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Jerry McKenzie, Stan Kenton's drummer on several recordings and tours, saw "Big Band Memories" at the Farmington Library on July 1st, 2012

posted Sep 3, 2012, 8:28 PM by William Hart   [ updated Sep 4, 2012, 1:50 PM ]
A full house audience gave Bill Hart's "Big Band Memories" a standing ovation. The music was good, the program was highly entertaining, very informative, and FUN! I have played with Bill many times during our long friendship, both in big bands and in small groups. Alan Tedrick (keyboards) is a real pro. I played with him when he had his own group. David Hart did an absolutely excellent job on drums. I really enjoyed his feature number. I gave David a few lessons many years ago. Bill used to put a folding chair on the bandstand next to my drums, so that David could get a good look at what I was doing. Bob Durant, leader, always granted permission for that! The song list for "Big Band Memories" is created by the request sheets the audience members fill out. Bill told us as he spread out the request sheets on a table "I won't announce any song title. Try to be the first person to yell out and "Name That Tune."Not a single piece of printed music was used. Part of the fun is watching the spontaneity of the group in meeting the requests. They didn't just play snippits. . . they did great on "nailing" everything.The audience members were knowledgeable and were quick to "Name That Tune"...friendly competition. I had fun asking Bill what he thought of the Stan Kenton band, while hiding much of my face with my hands. Neither Alan, Dave, nor Bill recognized me. When Bill said "Jerry McKenzie, who lives in the area, was Kenton's drummer for quite awhile. I heard them in concert and loved it," I started laughing. David stood up and called me by name, telling the audience the value of sitting on those folding chairs "while Dad and Jerry played those Bob Durant engagements." Wonderful memories!  This was their third presentation at the Farmington Library. Try not to miss this program!     
Jerry McKenzie,  Leader/Drummer