Thursday, June 16, 2016

Prez Says June 2016

5/22 2016 Jam Sets: Set 1 included Chris Edwards on trumpet.   Rhonda played alto saxOther musicians included Miguel Enciso on bass, Dean Krikorian, tenor sax, Jeff Cardinal on trombone, Frank Coop on guitar, George Smith on piano, Richard Woodworth on soprano saxJohn Nye on drums and Anne Abler and Steven Saavedra on washboard. We also had a number of Tevis Jr. High Rangers playing, who were introduced on stage but whose names were not recorded. Richard conducted admirably. Featured songs included “Midnight in Moscow, “Slow Boat to China” with Richard on vocals, and “Undecided” with Sandy on vocals.  

Set 2 included these changes: George SmithtrumpetJudy Lindquistalto sax, Richelle Cross, piano, Matt BarcusdrumsDon Gugeler, soprano sax.  Jim Borland ran sound. Featured songs included: “I’ve Found a New Baby”, Bring Me Sunshine with Barbara Knoblock on vocals, “Exactly Like You with Sandy on vocals, and “Doctor Jazz”, with Richard on vocals.  Jim Borland ran sound.

Set 3 included these changes: Jim West on trumpet, Kevin Willey, drumsDavid Farber on alto sax, Tom Dutart on tuba, Richard Woodworth, tenor saxFeatured songs included “April Showers, with Barbara on vocals, “Paper Moon” with Sandy on vocals, “On the Sunny Side of the Street with Richard on vocals, and a patriotic medley featuring Richelle Cross on piano and vocals and Tom Dutart on tuba.

OffBeat is Accepting Advertisements:

The Offbeat is accepting and publishing advertisements.  Prices are as follows: Business Card size: $15.00; 1/4 page $25.00; 1/2 page $50.00.  We will give a 50% discount if you buy an ad for six months.  You can purchase a business card sized ad for one calendar year for $120.  Mid-year purchases will be pro-rated.

We Need Raffle Donations in June

We’ve had a great response on our raffle donations but we continue to need more.  Please donate CDs, bottles of wine, bottle of olive oil, music related memorabilia or anything else you think the members would like to pick up at the raffle table. Thanks!

Jubilee Corner

The Sacramento Jazz festival was held over Memorial Day Weekend.  Several of our members went and reported lower turnouts and more diverse band programming than in the past. The SLO Jazz festival also happened in May and was a big success by all accounts. We advertised in their program and also had a banner on display.

Maria Muldaur is putting together her list of musicians that will form the Jazz Quintet. We know two of them- Danny Caron, the hot guitar player from Tom RIgney and Flambeau.  The second name we know is Otis Mourning on reeds. Otis plays with Titan Hot 7 and was also our guest at the April Sunday session playing with the Black Tuesday band. So- we know that Maria is getting the best musicians she can find to back her up at our festival and that she is going to Bring It!  You will not want to miss her performances on Friday night and Saturday early afternoon.

In May, we continued our focus on advertising and grant applications. We also went on-line with our ticket sales, and they are starting to take off.  We are sponsoring the Grover Beach summer concert series at Ramona Park. We can therefore put flyers out at this event and our name is mentioned during the announcements. We may set up a booth as we get closer to Jubilee.

We are still looking for someone to take notes at our meetings, which typically occur twice a month on Tuesday afternoons. If you can help with this task, please call Rhonda at (805) 937 8402Sandy Smallwood has graciously agreed to organize our volunteers this year. Our next upcoming meetings are listed below:

June 14th NEW DATE- Program, Evaluations

June 28th- Cancelled

July 19th- Hospitality, Sound, Post Festival Party


Need Help Setting up For Sunday Sessions

We have lost some of our stalwart volunteers that helped us set up for the Sunday sessions.   We typically set up around 9:30 on the morning of our events. Set up includes chairs, tables, stage equipment and the bar. If you are able to come in the morning and help us, you would be most welcome.  As an added bonus, you will be there to hear the whole jam session. It’s an often overlooked gold mine.  Please come and help us set up the next Sunday session.


Help Wanted

Needed - one or two people willing to manage the front door incase Fran or Eileen are unable to work at the last minute. Hopefully this occasion will never occur but in case it does we need to be prepared for someone to take over. These people need to be reliable and able to come and work at the last minute. We will show them what needs to be done, plus we have step by step instructions written up. It really is not hard, and you get to meet a lot of people. Those interested please call Fran Willey at 805-772-2652.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Come Back to BSR!

