When Sunny Gets Blue

The Boston Jazz Ensemble was a group of some of Bostons finest musicians put together by guitarist Gerry Beaudoin in 1990 for a commissioned recording by a small New England record label.  Funding a jazz recording was a new venture for them. Up until that point they had produced Christmas, classical , folk and traditional New England music for the gift store and boutique market. When they approached Gerry about a jazz recording they had some definite idea’s about what they wanted. Something light but not too light.  Songs from the Great American songbook but very well known ones. Solos but ones that weren’t too long and reflected the melody and no song being more than five or so minutes. As Gerry tell’s it,” At first I was perplexed with why they chose me, because the only recordings I was on up until that point was a blues recording by guitarist Ronnie Earl and a bluesy jazz session  with my trio  and guest saxophonist Rich Lataille from Roomful of Blues. I wasn’t sure how to make a jazz record within their parameters.  When I found out they had first heard of me when guitarist Duke Robillard played them some tapes of a demo session he produced of me with some original tunes  I was really perplexed but really wanting the chance to do the project. ”  Gerry put together a band of some of Boston’s finest musicians with credits from Bruebeck to Basie. Legendary drummer Alan Dawson, Paul Schmeling chairman of the piano department at Berklee College of Music, trumpeter Jeff Stout from the Buddy Rich Band, his good friend Rich Lataille from Roomful of Blues, Mike Turk on harmonica and long time associate Bob Nieske  on bass. The session went very well according to Gerry. He had written some small group arrangements to well known standards like Unforgettable, Willow Weep For Me , Night And Day, Body And Soul and In A Sentimental Mood. In Gerry’s opinion,” the musicians played great on that session and I explained what the company wanted and had written the arrangements where one maybe two instruments split a chorus on most tunes and on one or two someone blew a whole chorus.” All in all a very easy to listen to recording,very melodic but with some edge.  When the record came out it surprised everyone no one more than Gerry when it sold very well. It got great reviews including a few from mainstream jazz press like Jazz Times and it bolstered Gerry’s career. ” The phone was ringing with gigs, I had a manager now and was getting royalty checks that reflected the profitable  sales. I felt I was on a roll”.  After two more well received recordings by the Boston Jazz Ensemble, Sentimental Over You and Sentimental Christmas, the roll was over on the completion of Gerry’s fourth and final recording for the label. Increasing tension between Gerry and the producer boiled over and that was the last recording he made for that label. ” Through the years I remained friends with the record company president and he put my music on about ten more compilations and licensed some master recordings from me. I know we both felt those Boston Jazz Ensemble recordings were special and by the sales figures we know they  touched a lot of people. In A Sentimental Mood won two industry Awards for excellence and was in print continually for about sixteen years. That’s unheard of for a lot of jazz recordings. I am proud that Francesca Records is re-releasing all three recording this year. I owe these recordings the start of my career and am proud and happy people will be able to hear and enjoy them again”.

“…I don’t think the original composers of this fine music would hesitate to stand and applaud after listening to the fine renditions the Boston Jazz Ensemble have put together of their material.”    – Discoveries Magazine






Page last updated on June 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm