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.
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!
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 three grandsons.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Box Office: (413) 236-8888.
Marce and Kathleen