Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jazz at the Bella Costa - Neville Dickie, Stan McDonald, Steve Taddeo, Jeff Hughes and Ross Petot

I really hadn't any plans to write about the 14th appearance of British Boogie Woogie and Stride piano master Neville Dickie in Massachusetts, but it was such an exciting venue that I have to share some of the experience.

Backing up Neville Dickie during the night was drummer extraordinaire Steve Taddeo. During the break New England's own master pianist Ross Petot tickled the ivories, playing some quite interesting pieces. At one point Dickie joined him at the piano for a lively piece.

Dickie announced at the beginning of his performance that just twelve hours before he was in Surrey, England. That morning he arrived at Boston's Logan Airport. Before the show he told an amusing story on how the automatic fingerprinting machines wouldn't acknowledge his fingerprints! Of all the people landing from Europe, he was the very, very last person to be processed, causing him to miss two buses. My father, George always loved Dickie's sense of humor and fun, on top of his exceptional playing!

Adding to Dickie and Taddeo's performances was Dickie's friend and fellow musician, the band leader and reed player Stan McDonald. He was in very fine form playing tunes by Jelly Roll Morton and his idol Sidney Bechet.

The New England cornet and trumpet player Jeff Hughes played up a storm. Hughes who plays with several bands including the Wolverine Jazz Band leads his own group the Jazz Jesters. The Jesters will soon be recording an album.

George's widow, Janet, my mother, asked him if he was going to play Nagasaki. He hadn't planned on it, but, sure enough, he played it near the end of the night.

The crowd consisted of many of the usuals including Marce Enright who runs the terrific New England Jazz website and newsletter, and some new people who were bowled over by the fantastic jazz of the night.

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