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 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.