August 21 Tonight, the Society again presented live jazz. The Pullman Conductors of Jazz, a band that plays "Railroad Music" in Dixieland, Swing, Ragtime, Blues, and Jazz styles, were making their second appearence in the Cottage. The band is made up of Matt Puralewski (tuba/vocals), Jack Rusnak (cornet/vocals), Dennis Trainor (clarinet/tenor sax), Bill Hutchins (banjo/guitar), and Kevin Mann (trombone/vocals). The evening started off with The Weary Blues and Shake That Thing, the latter featuring a vocal by Jack Rusnak. Jack also provided both the vocal and cornet solos on the classic Trouble in Mind, which also featured a nice guitar solo by Bill. Next on the musical menu was Lonesome Railroad Blues, which featured a band vocal. If I had You and South, both featured fine solos from all the guys. Tuba Matt's Big Parade and Casey Jones brought an exciting first half to a close.
The second set commenced with I've Been Working on the Railroad and Tin Roof Blues, the latter featuring some nice guitar playing by Bill. The evergreen Midnight Special showcased Dennis on tenor saxophone and also had an excellent vocal by Jack. Doctor Jazz again featured good work by the whole band, while This Train had Kevin take over the vocal duties. Another classic composition, Tiger Rag brought us to the Dixieland anthem When the Saints Go Marching In. The evening ended with an impromtu version of Happy Birthday for Lee and Diane, who both had birthdays today, and Farewell Blues, which also featured guest Kevin O'Connor on trumpet. Check out the photos here.
August 14 This evening, regular presenter Jason Fustar was unwell and his presentation on Fats Waller was postponed until a future date. In place of Jason's offering, Society President Ian Tiele presented "Harvest Jazz on the Big Screen," which took a look at several live jazz performances recorded in the 1980s at the Paul Masson Vineyards in California, as part of their annual Harvest Jazz Festival. The musicians we watched on the Society's big screen, included sets by Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson, McCoy Tyner and Flora Purim.
August 7 Tonight, Society President Ian Tiele's presentation was titled "Central Avenue Breakdown." Ian took a look at the jazz scene that was based around the Central Avenue area of Los Angeles between the early 1920s and the mid-1950s. We heard about the development of the area and listened to a wide variety of music, including jazz by Kid Ory's Sunshine Orchestra, Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders, Art Tatum, Lionel Hampton, Lucky Thompson, Wardell Gray, and Frank Morgan.
July 31 This evening, we presented another night of live jazz in the Cottage. The Monika Herzig Duo returned from Indiana to make their second appearance for the Society. The duo is compised of Monika Herzig (piano) and Peter Kienle (electric bass). Monika and Peter are both top-class musicians who play with an empathy that comes from knowing each other so well - their personal and musical warmth really permeates the room. The music commenced with the standard You Stepped Out of a Dream, which was followed by The Hill Country, an original composition of Monika's that appears on her latest CD "What have you Gone and Done?" Monika's own tune A Blue Guitarist on the Porch really highlighted her piano work, while John Lennon's pop classic Imagine, showcased bassist Peter. Next on the musical menu was another original chart Italian Taxi Ride, which was followed by Georgia on My Mind, bringing us to an impromtu version of Happy Birthday to You to celebrate Society member Tony Hanuska's 90th birthday, which closed the first set.
The second half of the evening kicked off with another standard in the shape of Get Happy (a feeling that the audience had had since the beginning of the evening), again featuring fine piano and bass work. Another original Ballad of the Snowman brought us to the Chick Corea tune Armando's Rhumba and a soul-jazz version of Ellington's Thing's Ain't What They Used to Be. Dusty was followed by an excellent rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's Lazy Bones, before another Chick Corea composition Spain brought the evening to a close. Check out the photographs here.