We know that the new membership structure has been difficult for some people and our membership numbers have dropped.  Also, many newsletters are going out via e-mail and sometimes people forget to check them and attend a Sunday session. We want you back!  In June, we will be mailing newsletters to all of our members. We will not do that every time, but this is a push to make sure that everyone remembers to be members and to come see our professional bands!

Also, with the grant money that we received from the SLO Community Foundation, we will be instituting hard-copy reminder Sunday session post cards every month after June.  That way, everyone will have a reminder they can stick on their refrigerators and bulletin boards so that they don’t forget to attend a Sunday session.  We want to see all of our seats filled! Remember- we have comfy chairs now and a great line-up through the end of the year!


Who is the oldest Traditional Band leader in the US? It is 91 year-old Chet Jaeger of the Night Blooming Jazzmen from Claremont California. Basin Street Regulars of Pismo Beach welcome this favorite band for a Sunday afternoon concert the 26th of June. BSR promotes and encourages Traditional Jazz on the Central Coast. They provide live music at a reasonable cost while providing a venue and mentor young musicians in traditional jazz. It will be held at the Pismo Veteran’s Hall, 780 Bello St, Pismo Beach, CA, Sunday June 26th. The featured band starts at 1 and 3:30 PM and the second band starts at 2:15 pm. Jam session with the experienced players teaching the next generation of musicians starts at 11AM.

Chet formed the band 1975 to represent the Society for the Preservation of Dixieland Jazz at the third Sacramento Jubilee. There were very few jazz bands in existence then – not enough to put on a festival. The NBJ was not expected to survive – but the NBJ were so well-received and had so much fun that they stuck together. Since then, they have played thousands of concerts, church services, funerals, house parties, grand openings, jazz clubs, wedding receptions, dances, etc., AND several dozen cruises and land trips to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Amazon, the Mediterranean, and many other parts of Europe.

The Night Blooming Jazzmen is one of the busiest bands in the nation. They have a lot of fun with their audiences and each other and despite this their music is top-quality. They play well and put on a great show. “The band's Sunday morning "hymn-a-long" often has the largest attendance of any event at a festival.” said George Smith, Pismo Jubilee by the Sea Chairman.

Currently, the band personnel is: Chet Jaeger - Cornet and leader; Jim Richardson – Clarinet and Saxophone; Dick Doner – Trombone and Baritone; Les Deutsch - Piano etc.; Lance MacLean - Banjo and Guitar, Brad Roth, banjo and guitar, Mike Earls– Bass and Nick Scarmack – Drums.

The intermission band this month will be “Judith & the Jazz Krewe” from the Central Coast! United by a love for making music and an appetite for good times, this lively group of local musicians features vocalist Judith Bean, Del Gomes on clarinet and keyboards, Gary Thompson on tuba, Bill Fortin on guitar and electric bass, David Shanks on trumpet and Fernie Monreal on drums.

There's nothing this group likes better than to put a little bit of Mardi Gras in the soul of their listeners with some traditional and not-so-traditional tunes. The Krewe will put a smile on your face and a tap in your toe, as you travel with them down to New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Both bands are scheduled for Sunday June 26th, 2016. Music starts at 11 AM with a Jam Session which includes students and BSR members. The next two sets are the invited bands. The Night Blooming Jazzmen play at 1 and again 3:30 pm. The intermission set is by Judith and the Jazz Krewe at 2:15. Food and drink are available. Pismo Vet’s Hall, 780 Bello St, Pismo Beach, CA.

BSR NBjazzMen picture is of Chet Jeager who was the "King" of Mardi Gras in Fresno. Thank your for all your past promotions. Linda Shorb: 772-5367

June 26 Session Announcement: Night Blooming Jazzmen

Pismo Beach, June 26 2016: “Hot Swingin' Jazz” presented by the Basin Street Regulars Jazz Society. Jam session starts at 11:00, (bring your instrument and join in). Two professional bands start at 1:00. At the Veterans' Memorial Building 780 Bello Street Pismo Beach, 93449. 11:00 AM-4:30 PM. $5 members, $10 non-members. This month’s Guest band is Night Blooming Jazzmen (of the greater LA area) who have played to sell out crowds for the last 40 yearsAlso Judith Bean and her Jazz Krewe from Arroyo Grande specialize in high energy music with fantastic vocals.  Parasols, food, drinks, and dance floor on site. For more information call: (805) 481-7840 or go to

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shining Trumpets: A History of Jazz (1946) - Book Report

A few Sunday sessions ago, I checked out this book lent by Connie Richardson and promised a book report. As a side referent, I did 151 book reports in the 6th Grade and wrote a 50-book annotated bibliography to win 1st prize ($250) as a grad student at UCSB for best book collection. I read a lot. 400 pages later, here is my report...a book summary of "Shining Trumpets" by Rudi Blesh (1946).

