The Midiri Brothers Orchestra

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Midiri Brothers Sextet 2002 Concert for the Tri-State Jazz Society

Tri-State Jazz Society's newsletter, Tri-State Skylark Strutter, October 2002 edition

Reviewed by George Hunt


The featured attraction at the Tri-State Jazz Society's concert on Sunday, October 27 was the Midiri Brothers Sextet. The band treated the larger than usual audience to a wide variety of different types of songs; all of which were well received by the audience.

The musicians comprising the sextet this Sunday were Joe Midiri (primarily clarinet), Paul Midiri (primarily vibraphone), Dan Tobias (primarily cornet), Pat Mercuri (guitar), Gary Cattley (bass), and Jim Lawler (drums). The usual "front line" was Joe on clarinet, Paul on vibes, and Dan on cornet; all in ensemble, and each taking their turn in solos. The "front line" showed versatility in doubling on other instruments; Joe was seen playing alto saxophone, Paul playing trombone, and Dan playing trumpet (not to mention something that looked like a flugelhorn). The "front line" was always ably backed by a solid beat from the rhythm section of Pat on guitar, Gary on bass, and Jim on drums. Paul displayed even further versatility by showing off along with Jim on a rousing rendition of Limehouse Blues where they both took repeated long solos on the one set of drums.

The band played three long sets during this concert lasting from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This reviewer counted 19 songs, starting with The Bass On The Bar Room Floor and ending with Linger Awhile. A wide variety of musical types were played; sweet songs like Roses of Picardy and Joyce Kilmer's Trees, and swinging songs like Struttin' With Some Barbecue and Shine (not to mention the aforementioned Limehouse Blues).

Pat Mercuri honored Eddie Lang, the jazz guitar great who was born 100 years ago this year, by recreating Lang's guitar solo on April Kisses.

But, to this old reviewer who couldn't stay away from the bandstand when Helen O'Connell was the girl singer in the band, there could be nothing better than Joe Midiri's tribute to Jimmy Dorsey of Oodles Of Noodles (clarinet) introducing Contrasts (alto saxophone).

The bottom line: Great music enjoyed by all.


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