February 7 This evening we welcomed the 7-piece Safe Sax back to the Cottage for their second visit. The band feature a front-line of four saxophones, backed by a swinging rhythm section of guitar, bass and drums. The band personnel is: Glenn Broadhead (baritone saxophone, arranger), Steve Koerner (tenor and soprano saxophones), Herman Reyes (alto and tenor saxophones), Mario Mongello (tenor saxophones), Bill Reda (guitar), Mike Daley (bass), and Steve Magnone (drums). The first set commenced with Frank Foster's Down for the Count featuring Bill's guitar and some great saxophone ensemble work. Next up was a Shorty Rogers chart Just a Few and a mellow version of Tadd Dameron's Soultrain, which showcased Steve on soprano saxophone. Robbins' Nest had some fine bass work by Mike, while In Walked Bud again featured great ensemble work by the whole band. A wonderful rendition of Charles Mingus' Duke Ellington's Sound of Love, with excellent solos by Mike and Herman, was followed by Out of Nowhere, which featured Bill's guitar soloing over a catchy unison sax riff. Frank Rosalino's Rubberneck, was followed by Clifford Brown's Daahoud, with Steve again playing soprano saxophone. The first set finished with a rousing version of Shorty Rogers' tour de force Short Stop.
The second section of the evening started with Rock-Sippin' at the Blue Note, with Mike doing sterling work on the bass. Broadway and Bargain Day featured the ensemble saxes, before the band went into the third Shorty Rogers composition of the evening Coop De Grass, with Steve excelling at the drums. Next up came Juicy Lucy and Baker's Knot, leading to Tadd Dameron's second score of the evening On a Misty Night. Oscar Pettiford's Tricotism was the penultimate tune of the evening, bringing us to the band's last offering Take the A Train, a fitting finale that featured Herman, Steve, Mike and Bill.
January 31 Tonight, regular presenter Jason Fustar's presentation was titled "Duke Ellington's Suites". Jason's talk looked at a number of Ellington's longer compostions and suites. Among the featured works was music from Such Sweet Thunder (based on the plays of William Shakespeare), Work Song and two versions of Come Sunday from Duke's Black, Brown and Beige. We also listened to two excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite, two from the Far East Suite, and Blues for New Orleans from Ellington's New Orleans Suite.
January 24 This evening was a Jazz Movie Night. The film title was "Maynard Ferguson Tribute" which featured rare footage recorded throughout the career of the legendary high-note trumpet player and bandleader. Among the great music were several tunes recorded at a Tribute Concert for Maynard in 2006, shortly after his death. The mega-band involved, featured 16 trumpets and the whole band was made up of ex-Ferguson alumni. A particularly spectacular version of Gonna Fly Now (the theme from the movie "Rocky") ended this wonderful concert. We also watched Maynard play a variety of instruments as well as his customary trumpet, including the slide-trumpet and the trombone, and we also listened to an occasional Maynard vocal. Clips played included performances of 'Round Midnight, I Can't Get Started, Stardust, and Take the A Train. These performances covered the period 1950 to 2006.
January 17 Tonight we welcomed the superb Chris Weller Quintet to entertain us with some excellent live jazz. The quintet features Chris Weller (tenor saxophone), Greg Ward (alto saxophone), Scott Hesse (guitar), Josh Shapiro (bass), and Ed Breazeale (drums). Despite the extremely bad weather, a decent-sized crowd was in attendance to witness some of the best modern jazz ever heard in the Cottage. The band started out with a great version of Thelonious Monk's Evidence, with solos by Chris, Greg, Josh and Scott. Next on the musical menu was If I should Leave You and a lovely ballad Dedicated to You, featuring fine saxophone solos from Chris and Greg. The quintet produced a wonderful rendition of Duke Ellington's Cottontail, with a great drum solo by Ed, before ending the first half of the show with the standard Green Dolphin Street. The second set commenced with Sonny Rollins' Solid, which featured solos by the whole band. Gigi Gryce's boppish Minority was followed by a another ballad in Billy Eckstine's I Want to Talk About You, with both tunes featuring a wealth of excellent solo efforts. The final tune of the second session was I hear a Rhapsody, which brought a great evening to an end. Check out the photographs here.
SOCIETY DIARY 01/11/08 - 02/07/08
A look at the past events of the Society. For future events click here
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