MY CORRESPONDENT, Geoffery Orr, sent the following report on the “Back to the Berg” bash last Saturday night (September 8, 2012):
Last Saturday night’s big band and jazz special at the 75th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Town Hall was really so much fun, and I really enjoyed myself in great company. Some of the musicians in the 18 piece orchestra I hadn’t worked with in over two decades! Four trumpets, six saxes headed by alto sax man, Kevin Morrow, and including baritone for that rich bottom end in the harmonies, played by my old mate, Adrian Daff. four trombones, including John Buckley on the bass trombone for that rich depth of sound, and trombonist Geoff McColl whom I worked with back in the year 1983. Acoustic bass was very often used, (Leon Heale), and drums played by Alan Smith. Rounding all that out was the pianist Peter de Ryk. He’s a fantastic musician, and an all round nice guy.
The Silver Service Jazz Band played the intermission periods with myself and Patti Lewis singing, John Wanner, Kevin Morrow playing all the reeds. Richard Opat played drums, and Helen & Neil Jowsey played piano and acoustic bass respectively. There was so much going on, the night just flew. The legendary Dorothy Baker also sang with the little band, and she still wows an adoring audience.
Here’s Dorothy in 1962 singing her cover hit “The Girl from Wolverton Mountain”.
Patti Lewis sounded almost in the Billie Holiday style when she sang with the Big Band. It had been more than a decade since she sang with Denis Farrington’s Big Band at the Musicians’ Club in Wellington Street, Windsor.
The Mayor of Banyule Council was so thrilled that he wants it again next year. Over 300 diners/dancers/revellers enjoyed a 5 star night’s entertainment.
The vocalist’s lineup is myself (Geoff Orr), Ben Lee (young singer with JW Swing Orchestra), gorgeous Daina Jowsey (singer/musician Victorian Police Band), John Lidgerwood (showman/singer/entertainer/legend), Patti Lewis (jazz singing legend) and David & Keren Mooney (vocalists with JW Swing Orchestra/graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts).
Portrait shot of John Wanner
John Wanner & Kevin Morrow playing in a latin number for me “I Love You, Don’t You Forget It” (An old Perry Como number).
I was asked by several young people where did I learn to sing as I do. It’s so different. Nearly 60 years of listening to people like Al Bowlly, Bing Crosby and the young Frank Sinatra, back in the Tommy Dorsey Big Band days. Mind you, there were lots of training and reading and practice which accompanied the years out front of a big band or small jazz combination. Nice to know that these youngsters respect the elderly.
Well, over to you.
PS. Check “Variety” magazine’s slanguage dictionary for a definition of “boffola”!