I feel compelled to tell you how much I enjoy the combined unparalleled talents of the members and guest performers of the GJB. I remarked to several people that you could spend several hundred dollars on a concert and not be party to the quality of music we heard last night. All agreed. Besides enjoying this wonderful type of music, I've connected with several of the "regulars" over time. . . I, too, very much enjoy how you include your audience into the experience. My friends and I continue to introduce more friends and family to your concerts every time we attend. . . I find that when the night is over I'm already looking forward to the following 3rd Sunday. I came home and played through one of my fake books for at least an hour on the piano. I just play melody and sustained chords, but it kept the music going for me for a little while.
14th Anniversary at the Millpond Taverne re-issues a spirited live session from 1985 that was only previously available on cassette (with two tunes being issued for the first time). Vigorito, Kaletsky, Sinclair, Hovey and Bequillard are joined by three notable guests: trombonist Conrad Janis, a young Howard Alden on guitar and banjo, and singer Carol Leigh. While Alden has his spots (interacting with clarinetist Kaletsky on "Avalon") and Ms. Leigh rouses the crowd during such numbers as "Just a Little While to Stay Here" and Bessie Smith's "Trombone Cholly", Janis makes the biggest impression among the guests. In fact, his percussive and emotional playing throughout this CD ranks with his best on record. With Fred Vigorito and Noel Kaletsky contributing many heated solos and joining Janis in the exciting ensembles, this is a CD that will delight those who love extroverted and high-quality Dixieland. Highlights include "Milenburg Joys", "That Dada Strain", "Riverboat Shuffle", and "Clarinet Marmalade". . . 14 selections, total playing time 77:53
Recorded way back in 1971 at Yale University, this is but one of a series of live recordings that Fred Vigorito's exciting band has made with inspirational guests. I just love Fred's bands because they are so vibrant, so very honest and real in their approach to our music. They tell it like it is without any hypocrisy - they're not playing it because it is the music that fashion demands, or even for commercial reasons. They're playing it because this IS their music. The result of that down-to-earth approach is an infectious session that gets your blood running just that little bit faster - certainly the foot pats wildly and you find yourself following the solos note-by-note with more than casual interest even to the occasional grunts of "yeah" . . . It's good stuff - you should buy this CD.
I've always been a big fan of the GJB and I've noticed that it gets better all the time. That's odd because the CD was recorded ages ago. You may not know that I've also always been a fan of Les Paul too. Many a musician doesn't seem to take him seriously. Yes, his classic records included lots of tricks but (as you know) that guy could really play that way. Better still, he could (and did) play beautifully. Your CD is wonderful in every way. Of course it has your hot hot music and the excitement of the crowd but everyone was on. Jane never sounded better. Same for all of you. Les and the trio were great (what else?) and the stuff you did together is tops. Bravo to you and the band. And kudos for recording it in the first place, and for compiling it as you did. Everything including the packaging is da best. By the way I'll be featuring it on Radio OKOM and plugging it, of course. As you may know, we often play your recordings, for the simple reason that we love your music.
To all of those who say that our kind of music (OKOM) is dying I suggest that they buy a copy of the Galvanized Jazz Band's CD Best of the Fest Live CD and hear track five "My Memphis Baby". I'm using it in my next broadcast (www.radiojazz.co.uk) because it's one of the finest, most exciting free-wheeling improvised performances by an American band that I've heard this year. And by the way - I have no connection with the band - I'm just a long distance fan. And I regularly receive CDs by other USA and Europe based bands that are brilliant. If they are anything to go by - and I believe they are - the music is very much alive and healthy - not dying.
Finally got a chance to listen to the Merrill Doucette CD. It's damned good. I can actually listen without cringing. The energy of the band is really terrific, and we all get off some fine solos. Not the least wonderful moment on the CD is how the ensemble comes out of the 6/8 time chorus into swing on "Hey, Look Me Over." That was certainly the first, and probably the only time I've ever played that song. Anyway, the whole thing is great.
...To my ears, the driving force of the front line, as well it should be in the New Orleans tradition, is the invigorating playing of the Galvanized Jazz Band's cornet player, Fred Vigorito... Just listen to Fred Vigorito's charging lead cornet... King Oliver would be proud to know he has a disciple of such quality more than half a century after he first played that thing!
...It shouldn't be a surprise that they play together with naturalness, flair and utmost confidence... The program of traditional jazz styles was refreshing and joyful. Vigorito's relaxed and sometimes whimsical introductions set the tone for the admixture of beauty, humor, and thrilling embellishments on all contrasting selections. Highly evolved, instinctive musicmaking poured forth and seemed to baptize us all to everlasting happiness...
Among the many thoughts and reflections generated from our annual trip to the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival, one thought really stands out: as members of the Pennsylvania Jazz Society we have the opportunity from year to year to hear some of the top groups and musicians playing anywhere! ...Example 2 would be the Galvanized Jazz Band, which played for us last May. Their efforts at Connecticut again left little doubt that they can compete with any jazz band. One set opened with Bogalusa Strut and followed with Milenberg Joys, and Fred’s group made both sound fresh and exciting, not repeated versions of tunes that have been played for years. On I Had Someone Else Before I Had You Janie Campedelli and Noel Kaletsky were singing and scatting together and had the audience roaring! No matter the tempo, Galvanized is always exciting and satisfying.... Fred Vigorito strongly supports in both word and deed getting young people involved in learning to play traditional jazz. During one set some students from a youth jazz group joined the Galvanized Jazz Band playing Royal Garden Blues and did a very commendable job. About the time you begin to think that all teenagers are cool and hide their feelings behind a mask you should have seen the smiles on their faces after the audience responded with some of the most enthusiastic applause of the day.
We did quite a lot of reminiscing about our ceremony and reception--we are amazed at how much fun we had! You and the band did a fabulous job helping to create just the kind of festive atmosphere we'd hoped for. Guests of all ages commented on how much they enjoyed the music and the setting together. I only wish I could have been in the carousel house the whole time to hear every song! We also really enjoyed our first dance--you gave Jeff such a classy accompaniment. He was grinning ear to ear. If we can get a good photo, we'd love to send it to you and have you and the band sign it. Then we'll frame it for him :-)
Vigorito, at 19, sounded like a musician with a future. He played with drive and made good use of the plunger. By blowing into a derby during ensemble choruses he was also able to effect admirable changes in color and dynamics.
My name is JP ALESSI I had the great pleasure and the joy of playing with a marvellous man, very nice who plays of the horn like kid Thomas very modesty and his humility plays against him for its talent is great and I think sincerely that it's a big star. You have the luck to have in your country a man like Fred vigorito. I like it so much and I love his musical play. The fact of playing with him with my band french preservation during 10 days learned to me much on the technical and musical level. It is with pleasure that I will Play another with him. If fred decide to come another in France i hope he want to play another with me. Thanks fred for your kindless and i hope to see you another quickly!
- In the August 2000 issue of Cadence David Dupont had this to say:
...The session exudes the pure joy of being alive and blowing....On "Dark Eyes" Willcox lays down a jaunty low line underneath Art Baron's plunger muted solo, and on "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" he and Baron testify together on a wonderful duet. Having Baron on three tracks is certainly a plus, but the Galvanized Jazz Band provides exemplary backing on its own. The rhythm section provides a loose, rocking sound that's authentic without being archaic, and certainly never hokey. The band also offers a wealth of distinguished soloists, notably cornetist Fred Vigorito and reedman Russ Whitman, who adds variety by doubling clarinet and four saxophones, including bass saxophone. All this is well-captured in a better-than- adequate on-site recording that captures some on-stage chatter as well as the music. That just adds to the charm of this wonderful session. Recommended!
This recording is offered with the love of his fellow musicians and the musical camaraderie they shared on many occasions. It is a testimony to the power of Traditional Jazz to survive the ravages of time and the ignorance of today's masses. I have seen and heard Spiegle in performance several times since 1995. Each time he would leave the stage he was glowing from the energy he brought to and took from those gigs. His personal warmth as a human being was always evident in his ability to engage his fans in lively conversations. Those musicians who shared the stages with him were universal in the sense of awe they gained from their experience. Those of you who heard Spiegle while he was alive will want this album in your collection too. Those of you who did not get that opportunity will want to take advantage of this one last chance to hear a true Legend of Jazz playing as if he were going to live forever.
A wave of vulgar, filthy, and suggestive music has inundated the land. The pabulum of theater and summer hotel orchestras is 'coon music'. Nothing but ragtime prevails, and the cakewalk with its obscene posturings, its lewd gestures... Our children, our young men and women, are continually exposed to the contiguity, to the monotonous attrition of the vulgarizing music. It is artistically and morally depressing and should be suppressed by the press and pulpit! (Quoted in Tin Pan Alley by D. Ewen)