March 5 Tonight, Society President Ian Tiele, took a look at the way that different musicians interpret certain jazz tunes. Ian picked three classic tunes: St. Louis Blues; The Sheik of Araby and Tiger Rag, to demonstrate how different tempos and instrumentation can make a tune sound completely different. Ian illustrated this with music by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli, Billie Holiday, Bix Beiderbecke, Spike Jones, Art Tatum, Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie and others.
February 26 This evening, a capacity audience welcomed the 7-piece Safe Sax back to the Cottage for their third appearance. The band is made up of Glenn Broadhead (baritone sax, arranger and leader), Steve Koerner (tenor sax, flute and soprano sax), Mark Colby (tenor sax), Bob Frankich (lead alto sax, flute and tenor sax), Chester Tocha (guitar), Mike Daley (bass), Bill Byan (drums), and guest Mario Mongello (lead tenor sax on "Four Brothers"). The first set started with Gigi Gryce's Hymn to the Orient, featuring Steve Koerner on Soprano saxophone, while Out of Nowhere showcased the talents of saxophonists Bob Frankich and Mark Colby. Bob Switched to flute for Bargain Day, which was followed by a beautiful rendition of Tadd Dameron's Soultrain, that featured Mark and some lovely band harmonizing. Shorty Rogers' Coop De Grass, contained a fine alto saxophone solo by Bob, as well as some excellent drumming by Bill Byan. Guitarist Chester Tocha took over solo duties on Taking the Blues for a Little Walk (an original composition by Glenn Broadhead). Frank Rosalino's Rubberneck and Mercer Ellington's Whisteria, brought us up to Clifford Brown's Daahoud, with solos from Steve, Mark and Chester. Another Shorty Rogers chart Short Stop ended the first half.
The second session commenced with Rock Sippin' at Bells and yet another Shorty Rogers tune Just a Few. Duke Ellington's seldom-heard Rockabye River and Johnny Mandel's Hershey Bar (with fine ensemble playing by the sax section), brought us to L.A., Si Si. Jimmy Giuffre's saxophone tour-de force Four Brothers, featured superb solos from all of the saxmen. A medley of Spring in Naples/Early Autumn (aka Summer Sequence - part IV), was followed by Tadd Dameron's Lady Bird, bringing us up to the fourth Shorty Rogers composition of the evening Popo. Duke Ellington's theme song Take the A Train, with solos from all the band, ended a wonderful evening's entertainment. Check out the photographs here.
February 19 Tonight, Frank Slabinak gave us a superb audio-visual presentation titled "Stomp." Frank looked at the way that the "stomp" has been used in jazz, since first being introduced by Jelly Roll Morton in his King Porter Stomp in the mid-twenties. As we listened to many stomp tunes, we also watched a visual compilation of photographs, graphics and film clips on the big screen. Frank's commentary on the procedings was also top-notch. We listened to a wealth of material, including Morton's own King Porter Stomp from 1927, three different arrangements of the tune by the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra (1928-33), Mahogany Hall Stomp by Louis Armstrong in 1933, and the Quintette du Hot Club de France's Paramount Stomp from 1937, which featured Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Frank's presentation finished with another version of Mahogany Hall Stomp, this time recorded by Kid Ory in 1950.
February 12 This evening, Society Vice President, Lee Goode presented a Jazz Movie Night, featuring the music of the legendary tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins on the Society's big screen. Lee's main film choice was "Coleman Hawkins - London Concert 1964," which featured Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet. Also shown was a short film of Hawkins recorded in Brussels in 1962 and a number film clips from the 1950s and early 1960s recorded for various television shows.