June 5 Tonight, we again featured live jazz in the Cottage, with the emphasis on the jazz of the twenties and thirties. The band was the highly-popular West End Jazz Band, who are one of the Midwest's best exponents of the various styles of early jazz. The sextet is made up of Mike Bezin (cornet/vocals), Leah Bezin (banjo/guitar/vocals), Kevin Kizer (reeds/vocals), Frank Gualtieri (trombone/vocals), Mike Walbridge (tuba), and Mike Albiniak (drums).
The evening started out with Red Lips, Kiss My Blues Away and Deep Henderson, which were followed by Spain, which featured excellent cornet work by Mike, and What Do You Say, featuring the whole band. The quaint Mama Goes Where Papa Goes showcased Leah's vocal styling, which led the band into a four tune dance medley: Love Letters in the Sand; You've Got Everything; Swinging Down the Lane and April Showers. Next up was a novelty number I'm Just Wild About Animal Crackers, which featured Frank's vocal talent at the forefront, together with a backing vocal by the rest of the band. A waltz medley of four tunes, led us into the final tune of the first set You Are the One, with an excellent vocal by Leah.
The second half of the evening's entertainment started off with Here Comes My Ball and Chain, with Leah again taking over the vocal duties. Harold Teen and Hot Mustard were followed by South of the Border and Any Ice Today, Lady, the latter featuring vocal contributions from Leah and Mike, together with a backing band vocal. Next up was another four-tune medley of I'll Never Be the same, Night and Day, There’s a Little Dutch Mill, and I’ll String Along With You, which was followed by Send for Our Free Booklet, complete with band vocal, which brought us to the final piece of music of the evening Tozo. A wonderful evening of early jazz came to an end on a high note! Check out the photographs here.
May 29 This evening, Society President Ian Tiele and Vice President Lee Goode teamed up to present "Out of the Cool.....Into the Hot: The Life and Times of Gil Evans. Gil Evans was one of the most important arrangers in jazz, and whether arranging, composing or leading his own orchestra, pianist Gil never stopped developing new ideas and adapting to current music trends. Amongb the music we listened to were several Evans arrangements for other bands, including Strange Enchantment for the Skinnay Ennis Orchestra, Robbin's Nest for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra, and It Ain't Necessarily So from one of his many collaborations with Miles Davis. We also heard several pieces recorded with his own orchestra, including Bilbao Song, Prince of Darkness and Boogie Stop Shuffle.
May 22 Tonight was a "Free and Easy Night." Members brought along music from their own collections to play and discuss.
May 15 This evening, John Moscinski presented "Highlight's of Jazz Icons," a video presentation that utilized the Society's big screen. John showed a variety of live jazz performances recorded in Europe between the fifties and the seventies. Among the performers were the Count Basie Orchestra with Corner Pocket and One O'Clock Jump, Dexter Gordon with A Night in Tunisia and Body and Soul, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Moanin', Dizzy Gillespie with Sunny Side of the Street and Manteca, The Duke Ellington Orchestra with Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool, and Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, Sonny Rollins with Don't Stop the Carnival, and Chet Baker with Bye Bye Blackbird.