Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 14, 2009 - Hackney's Valentine's Fest

Love was in the air - that and the sweet smell of a Hackney's InsideOut Burger. Theme of the night, obviously, was love. Since it was Valentine's Day, many of us came early for a Valentine's feast. Vince & MB, John and Brenda, Gina and LuLu, Bruce and Ed (just friends), Meg sans Patrick, and JB sans Mo. 

Red was the uniform. Vince's red shoes, Ed's red suede blazer (shown here at the left), Meg's fabulous red on red combo, Claudia's fetching red top, Mikey B's classic red haagar shirt, it was all good.

The crowd on hand was completely new - there were no regulars, which is not such a bad thing. The evening had a certain dinner club performance vibe. Lots of listenning, lots of applause, little dancing up front, but more so later. Frankly, I was a little dissapointed with the turnout - the bar was full and all the tables
were taken, but I wanted sweaty masses of humanity. The Hackney's Management, however, was thrilled with the turnout and the evening as a whole, so thats what counts. Hopefully many of the new faces will come out on Monday's and spend $$ on drinks and an Onion Blossom (oh, those are good).

On bass tonight was OJBNewbie Michael Fiorino, who played a very, very sweet sounding fretless electric. Kevin 'KFlan' Flannigan sat in on Tenor. On the other side of the stage, we were joined by Meg's sisters Beth and Suzy, along with their husbands. Also in the house was Herder's Poker crew, and Barb's Book Club. Drink of the night was Blue Moon with shots of Jameson.

Set 1
L-O-V-E, Only You, Stella By Starlight, This Can't Be Love, Nice n Easy, Almost Like Being in Love, The (s)Mooch, Come Rain Or Come Shine, Big Noise From Winnetka, I Could Write A Book, Moten Swing

Set 2
Ja Da, Orange Colorred Sky, More, Moanin', At Last, Filthy McNasty (a dirty love), I Just Found Out About Love, When I Fall In Love, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Alright OK, It Should've Been Me, Sing Sing

Saturday, February 7, 2009

February 6, 2009 - Ravinia Comes To St James

God Bless the I355 extension! What used to be a 1hr 45min trip up to Arlington Heights is now just over an hour. Tonight's event attempted to recreate the ambiance of the Ravinia Festival indoors. We played this same event two years ago, and it was just as fun then. People come out with blankets, lawn chairs, crab cakes and cheese wheels, sit around pretend trees and lighting set up throughout the room, and listen. We're so used to playing for people only half listening, that it takes a little adjusting to having such an attentive crowd. They applaud soloists. Such a concept! 
Apparently multiple reminder emails with directions and instructions sent to band members is not enough for half our trombone section. Chris and Vince were left to fend for themselves as Phil and Mike unintentionally took the night off. Chris, who normally plays bass bone, claims his gums were bleeding by the end of the first set. Vince and Chris spent the night debating ledger lines in the upper stratosphere. "Is that a 'C'?" "I think its a high 'D' ". 
Here's the view from the mid-section of OJB. Note the vast empty space where Mike and Phil should be.
Doug Scharf came in to play lead trumpet. He sounded great along side regulars Dave Ruth and Ed Klinger. Kudos to Jim Byrnes for once again providing refreshments. Blue Moons and Goose Islands. mmmmmmmm.
And what was the source of that mystery feedback? Inquiring minds want to know. Due to some weird acoustical abnormality in the room, a strange feedback haunted us all night. Keith Brady said he thinks it somehow involved our mics and monitors interacting in unpleasant ways with his bass amp. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 2, 2009 - Hackney's

Another really healthy crowd. Full bar and dance floor to the left, filled tables to the right. Who would've thought - Mondays! Vince's tempo's were shoddy in the first set. Drink of the night was again Blue Moon/Guinness. 

Highlights included a smokin 'On the Street WhereYou Live', and a great read down of 'Filthy McNasty', which may turnout to be a sleeper in the book. Lowlights include a missing trumpet section for most of 'More' and the aforementioned tempo issues. 

Brenda Ruf joined her loving husband in the sax section on the bari sax. Terry Connell once again graced us in the trumpet section, as did old man Herder. 

Set 1
Artistry in Boogie, The Very Thought Of You, Record Session, A-Tisket A-Tasket, Rockabye Basie, That’s My Style, Filthy McNasty, More, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Best Is Yet To Come
King Porter Stomp

Set 2
St Louis Blues, Dynaflow, Come Rain Or Come Shine, Lean Baby, And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine, Swingin Shepherd Blues, The Lady Is A Tramp, I Could Write a Book, Nice n Easy, On The Street, Big Swing Face