As Sammy Duncan put it, "Few people know how famous we really are!"
- In an email message after our July 2018 performance at Aunt Chilada's a loyal fan had this to say:
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.
- In the November 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times Scott Yanow reviewed our 14th Millpond Anniversary CD with Conrad Janis, Howard Alden, and Carol Leigh (GJB 3/85):
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
- In the 61st anniversary issue of Jazzbeat (Vol. 21, #4) Brian Harvey reviewed our CD with Louis Nelson and Tommy Benford (BCD-467):
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.
- After a March, 2011 concert-dance our hostess had this to say:
I just wanted you to know that your performance last night drew nothing but raves (And, on top of that--UConn won!) Many people came up to me last night and said what a wonderful evening it was--and your parades through the audience were much appreciated by the audience! We have heard the GJB play many times before and last night was nothing short of spectacular. Your ease and interaction with the audience, as well as the technical expertise and musicianship of all of you made this a night to remember!
Thanks again for a great performance!
- Bruce McNichols had this to say about our Les Paul 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.
- Over in England Brian Harvey has discovered one of our CDs. This is what he had to say:
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.
- A band leader who heard us at a recent festival had this to say:
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say I sure enjoyed your band and your cornet playing. WOW. . . I played trumpet in the band that played before you guys on Friday night. Without a doubt you were my favorite TRAD JAZZ BAND at the festival. Vince Giordano's band was cool, and you guys were HOT. When I got home I went and looked you guys up on the web. Very impressive. No wonder you were so tight. Without a doubt the best pure trad jazz band that I've heard yet. When you closed your first set with a hot swinging version of Panama I almost lost it. I was waiting for you to get tired but man, you kept on keeping on. I thought it was awesome. I'm glad you went on after us. Had I heard you before us I would have really been nervous. No way could of we followed you guys. It gives me alot to shoot for. And I'm glad our members got to hear you guys. . . I told all the boys we'd better go back in the woodshed if we want to be asked to play any of these festivals again. The level of music up there was increditable. I expected all good bands and good musicians, and I sure wasn't disapointed. Best of luck to you & your band!
- An internet tuba discussion group recently discovered one of our downloadable music files and had some nice things to say about it, completely unsolicited.
- Trombonist Tom Artin had this to say about our recently-released Merrill Doucette CD:
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.
- Joe H. Klee had this to say in the December 2004 issue of The Mississippi Rag:
...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!
- According to CONNECTICUT MAGAZINE, the GJB is the best jazz band in the state. Reviewing a recent GJB concert in Middletown, Bob Cumming wrote:
...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...
- Keynotes, a publication of the Pennsylvania Jazz Society, had this to say in Vol. 18, No. 7, November, 1996:
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.
- The brides at some recent weddings had this to say:
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 :-)
Hey Fred! You guys were absolutely fantastic. THANK YOU SOOOOO much for playing at my wedding. Greg and I were so happy to have you, as were all the guests! Everyone keeps raving about you guys!! Here are just a few of the comments I've heard so far:
- One of Greg's older uncles said he wasn't really happy about being dragged to another wedding, but once he heard the band he was thrilled.
- The owner of the place doesn't usually stay past the ceremony, but he stayed just to hear the Galvanized Band. And he said it was the best wedding they've ever had there.
- The Maitre'D was very happy to have you lead the crowd in from the cocktail hour - usually she has to really prod people along.
- The way you ended the night was beautiful too- with the parade again and then playing our wedding song too!! I couldn't think of a better way to close it out. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it!!! I can't say enough how happy I am with the way it all turned out. The band really made the night wonderful for me, Greg and all our guests. THANK YOU SOOOOOO VERY MUCH for playing at my wedding!!!!
- JazzReview.com had this to say:
Vigorito is one of the most honest horn-men in the New Orleans style.
- Way back in 1964 Stanley Dance had this to say in Downbeat Magazine:
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.
- Forty years later, in December of 2004, J.P. Alessi had this to say in an e-mail message from France:
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!
ps i hope all industand what i want to say.
JEAN PIERRE ALESSI
FRENCH PRESERVATION NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND
76 AVENUE DE VERDUN 69540 IRIGNY FRANCE
- Our memorial CD for Spiegle Willcox, (GJB 99, A PERFECT LIFE), was reviewed in several respected journals:
- 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!
- And in the November 2000 issue of The American Rag, editor/publisher Don Jones wrote:
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.
- And finally, in 1899 the Musical Courier had this to say about our kind of music:
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)