Considered even today as one of the best books ever written on jazz, "Shining Trumpets: A History of Jazz," was written in 1946, chronicling the history of jazz at an early age, prior to bebop, cool jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, and other variants. I wondered what author Rudi Blesh would have thought of Mingus, Coltrane, or Eric Dolphy. The book was filled with song references and comparisons, written music, and some harsh commentary on the state of jazz in America...far better than the Ken Burns documentary (IMHO). 

What I found most interesting was the distinction of traditional (or trad) jazz made by Blesh. Jazz is not swing. Jazz is not the blues. Jazz has a lot to do with New Orleans and can best be differentiated by two main factors: (1) polyharmony; and (2) polyrhythms. In other words, traditional jazz is exemplified by dynamic melodies and rhythms.

Polyharmony reflects multiple lead instrument parts, usually a clarinet & trumpet in the traditional sense...Imagine two melodies going on at the same time.  For example in Dixieland music, the clarinet often plays the role of a countermelody, often down a third, in conjunction with a stated main melody. This contrapuntal effect can be seen as a main differentiation in traditional jazz. According to Jelly Roll Morton: "You've got to keep the melody going somewhere at all times" (p. 255). Good advice.

The second factor, polyrhythms, stems from African beat and can be heard via rhythm shifts or stop time in a tune, as led by the rhythm section with a key linking role in the piano. Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton was a key founder in jazz and his music personifies Blesh's ideal of what jazz should be. Morton learned and played piano in the brothels in NO from the early greats from the origins & heyday of Storyville. His style was lewd and bawdy, but he orchestrated tunes that reflected jazz chords, voicings, rhythms, & countermelodies. He purportedly wrote the first published jazz tune, "Jelly Roll Blues," in 1915. As a pianist, Morton deftly drove the rhythm and harmony with his left hand with a very clean stated melody in his right hand. His frequent use of stop time allowed for rhythmic breaks in a tune, allowing the soloist(s), usually the clarinet, to shift the pace of a tune.  The role of Jelly Roll and Fats Waller, according to Blesh, "...kept the piano subordinate in the ensemble; in their hands it became sort of a liaison agent between the rhythm section and the polyphonic melody section" (p. 318). Cool.

On the other hand, Blesh was extremely harsh in his criticism of some jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, later Louis Armstrong, and (insert) any white jazz musician. He particularly disdained Ellington, of whom he claimed wrote syrupy European riffs that set back the development of jazz 10-20 years. Henderson's brand of Manhattan Swing was inferior in its orchestration & arrangement and noted for its butchering of traditional jazz tunes.

One of the best ways to read the book, 70 years after it was first printed, is to compare the music cited on YouTube (lucky us). In the following two examples, Blesh illustrates the difference between Manhattan Swing & Traditional Jazz:
(1) Fletcher Henderson vs. Jelly Roll Morton: "The Chant:"
(2) Fletcher Henderson vs. King Oliver: "Sugarfoot Stomp/Dippermouth Blues:"

In comparing two such tunes, Blesh distinguishes the countermelody effect, the use of sections to state one melody, and the stark difference in rhythm shift. This illustrates a shining instance where, Blesh claims, Jazz African roots are shunned - where the rhythm and melodies become relatively static. Compare the above two YouTube examples if you have the time...a tune can tell a thousand words. 

While documenting some of the classics, Blesh demonstrated with music examples of how traditional jazz was defined in its historical context. He concludes: "Jazz music relates equally to the concepts, the discoveries, the motivations of our time. For one thing, its ceaseless movement and it's free melodies in combined variation are analogous to pure movement in time and space. Like a natural process, jazz has no real beginning, no real end" (p. 340). :)

A great, yet laborious, read...I can now turn the book in for someone else to explore. Very educational! As the new newsletter editor, I plan on writing a jazz book report every month because I read fast. Stay tuned! Long live (trad) jazz!