April 14 Tonight, we welcomed the Jackie Allen Quartet to the Cottage for their first appearance. The band is made up of Jackie Allen (vocals), John Moulder (guitar), Hans Sturm (bass) and Dane Richeson (drums). The evening started with the band and audience singing Happy Birthday to guitarist John Moulder, who was celebrating the big 5-0. The jazz started (and the singing improved) with the standard Come Fly With Me, a tune that featured Jackie's exquisite voice, some gentle drumming by Dane Richeson and some laid-back exotic guitar from John Moulder. Jackie shone on the very witty Do Wrong Shoes, with its spoken intro and One for Lola, a tune dedicated to the city of New Orleans. An upbeat version of the standard My Romance, had Jackie scat singing to Hans Sturm's bass line and also showcased John's excellent guitar work. (Continued on next page)
April 7 This evening, David Rovner's presentation was "Don Ellis: A very different Big Band." David took a look at the life and career of trumpeter Don Ellis, who took big band jazz to a whole new level by playing in unusual time signatures. Among the music we listened to were Indian Lady, New Horizons, Get It Together, Euphoric Acid and the wonderfully-titled The Magic Bus Ate My Doughnut.
April 3 This afternoon the BJS presented its second "Jazz on the Road," when we took the Society to Sawa's Old Warsaw in Broadview for "A Jazz Vocal Extravaganza." The live music was provided by a hand-picked sextet, made up of Summer Kwai (vocals), Lesley Byers (vocals), Juli Wood (saxophone/vocals), Ted Wojcik (keyboard), Lisa Kleis (bass) and Dean Minuth (drums). During the last set, the band was joined by guest Jimmy Wright (saxophone/vocals).The first set featured Summer Kwai singing solo with Juli Wood on saxophone and the rhythm section. Summer kicked off the event with Caravan and The Way You Look Tonight, with both tunes featuring Juli Wood's fine saxophone work. I Concentrate on You was followed by Cole Porter's standard Love for Sale, a tune that featured Ted Wojcik's keyboard playing. The More I See You and Moonglow led us into a blues in the shape of KansasCity, which showcased the entire quintet.
The second set saw Lesley Byers taking over the vocal duties from Summer. Lesley's vocal charms were heard on the bop-standard How High the Moon and Duke Ellington's Just Squeeze Me, the latter tune also featuring Ted's keyboard, Lisa Kleis' bass and Juli's sax. Juli again shone on Duke Ellington'd Do Nothing 'til You Hear from Me. Just You, Just Me and the ballad Save Your Love for Me, brought us to the final tune of the set I Love Being Here with You.
Summer Kwai rejoined the band for the final set of the afternoon, in which Juli took over the main vocal duties, with Summer and Lesley adding additional vocals. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes and Artie Shaw's Moonray, featured Juli's vocal talents and her wonderful saxophone playing. Joe Zawinul's soul-jazz classic Mercy, Mercy, Mercy was a tour de force that featured the voices of all three divas. Guest musician Jimmy Wright joined the girls on saxophone and also added his vocals to the the remainder of the set, starting with Gershwin's Summertime. Juli produced an excellent gospel-inspired vocal on the traditional spiritual Wade in the Water, bringing a fantastic afternoon to a close. The well-deserved standing ovation lasted for several minutes.
March 31 Tonight, Doug Cattling took a look at the role of the male vocalist in jazz and he played examples of some famous crooners, as well as some lesser-known singers. Among the music we listened to were You Took Advantage of Me (Bing Crosby), The Very Thought of You (Al Bowlly), That's All (Mel Torme), Flamingo (Buddy Greco), Skylark (Bill Henderson) and Laura (Frank D'Rone).
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