Wednesday, June 24, 2015

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Lost Blue Horizon Jazz Band Footage

It's a beautiful, sunny, Summer day in Mass-achusetts, George H. W. Bush is president and the Tiananmen Square massacre will be hitting the news. A jazz band, led by reed player Stan McDonald is playing at a Fourth of July Jazz Picnic, in the Traditional Jazz style.

Musicologist, jazz enthusiast and a friend of Stan and Ellen McDonald videotapes some of the event. Over 25 years later this "Lost" video of Stan McDonald's Blue Horizon Jazz Band from 1989 has been discovered on an 8mm home video tape in the collection of George A. Borgman.

George had taken the footage while attending an outdoors, July 4th "Jazz Picnic," back in 1989. Although much of the tape is made up of snippets of Stan McDonald and his band playing, there are a couple of complete numbers.

Seen are longtime band member Walt Miller is on trumpet, German Hans Brack is on bass and Stan McDonald, the leader switches between the soprano saxophone and the clarinet. Also in the band are John Kafalas on trombone & double-bell euphonium, John Rayworth on banjo, Stu Grover on drums and Phil Hower on the piano.

The first featured selection is My Creole Belle a tune that was re-written by guitarist Mississippi John Hurt (1892-1966) who took parts of Creole Belles written in 1900 by J. Bodwalt Lampe and made his own song out of it.

The second tune, You Do Something To Me,  was written by composer Cole Porter being part of his music for the 1929 musical comedy show Fifty Million Frenchmen.

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