Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yankee Jazz Beat: George A. Borgman's Jazz Journal

It is hoped that Yankee Jazz Beat: George A. Borgman's Jazz Journal will be the first book to be published utilizing George A. Borgman's extensive writings on music and jazz.

The GAB Archives is currently selecting and editing the materials to be used in this volume, which may end up being a muliple volume set.

The writings that are hoped to be included range from published material to  private letters, journals and interviews. The first entries will be from the 1980s. The collection will be centered on his jazz writings but will also include some jottings on music and his daily life as well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

From the Files: Clarinetist Pete Peligian

George A. Borgman has left a rather large collection of materials. For almost every article he wrote on a band or musician, over the years, there was a band or person that he had hoped to write about but never did.

The reasons for an article not coming to fruition were many. Sometimes, a time for a face to face interview couldn't easily be worked out, an article candidate passed away, none of the journals he wrote for were interested in the story, or just the lack of time due to his large work load.

However, with some people for whom he intended to interview, he would begin to write an article with what he had and then would fill it out later after an interview or more research. Here is one of those short prepatory articles from the George A. Borgman Archives files on Rhode Island clarinet player Peter (Pete) Peligian that was recently discovered.


By George A. Borgman 

  Peter Peligian is a fine jazz clarinet player from Rhode Island, but, on at least one occasion, he was the special guest of cornetist Jeff Hughes' Lost in the Sauce, a quintet, at the Sherborn Inn in Sherborn, Mass.

Early Life

  Peter (Pete) Peligian was born in Providence, R.I., on March 20, 1924.
  Peligian, mostly self-taught on the clarinet, was influenced by early jazz recordings and radio broadcasts.

Becomes Professional Musician

  For many years, Peligian was a member of the Jewels of Dixie. In 1951, he replaced clarinetist Pete Colaluca, who led his own group, when Colaluca moved to Connecticut and trumpeter Tony Tomasso took over the band. For most of the 1950s, the group performed steady engagements at the Village Rendezvous, the Green Orchard and the Governor Dyers. During a 13-week engagement in the Jewel Room of the Bostonian Hotel, that band adopted the name of Jewels of Dixie, a name first used by the Boston Daily Record's George Clark in his glowing review of the band's performance. 

Louis Armstrong
    At the Green Orchard, Louis Armstrong borrowed Tomasso's horn to sit in with the Jewels of Dixie. In addition to Peligian, the other players in the Jewels of Dixie were trombonist Zolman M. (Porky) Cohen, who joined the group in about 1955 and later was replaced by Len Olivieri; pianist Eddie Soares; and drummer Ray Cerce.   
  In ensuing years the Jewels of Dixie had several long stints at the Village Rendezvous, Governor Dyers, Bovi's Town Tavern, the Top of the Court, the Charles Pub, The Helm,  Christy's, and the Warehouse Tavern.
  Peligian performed at the Newport Jazz Festival with the Jewels of Dixie in the mid-1950s. In 1962, the Jewels opened the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, R.I., with a performance that won critical acclaim.

  Peligian also played periodic gigs with Balaban and Cats at Condon's in New York City from 1979 to 1984.

Bobby Hackett
  In 1983, Peligian played with Bobby Hackett, Red Balaban, Ed Hubble, and Red Edwards at the Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp in Martinsville, N.J.
  Peligian’s career includes performances with Doc Cheatham, Ed Hubble and Vic Dickenson at memorial concerts for Bobby Hackett, and at jazz concerts held at Brown University. Throughout his career, he has performed at numerous other concerts, club dates and one nighters, playing with such artists as pianist Dave McKenna, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, and cornetist Warren Vaché, among others.