Monday, March 30, 2015

Piano Master Neville Dickie Returns to Massachusetts on May 12, 2015

Being the Yankee Jazz Beat I thought it appropriate to report on the return of British stride pianist extraordinaire Neville Dickie to Massachusetts. Since the closing of the Sherborn Inn to jazz last year, finding the right venue for Dickie to perform that actually had he proper piano requirements took a bit of searching. Fortunately, a place was found at the Bella Costa Ristorante in Framingham, Massachusetts where he will appear with some of his musician friends on May 12th at 7:00 PM.

Neville Dickie
Dickie has been visiting Massachusetts from Surrey, England for special appearances each year for about twenty years. He is considered a "National  Treasure" in Britain for his mastery of Boogie Woogie and Stride piano. He has made hundreds of appearances on BBC radio playing both solo and with his trio. He tours extensively across the US. and all over the world including Germany, France and Switzerland.

Accompanying Dickie on May 12th will be Stan McDonald, Jeff Hughes, Ross Petot and Steve Taddeo.

For reservations call Bella Costa Ristorante, 147 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA, (508) 626-1726. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Down In Honky Tonky Town" - The Rent Party Revelers

Here is a great jazz performance from yesteryear! Yesteryear being November of 1992. The Rent Party Revelers is a group of musicians led by cornetist Tex Wyndham. The group is usually made up of musicians who happen to be available and their CDs have many different artists from one album to the next.

One thing that each of their albums are is lively and this 1992 performance of Chris Smith and Charles McCarron's Down in Honky Tonky Town filmed at the 13th Annual San Diego Thanksgiving Jazz Festival in San Diego, California, is a great example of the band in their prime.

The music for Down in Honky Tonky Town came out about 1916. It was written and composed by Charles McCarron and Chris Smith.

McCarron was born in 1891 and is considered a Tin Pan Alley composer. He was responsible for the lyrics on this tune. He died only a few years after it's release in 1919.

Chris Smith
Smith was a prolific black American composer. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1879. Smith started out as a performer in medicine shows and moved into the minstrel shows and vaudeville. He worked closely with the star comedian, Bert Williams and would eventually move to New York perminently where he wrote music for such entertainers as Jimmy Durante and Fanny Brice.

His first piano rag to be published was Monkey Rag in 1911. Then he had a mega hit in 1913 with Ballin' the Jack in which Jim Burrus wrote the lyrics. Smith died on October 4, 1949 after having had a long career in composing some great American music which is still popular with jazz bands today.

In the following performance Tex Wyndham is on cornet, Ray Heitger is on clarinet, Jim Riley sings and is on banjo, while Noel Kaletsky plays sax, Dave Oswald plays the tuba, Roger Munnell is on trombone, with Ed Metz at the piano and Ted les Plantes on drums.

The Rent Party Revelers playing Down in Honky Tonky Town
 at the 13th Annual San Diego Thanksgiving Jazz Festival
in San Diego, California in November 1992.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Geoff Cole's Hot Five - Do What Ory Say CD Review by George A. Borgman

Geoff Cole's Hot Five is a hot quintet, no doubt about that, and each of the musicians, outstanding on his instrument, plays with feeling, dynamics and splendid technique.
They produce a wonderful blending of sounds. There is outstanding counterpoint between Geoff Cole's trombone - frequently emitting a very gutsy, robust sound - and Tony Pyke's clarinet with its wonderful tone.
The choice of tunes is exceptional and there is no attempt to sound like a New Orleans street band in a funeral parade. Cole plays plays a gutsy trombone and there are nice solos from Pyke's clarinet and pianist Pat Hawes on, "The White Cliff of Dover."
There is some very active counterpoint between Hawes piano, the clarinet and trombone on the swinging "Savoy Blues." The two best renditions are those of
"Savoy Blues" and Clarence William's "Sugar Blues" which, with its "wah-wah" trumpet has always been associated with Clyde McCoy, of course.
Cole's muted trombone takes the place of McCoy's trumpet, with very good effect. The clarinet takes the melody for awhile and Hawes' piano takes a great blusey chorus. The ensemble work on Carmen Lombardo's "Sweethearts On Parade" is first class.
Geoff Cole's Hot Five has produced an excellent recording. - George A. Borgman, IAJRC Journal

Savoy Blues - Recorded by Jazz Crusade Records, 7 May 1995 at Pizza Express, Maidstone, England. Personnel: Geoff Cole [trombone] Tony Pyke [clarinet] Pat Hawes [piano] John Rodber [string bass] Colin Miller [drums] Recording Engineer: Dave Bennett; Video: Jill Spencer.

Suger Blues - Recorded by Jazz Crusade Records, 7 May 1995 at Pizza Express, Maidstone, England. Personnel: Geoff Cole [trombone] Tony Pyke [clarinet] Pat Hawes [piano] John Rodber [string bass] Colin Miller [drums] Recording Engineer: Dave Bennett; Video: Jill Spencer.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

FROM THE ARCHIVES - 1993 Blue Horizon Jazz Band Promotional Card

Here is a publicity card from Stan McDonald's Blue Horizon Jazz Band from the Fall of 1993.

Stan McDonald and his band are still playing! They play the first Thursday of the month at the Caffe Primavera in Millis, Massachusetts.