December 18  Tonight was the Society's Christmas Party. The live jazz was provided by the Chicago Hot Club Quartet; a band that play Gypsy jazz in the style of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. The Society provided its usual food buffet for the members and guests in attendance. Before the start of the live jazz, BJS President Ian Tiele, made four presentations of Visa gift cards to Irish Times' waitresses Miriam and Kara (for their wonderful service in the Cottage throughout the year), Sue and Steve Berthel of Berthal Lewis Electrics (for their generous loan of their vehicle for the BJS float in Brookfield's 4th of July Parade) and BJS member Marc Kritzer (as a thank you for his generosity in donating raffle and door prizes).

The Chicago Hot Club Quartet is made up of Katie Andrick (violin/arranger), Keith Wollenberg (guitar), Fred Krubel (guitar), and Dan Huber (bass). The first set of music commenced with the Grappelli/Reinhardt composition Daphne and the standard All of Me, both featuring Katie's superb violin playing. Reinhardt's Nuages was next on the musical agenda - the tune featured Katie's violin along with excellent guitar work by Fred and Keith, along with Dan's mellow bass playing, while Duke Ellington's Satin Doll produced some excellent guitar/bass interplay. Sweet Georgia Brown, Black Orpheus, and some further Ellingtonia in It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing), showed what a diverse range of material this band have mastered, while still playing in the Gypsy jazz genre. Next on the musical production line was a haunting rendition of Yesterdays and a fine version of Django's Belleville. Limehouse Blues, and Just a Closer Walk with Thee, brought us to the end of the first half of the evening's performance. (continued on next Diary page)

December 11  Tonight was a "Free and Easy Night." Members brought along music from their own collections to play and discuss.

December 4  Tonight was a live jazz night featuring the wonderful New Standard Quartet. The band were making their third appearance in the Cottage. The quartet features Ken Partyka (saxophones), Tom Vaitsas, (keyboards), Pat Fleming (guitar), and Rick Vitek (drums). As on their previous two appearances, the Cottage was packed to capacity. The band started with a rendition of Happy Birthday for Society President Ian Tiele, who was celebrating his 56th year today. The serious jazz started with a wonderful version of the standard Invitation that featured Pat's warm guitar work and Ken's saxophone. Pat was again given the bulk of the solo duties on the seasonal favorite O Tannenbaum, before the quartet played one of Mr. Flemings's own compositions One Eyed Jack. Neil Hefti's Girl Talk and Irving Berlin's Blue Skies, both had fine solos by each member of the quartet. Hiccup, an original composition by Ken, brought us up to the standard Here's That Rainy Day. Another seasonal offering, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer completed the first set.

The second half of the evening's entertainment commenced with The Meter's Hey Pocky Away, a tune that showcased Tom's keyboard playing, and the Beatles' Lennon-McCartney composition Norwegian Wood, which had a nice drum solo contribution from Rick. Next up was another excellent composition from Ken's pen titled The Many Faces, which showed what a great keyboard player the band have in Tom Vaitsas. The Society's favorite Diva Summer Kwai, made a guest appearance on the bluesy Centerpiece, a tune that highlighted her superb vocal talents. No More Words led us into Miles Davis' modal call and response vehicle So What, a tune that featured Ken's saxophone and Pat's guitar. The evening came to a close with yet another seasonal classic Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The band received a standing ovation from the still packed out Cottage. Check out the photographs here.

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SOCIETY DIARY 11/28/08 - 12/18/08
A look at the past events of the Society. For future events click here
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