January 10 This evening, our largest regular meeting crowd to date, welcomed our guest presenter Bob Foskett. Bob gave an excellent presentation titled Artistry in Kenton, which looked at the career of the legendary band leader, composer, arranger and pianist Stan Kenton. What made this presentation extra special was that Bob played personal interviews with Kenton that he had recorded for a radio station (Bob had also traveled on tour with Kenton). Among the music played was Willow Weep for Me, Art Pepper, Prologue, Swing House, Stompin' at the Savoy, and Chiapas. The evening was a wonderful insight into the mind and music of this top jazz band leader.
January 3 Tonight, regular presenter and Society stalwart John Moscinski gave us part 2 of his presentation "Singing and Swinging: An audio-visual Sampling of Jazz Vocalists Past and Present." As he did in the first part, John played some great music, as well as finding some excellent video footage. Part two concentrated on male vocalists, starting with several Louis Armstrong and the All Stars' live video performances from 1959. Joe Williams was featured on three tunes, including the seasonally appropriate Let it Snow and the classic Every Day I have the Blues. Vocalese expert Eddie Jefferson was heard, as was the vocal group Manhattan Transfer. Another interesting video selection was a duet between Kurt Elling and Al Jarreau from 2006.
December 27 This evening was a Jazz Movie Night. The featured film was Norman Granz's Improvisation, a collection of shorts and clips from various Granz projects. Among the clips were Improvisation (1950) which included Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald and Buddy Rich, Jammin' the Blues (1944) with Lester Young, Barney Kessell et al, and several 1970's jazz festival performances by Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Jazz at the Philharmonic, and others.
December 20 Tonight was a "Free and Easy Night." Members brought along music from their own collections to play and discuss.
December 13 This evening was the Society's Christmas Party with live jazz entertainment provided by the wonderful Lesley Byers and the Jazz Cats, who were making their second appearance in the Cottage. As well as the live jazz, we had food, dprizes, a raffle, a silent auction, and lots of fun. The band comprised Lesley Byers (vocals), Dan Effland (guitar), John Tate (bass), and John Deitmeyer (drums). The music started of with Winter Wonderland and Count Your Blessings, before Lesley and the band really set the tempo for the evening with an excellent version of How High the Moon. Irving Berlin's standard Cheek to Cheek with a fine guitar solo by Dan, led us into the Blossom Dearie number Peel Me a Grape, which was executed to perfection by Lesley. A Christwas Waltz and a great version of Honeysuckle Rose, which was a feature for John on bass, brought us to another standard in the shape of Just You, Just Me which concluded the band's first set.
The second half commenced with another seasonal tune Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas and a standard in Autumn Leaves. Next on the musical agenda were From This Moment On and The Christmas Song. Antonio Carlos Jobim's The Waters of March was sung in its original Portugese, and the Great American Songbook was again raided for a superb rendition of George Gershwin's Our Love is Here to Stay. Just Squeeze Me, Let it Snow, and the Christmas classic Jingle Bells all featured excellent band solos. Bye Bye Blackbird showcased Lesley's great vocal talents, before the evening ended with a lovely bowed-bass solo from John on I Love Being Here With You, a sentiment that was warmly returned by the capacity audience.