Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 4, 2009 - Hackney's

Best crowd yet for a Monday night swing session. We were graced by what we call our 'Tremendously Sexy' rhythm rotation tonight: (R to L) Gina Knight on drums, Stacy WIlliams-Jackson on standup and, of course, Megan Curran-Hurless on the ivories. They swung really hard, and I saw a big smile on Stacy's face whenever I glanced over to see how she was faring. It can be intimidating to come into this setting and site read! Poor Rob Zettl was odd man out on Guitar, but I don't think I heard him complaining.

There were a lot of new faces in the crowd tonight as word of the best entertainment bargain around continues to spread. Meg again had her loud and obnoxious relatives come south from Arlington Heights. Some old time Beverly folks popped in too, including the Hamilton Hechlers and the Barnabas Haws.

The worldwide panic over the swine flu pandemic adversely effected us in the first set. After taking prudent and cautionary measures, most of us found it hard to play proficiently. Some of us sounded better than we have in ages. It was decided, after several refreshments, that we should forgo our protection for the second set.

The evening's highlights included a first time reading of Basie's 'I Cant Stop Loving You', and a more than respectable read down of Ellington's Cottontail. Low light has to be Vince's surprise at discovering that the new version of Alright OK, while transcriptually accurate, was in a less than stellar key for a male. Can anyone say " that's a third up from normal - C!"?

Drink of the night was Blue Moon- see the monkey!

Set 1
I Can't Stop Loving You, Eager Beaver, The Very Thought of You, Moanin, Caribbean Clipper, Orange Colored Sky, Cottontail, Almost Like Being in Love, The Best Is Yet To Come, More (Darin), Alright OK,  Moten Swing
Set 2
Come By Me, A Train, Why Don’t You Do Right, Hot Toddy, Balboa Bash, Sway, Blue Trane, The Man I Love, Our Love Is Here To Stay, On The Street

May 2, 2009 - Hackney's (But For A Wedding)

Playing a wedding reception in the daylight hours is weird enough, but doing it at good old Hackney's was downright unsettling. We are vampires, and should only come out to play at night or, at the very least, dusk. Performing in our normal spot with sunlight streaming thru the windows caused very strange behavior. Vince initially drank Coke, John emcee'd with style and panache, and I think Keith Baumann turned to ash from the exposure to sunlight. He got better.

The happy loving couple actually married in Louisiana, and traveled up to celebrate after the fact with the bride's side. The bride, incidently, trains retired movie and television monkies for a living. I'm not sure why retired monkies need training, or why there are multiple show biz monkies in existance (really, isn't one or two plenty?), but I'm convinced I heard her right.   Anyway, they were a very nice, very very casual, couple. Things kept popping up and popping out all day, and we handled it our usual lack of style and grace. Hackney's put out a tremendous spread for the event. They get the OJB stamp of approval for parties, receptions, funerals and get togethers!

Our good friend Daniel Gorski flew in from LA for the weekend, and joined us in the trumpet section.  He and his lovely Jackie hosted a Lou Malnati's party for all us old friends and family folk later in the evening. It was all good. 

And the best part of all? Hackney's main man, Mr Mike Masterson, allowed us to keep everything set up for our regular Monday gig. How sweet was that? Very.