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Friday, August 5, 2022

WBOF Presents Concert By The Sea


Concert By The Sea

WBOF Presents Concert By The Sea
East Coast
Actually recorded at the First Virginia Beach Jazz Festival on August 30th, 1959
Featuring Charlie Byrd, Matt Mathews, Sam Most, Ernie Caceres, Hal Posey, Ann Rayburn, Tommy Gwaltney, etc.
Vee Bee Records LP - 101

From the back cover: The crowd came, the rains didn't and the joint jumped 'till midnight!

Thus, in the words of music critic Tony Stein the morning after, the First Annual Virginia Beach Jazz Festival was a rousing success.

A tremendous crowd turned out for the one night event to watch and hear a continuing parade of top jazz musicians take on the spotlight on the stage of the Robert E. Lee Amphitheater. 

Weeks before, Leo Hoarty, president and general manager of WBOF Radio, met with Festival Producer Tommy Gwaltney, well known musician formerly with Bobby Hackett, Billy Butterfield and others. Noth decided on recording the entire session.

Gwaltney opened the show with his rousing Jolly Roger Band. Sparked by the leader's lyrical and vital clarinet solos, the group romped through a set of Dixieland standards. Danny Meyer's trombone work proves him to be an exciting and colorful "new star." The band really roars here on both their album selections.

Next in line was the New York Jazz Quartet including the great Dutch accordionist Mat Mathews; Whitey Mitchell, bass: Sam Most, flute; and Joe Puma, guitar. Most's intentionally distorted intonations on flute in "I'll Remember April," really broke it up. Later, Mathews brought a hush over the crowd when featured on his original composition of "Mat's Way." Both selections appear in their entirety on this album.

Ann Rayburn, lovely young jazz singer, stopped the show with her set, highlighted by "I Gotta A Right To Sing The Blues."

A touch of real humor was added to the Festival after intermission when "Billy And His Gang" took the stage. They were followed out immediately by a plump gentleman wearing the full dress Confederate army uniform. He was introduced simply as "Stonewall Jackson, World's Greatest Clarinet Player." It really turned out to be Ernie Caceres, veteran clarinet player, who removed his "dress sword" and wailed with complete abandon.

Then came the Charlie "Top" Schneer-Hal Posey Quartet. Both local jazz players who have made a hit in Washington, D.C. at the "Showboat." They led their fine group thought a clever medley of Ellington favorites.

Of course, the night's biggest thriller was Charlie Byrd.

Hailed by critics as one of the most compelling jazz personalities on the music scene today, Byrd is as highly regarded for his classical guitar as he is for his jazz interpretations. Just back from a tour of Europe with Woody Herman, and a smash success at the Monterey, Calif. Jazz Festival, Charlie is presented here in some of his best and hitherto unrecorded work.

One of the highlights of the Festival, and there were many, was the superb sound reproduction engineered by Jack Garrison, Chief Engineer of WBOF Radio. Jack, in addition to doing a beautiful job at the Festival, somehow had the time to record the show, and the good sounds on the album are due to his efforts.

the critics had nothing by praise for the Festival. Warner Twyford of the Norfolk Virginian - Pilot said: "A program of uniform excellence."

And said Clarence Walton of the Norfolk Ledger - Star: "...a rousingly successful show!"

Finally came the comment from Joe Dunn of the Princess Anne Free Press: "Top musicians beat out great jazz!"

Gwaltney and his associates in the project, Walter Baldwin and Ray Kipper, have stated that a two-day program is planned for the 1960 edition of the Virginia Beach Jazz Festival

The Washington - Lee Swing - Tommy Gwaltney and the Jolly Rodgers (Gwaltney, Leader and Clarinet; Ziggy Harrell, Trumpet; Danny Meyer, Trombone; George Hall, Guitar; W.D. "Pat" Roberts, Piano; Alton Smith, Bass & Ray Kipper, Drums)

The Tin Roof Blues - (Same Personnel)

I'll Remember April - The New York Jazz Quartet (Sam Most, Flute; Mat Mathews, Accordion; Whitey Mitchell, Bass & Joe Puma, Guitar)

Mat's Way (Same Personnel)

I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues - Ann Rayburn with Johnny Derieux and the Jolly Rogers Rhythm Section

The Royal Garden Blues - Billy And The Gang (Ernie Caceres, Clarinet; Danny Meyer, Trombone; George Hall, Guiat; W.D. "Pat" Roberts, Piano; Alton Smith, Bass & Ray Kipper, Drums)

Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Charlie Schneer - Hal Posey Quartet (Schneer, Piano; Posey, Trumpet; Keeter Betts, Bass & Bartell Knox, Drums

Play Fiddle Play - Charlie Byrd Trio (Byrd, Guitar, Betts, Bass & Knox, Drums)

Prelude No. 1 In E Minor - Charlie Byrd

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