The Elks Club Jazz Group – Riverside Ca

Music and great times were had with the Elks Club Jazz Group, in Riverside California, 2015

The Elks Club Jazz Group - Riverside Ca, play jazz standardsWe had some great musical times at the Elks Club Jazz Group Band functions held in Riverside, CA.

We met once a month, and many talented artists performed in the open stage-mic venue. 2015

This picture is of the nucleus of the band.  They are all professionals, having played with the greats.

Al Drummed, the drummer and soloist, far left; Tommy Wheat, fabulous jazz guitar player, sitting in the middle of the table; and Ken Taylor who plays perfect base, great guitar and sings, is on the far right.

They all continue to perform at local parties and social functions.  Fred Massey is siting between Al and Tommy. He is a professional key board player. Between Tommy and Ken is Burnie, another drummer that often sits in.

You may not know, but there are 4400 possible guitar chord formations. At least that’s what I was told by the bass player Ken. Tommy Wheat, knows all the chords and all the music.

Tommy was a personal guitar player for Frank Sinatra and still he remembers all the jazz standards, and more, and can play all the music, in any key.

I had the distinct pleasure to sing with this band many times, and although this particular event is canceled, I look forward to singing with them in the future.

The old joke is that the jazz players arrive at the gig in a Volkswagen, and the blues players arrive in a limousine. Jazz has always been the media for the intellects, and these players are no exception.

The music arrangements are subtle, difficult to play, and wonderful to hear. Jazz music has stood the test of time. for example, the music Billie holiday sang is more alive today, and better known, then when she was performing it.

Author’s Notes:

From my early childhood, I have listened to great jazz music players, create such lovely and memorable impressions of music they loved. It is often said that the jazz musician plays for the beauty of the music, simply desiring to create, even for a short time, a safe place in this world.

It’s the picture of the lonely jazz guy, playing in the smoke filled club, after the club has closed for the night, and playing there, alone, because he has no where else to play.

As romantic as that all sounds, it is not true of the members of this jazz band. They are all successful in business, and yes, they do love the music, but they have plenty of places to play, and plenty of people who love them.

The musicians in this group have known each other for a long time. It’s easy to tell, as the music flows from one tune to another, flawlessly.

For me, Jazz Standards have always been my “go to” music. As far back as the big bands, music my parents grew up with, romance was the central theme. Unlike country music, where the girl in the song, did the man wrong, jazz lyrics seem more refined.

Yes, the girl can still leave him, but it is done poetically. Perhaps on a cruise ship deck, or outside a New York club, and defiantly with great background music.

I wish you could have hear this band play, in 2015, in the Elk Club in Riverside California. They were outstanding, and the open mic offered many, including myself, the opportunity to sing with the band. If a compliment was given, it would be “Spot On.”

Although some of these musicians have retired, still some are still playing, in or around the Inland Empire. I hope to hear them again.

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