September 7 This evening's presentation was given by Society regular John Moscinski. John treated us to a big screen video presentation detailing the life and music of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie. The "Dizzy Gillespie Story" featured some amazing film clips of Dizzy in both small group and big band settings. The video also showed some extremely rare footage of some other great jazz musicians, such as Charlie Parker and James Moody, as well as showing plenty of interviews with musicians who had been involved with Diz through the years. The music was top notch and included great versions of Manteca, Salt Peanuts and A Night in Tunisia.
August 31 This evening's live jazz entertainment was provided by The Senor Fox Trio. The trio comprises Christy Bennett (vocals), Conor Scanlon (guitar), and Michael Sinclair (bass). The first set included some great standards and jazz classics including Everything I've Got, Body and Soul, and Blame It On My Youth. The trio's music became more contemporary on Wayne Shorter's Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum and Christy shone with a superb vocal rendition of McCoy Tyner's Contemplation. The set also included an unusual jazz interpretation of Unravel, a tune originally recorded by Icelandic pop diva Bjork.
For the second set of the evening's performance, bass player Michael Sinclair had to leave to play at another gig, so the trio became a guitar and voice duo. Featured tunes in this set included All of Me, Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You, and Just Squeeze Me, all of which showed strong guitar work from Conor and excellent vocals by Christy. The perennial favorite Bye Bye Blackbird showcased Christy's great voice, before the performance drew to a close with an energetic Mean to Me. Check out the photographs here.
August 24 Tonight was a "Free and Easy Night." Members brought along music from their own collections to play and discuss.
August 17 Regular presenter Jason Fustar's topic tonight was the life and career of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who has now been playing jazz for over 50 years. Among the music we heard were Rollins' compositions Airegin, Oleo, St. Thomas, and The Bridge. We also listened to Tenor Madness, which featured a tenor sax duel with John Coltrane. This great musician is still playing and filling concert halls to capacity.
August 10 Guest presenter Lou Rugani gave members an extremely interesting and intuitive talk on "The State of Jazz on the Air." Lou presents "Music of the Stars on Kenosha's WLIP radio, and he is also an occasional MC at Chicago's Green Mill Jazz club.
August 3 Lee Goode's topic this evening was simply titled "Thelonious Monk." In his presentation, Lee discussed the life and music of this innovative and extrovert musician. Monk's music can be a little intimidating for some people, but the members in attendance had no problems enjoying a selection of the pianist's tunes, including Crepuscule with Nellie, Trinkle Tinkle, the evergreen 'Round Midnight, and a great version of Stompin' at the Savoy....recorded live at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem.
July 27 This evening featured another movie on the big screen, this time it was the hilarious "Blues Brothers." Members enjoyed this full uncut version, complete with deleted scenes, that were not shown either on television on in the film's theatrical release. The movie featured such greats as Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway and of course the Blues Brothers Band itself.