October 8th This evening, the BMR4 returned to the Cottage for their second visit. The band (Bernhardt, Moynihan, Rodbard Quartet) is made up of Jay Moynihan (saxophones), Neal Alger (guitar), Chris Bernhardt (bass), and Mike Rodbard (drums). The music kicked off with some swing in the shape of Jersey Bounce and Fats Waller's catchy Jitterbug Waltz, which turned into a modern masterpiece after its traditional opening theme. Both tunes highlighted Chris Bernhardt's strong bass playing. Horace Silver's soul-jazz classic The Preacher featured some very bluesy saxophone from Jay Moynihan, as well as excellent drumming by Mike Rodbard. The lovely La Rosita featured fine guitar and saxophone interplay, while the standard Just You, Just Me was a showcase for Jay's sax work, as was the ballad It Had to Be You. The Meteors' Cissy Strut closed out the first set, with Neal Alger laying down some funky rock guitar.
Neal's original composition No Means No, featured top-notch guitar work by the composer and superb bass playing by Chris. Jay soloed on a rousing version of Sonny Rollin's classic jazz-calypso St. Thomas, which brought us up to another standard Its Only a Paper Moon. Jay's original tune Wrong Way, led us into The Blues at Clark and Addison, which was dedicated to the Chicago Cubs baseball team. After the blues, the jazz genre switched to bebop for Dizzy Gillespie's tour-de-force Salt Peanuts. The evening ended with a jazzy version of Happy Birthday, played in honor of BJS stalwart John Moscinski. Check out the photographs here.
October 1st This evening, Perry Huntoon's presentation looked into the jazz side of clarinetist, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. Dorsey played in, and led many fine small groups and big bands from the late twenties onwards. We listened to some great music, including Parade of the Milk Bottle Caps, Dixieland Detour, Green Eyes, One O'Clock Jump, Perdido, Johnson Rag, So Rare and I'm Getting Sentimental Over You.
September 24th Tonight, Society Vice President Lee Goode took a look at the life and career of the New Orleans pianist, composer and bandleader who claimed to have invented jazz - the great Jelly Roll Morton. Morton's music was extremely advanced and his arranging skills were on par with the best in the business. During the evening, we listened to a variety of Morton's music, including Shreveport Stomp. The Pearls, Winin' Boy Blues, Mr. Jelly Lord, Grandpa's Spells and versions of his King Porter Stomp by both Jelly Roll and the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra.
September 17th This evening, we welcomed back the Shawn Maxwell Quartet, who were making their third appearance in the Cottage. The band is made up of Shawn Maxwell (tenor saxophone, clarinet & flute), Matt Nelson (piano), Kevin Martinez (bass) and Brad Dickert (drums). The evening started with Shawn's cleverly-titled Maxwell House and a Latin-flavored version of Horace Silver's classic, Nica's Dream, with both pieces highlighting the leader's fine tenor saxophone playing. Billy Strayhorn's ballad A Flower is a Lovesome Thing, featured Matt Nelson's excellent piano playing, while King Bill saw Shawn switching to clarinet. Shuffled, another of Mr. Maxwell's original charts, contained some nice piano/saxophone interplay and a top-notch bass solo by Kevin Martinez. The band were playing this tune in public for the very first time, before it is to be recorded next Sunday on Shawn's new CD for the Chicago Sessions label. Matt's piano and Kevin's bass were again used to good effect on Kenny Garrett's Sing a Song of Song, and John Coltrane's Some Other Blues, which brought us up to the intermission.
The second session commenced with Shawn soloing on saxophone on the standard Stella by Starlight. The pace slowed down for Tadd Dameron's boppish Good Bait, and picked up again for Bud Powell's Buster Rides Again, with Shawn changing over to flute. The ballad Five, another original from Shawn's pen, featured Matt's piano and Kevin's bass. The band continued the trend of original tunes with Jathor, bringing us up the the final instalment of the evening's music, Charles Mingus' Boogie Stop Shuffle, which showcased Brad Dickert's drums - a fitting end to a superb evening of quality jazz. Check out the photographs here.