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

 

 

 

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

 

 

As usual, sometimes tunes were called that some of the band members did not know. Either a quick series of notes from another musician or a quick professional ear always seems to result in solid performances that the audience enjoyed without feeling that anything sounded the slightest bit off.

In keeping with the freewheeling spirit, Jeff and Joel added groupings and performances as the show went forward.

 

Man with white mustache on banjo

Chris Fennimore

 

 

 

Chris Fennimore came from Pittsburgh once again to enjoy the weekend and add his banjo talents to some of Joel’s sing along specialties.

 

 

 

Joel caught the structured feeling and scheduled tributes to Firehouse Five + 2, Turk Murphy, and Clancy Hayes.

Personally, I can hardly wait for Eric Devine’s You Tube offerings. It was a great weekend and created great memories.

Marty Fay, J&JHP Volunteer & washboard player
Photos Eric and Sheral Devine

More CineDevine Videos:
Coming
I Don’t Know Enough About You –  Banu  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2nUnsNF8ZQ&feature=push-u&attr_tag=wcEAGxfmIXqlnROC-6
That’s a Plenty  NYC Crew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6n1IrJHzbU
Bluin’ The Blues  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQho_Qc3eL8z  

 

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

 

 

Riverboat Stompers at Primavera September 14, 2017

Steve Straus leader/clarinet, Neil Flewellen cornet, Frank Batchelor trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Phil Hower piano, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Rich MacMillan drums.

7 piece Trad Jazz Band

Riverboat Stompers

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.

siting, passionately playing clarinet

Steve Straus

 

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.

 

 

 

sitting, playing cornet

Neil Flewellen

 

 

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 standing, playing trombone

Frank Batchelor

 

 

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 on keyboard

Phil Hower

 

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

 

 

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 playing large tuba

Pierre Lemieux

 

 

 

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.

 

 

on minimal drums, bass and snare, 3 cymbals

Rich MacMillan

 

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

TUNES:

Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
From Monday On, Jimmy
Putting on The Ritz, Steve
Sweet Sue, Jimmy
My Blue Heaven, Neil
Downtown Strutters Ball, Jimmy
Rosetta, 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