Stan McDonald's Blue Horizon Jazz Band--New Orleans Jazz to Early Swing
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The Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays in the spirit of the pioneer jazzmen of New Orleans
The Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays in the spirit of the pioneer jazzmen of New Orleans. They bring to life the passionate style and exuberant melodies of those original musicians who gave the world jazz during the first quarter of this century.
The seven instruments are: Front line of cornet, trombone, and clarinet or soprano saxophone; rhythm section of piano, banjo, bass, and drums. This is an "acoustic" band--there are no electric instruments and no amplification, except during vocals or occasionally to enhance subdued solos.
The hallmark of the original New Orleans jazz style is its collective improvisation. Unlike many "Dixieland" bands, the Blue Horizon blends the unaffected spontaneity of early New Orleans jazz with a variety of tightly arranged passages and solos spanning the classic periods of American traditional jazz music to early swing. The Blue Horizon is noted for its repertoire of Sidney Bechet compositions, brought to life dramatically by leader Stan McDonald on the instrument that Bechet made famous, the soprano saxophone. Stan's expressive power on this instrument is acclaimed throughout the jazz world.
The Blue Horizon's repertoire of over 400 selections spans jazz history from the rags of Scott Joplin to the sophisticated melodies of Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington. It includes many lovely and nostalgic songs that are often neglected, as well as very danceable tunes, some with infectious Latin rhythms. The band has produced six record albums, many of which are available on CD, tape and LP. One of the band's recordings features their old friend Tommy Benford who was Jelly Roll Morton's drummer and Bechetís in the 30's and 40's. The band performs throughout New England, occasionally enticed beyond. They play at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, summer home of the Boston Pops, and at numerous clubs and occasions around greater Boston. Their schedule is received several times a year by over 2,000 friends and fans on their mailing list.