Dave Didriksen drums

By Bill Falk

Listening to this group reminded me of traditional jazz of yesteryear – those days of King Oliver and ballrooms full of followers.

Despite missing their trombonist, band members meshed together beautifully – mixing brilliant solos with great backup.

behind music stand on alto sax

John Clark

 

 

John Clark led the band plus did an excellent job on clarinet and alto sax. He also vocalized on The Preacher, Stairway to Paradise and Egyptian Ella.

 

 

 

 

 

on banjo, singing into mic

Jimmy Mazzy

 

 

Jimmy Mazzy was brilliant on banjo – when isn’t he terrific? His vocal on Take Your Tomorrow was very impressive, and his solos on Chasing the Blues Away, Monday Date and How Deep is the Ocean were outstanding.

 

 

 

Jeff n muted trumpets (wearing brown wing-tip shoes)

Jeff Hughes

 

 

Jeff Hughes trumpet and flugelhorn never disappoints. I was particularly excited by the full sound he produced on the flugelhorn on
I Surrender Dear. He delivered great solos on a variety of tunes throughout the program.

 

 

 

 

at keyboard, singing

Herb Gardner

 

Herb Gardner on keyboard contributed vocals on Staten Island and The Preacher. He is a vital ingredient to the group’s sound because of his ability to backup others and hold things together.

 

 

 

Sitting, with tuba braced on chair between his legs

Rick MacWilliams

 

 

 

Rick MacWilliams on tuba soloed occasionally while helping the rhythm section keep a steady pace. He works the instrument like a saxophone.

 

 

 

tapping on snare drum

Dave Didriksen

 

 

Dave Didrikson was the drummer – not flashy but terrific at keeping the beat. He did take an occasional brief solo, but he played much like the drummers from way back – unsung but important.

 

 

 

The band also played What’s the Use, A Foggy Day in London Town, Froggy More, There Ain’t No Sweet Band Worth the Salt of My Tears, Lonely Melody, Oh Miss Hannah, Struttin’ With Some Barbecue, I Ain’t Gonna Tell Nobody, Sleepy Lagoon, The Work Song, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans and ended a wonderful evening with their signature Wolverine Blues.

Make it a priority to see this group in person! They get into the roots of jazz as invented in New Orleans very successfully.

 

By Bill Falk
Marce Photos