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

 

 

Eli & The Hot Four at Primavera September 21, 2017

keyboard, tuba, drum, trumpet, trombone

Eli & The Hot Four

Phil Person trumpet, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keyboard, Eli Newberger tuba, Bob Tamagni drums, Elaine Woo and Watson Reid vocals.

These fine musicians had  a chance to stretch out and strut their stuff, with Ted Casher, Jimmy Mazzy and Bo Winiker absent.

blowing muted trumpet

Phil Person

 

 

Phil Person knows a countless number of tunes; he played a sweet, flawless,  Stardust.  Beautiful!

 

 

 

 

on trombone,, with drums in background

Herb Gardner

 

 

Herb Gardner  sang and played a tune of his choice,  I Cried For You.  He’s been on call with either trombone or piano with bands from here to New Jersey.

 

 

 

Bob playing keyboard with a big smile on his face

Bob Winter

 

 

 

Bob Winter took a solo on After You’ve Gone and Begin The Beguine.  He starts off light and airy and continues like a veritable classic  concerto!

 

 

 

Elaine belting out a vocal

Elaine Woo

 

 

Powerhouse vocalist Elaine Woo belted out  Route 66, leading the band with Route 66 and a WILD Give Me Some Flim Flam Sauce.  She’s our new Red Hot Mama!

She’s thoroughly enjoying retirement from the Medical Community and popping up anywhere there’s Jazz to be sung!

 

 

And that was just the beginning!  They threatened us with all 17 verses of South Rampart St. Parade, began with a drum roll-off, 32 bars – it was a barn burner!

Trumpet  and tuba took a duet followed by piano and clarinet duo on a complicated Apex Blues. 

Watson smiling and singing into mic

Watson Reid

 

 

 

Watson Reed got the nonsense songs, starting with Flat Foot Floogie

 

 

 

Eli pulled off an amazing  tuba solo with a Latin tinge on Tico Tico.

Eli up front on tuba, with Bob Winter on keys in back

Eli Newberger

They closed with a Dixie War Horse, At The Jazz Band Ball.  With three Berklee Professors, it was a delightful  evening of tunes that we generally do not hear at Primavera.

They will be back at Primavera Ristorante on October 19th.  We hope everyone will join us to hear this World Class Band!

TUNES:
Blue Skies
I Cried For You
Blue Monk
After You’ve Gone
Route 66
Stardust
Flat Foot Floogie
Frim Fram Sauce
South Rampart St. Parade
Apex Blues
Every Time We Say Goodbye (Elaine)
Begin The Beguine
This Joint is Jumpin’ (Reid)

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