What is This Thing Called “Storyville”?

“Storyville” packed Laguna Beach’s Marine Room in June.  Everybody had a great time, so we decided to do it again.
When:  Tuesday, August 14 , 2012, 7:00-11:00 PM
WhereThe LAX Jazz Club at the Crowne Plaza Hotel
Please RSVP at:  the Storyville Facebook page.
listen to samples of Storyville’s music here

          This most unique ensemble is comprised of HONK member Craig Buhler along with bassist Jack Prather, trumpet & vibes man Brian Atkinson (Disneyland Band), brass man Dan Barrett (Benny Goodman, Woodie Allen, etc.), and first call L.A. session players Karen Hammack (piano) and drummer Paul Kreibich (Ray Charles Band).  Their repertoire is amazingly diverse spanning jazz history from Louis Armstrong to Wayne Shorter, pop icons from Benny Goodman & Nat King Cole to Bob Marley & Steely Dan

          In order to whet your appetite for this event, here’s a little background 
By mid 1975, HONK’s wave was cresting with a major record deal, a Beach Boys tour, and countless fans in California & Hawaii.  But the 6 members of HONK have always been more about musical exploration, experimentation, & growth than on stardom, with its attendant risk of artistic stagnation.  At an early summer meeting, HONK decided to take an 8-year hiatus in order to explore individual pursuits.

     HONK members Craig Buhler & Will Brady were at that time housemates and had spent many hours listening to Will’s vast record collection and pondering possibilities suggested by what they were hearing.  They teamed up with local legend acoustic bassist Jack Prather and began a 4-year odyssey exploring unexpected musical horizons from Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, & Duke Ellington to Bob Marley, Steely Dan, and Tom Waits.
     After a long & successful residency at Corona del Mar’s Quiet Woman, the Storyville trio teamed up with youthful drummer John Ferraro to mount an assault on Balboa’s bastion of bebop, The Studio Cafe.  This quartet recorded the LP “The Blues Ain’t News,” an eclectic mix of blues, folk, reggae, bop, and fusion.  They also appeared in concerts headlined by Dizzy Gillespie and the Crusaders.
     When John left to pursue a career with such notables as Larry Carlton, Barry Manillow, and Rod Stewart, Storyville revisited the trio format for a short period.  But Will Brady is ever the restless experimenter, and he longed for more sonic diversity.  Reaching for the stars, the group was most fortunate to recruit the young piano prodigy Karen Hammack, whose technical virtuosity is matched by her warm lyricism, lovely vocals, infectious laughter, and attractive persona.
     Craig’s arranging ambitions called for more horns, so Storyville hooked up with trombonist Dan Barrett, who has since gone on to perform with Benny Goodman, Woody Allen, Buck Clayton, and other jazz greats.  This group held sway at a restaurant across from John Wayne Airport for several months.
     When Dan moved on in 1977, the wonderful trumpeter & vibraphonist Brian Atkinson joined the group, as did the unorthodox Seattle drummer Mike McKinley.  This sextet performed several concerts at Disneyland and a long stint at Laguna’s Captain’s Deck.  Brian left for the Earth Wind and Fire tour with Deniece Williams.  He has been with the Disneyland Band since 1980 and has also toured with Lou Rawls.
     The final Storyville quintet included Buhler, Brady, Prather, and Hammack along with premier L.A. studio drummer Paul Kreibich, now known for his work with Ray Charles, Carmen McRae, and James Moody.  This group continued to pack The Studio Cafe and did stints at Mammoth Mountain and Avilla Beach until 1979.
    Willy is tending to the home front and will regretably not be able to join us for this L.A. reunion.  But Brian and Dan will  be in the front line along with Craig, and with Karen, Jack, and Paul in the rhythm section, “Storyville” is guaranteed to burn the place down!   There’s no telling who you will meet or what you will hear at The LAX Jazz Club on Tuesday, August 14!  Jack has 2 CDs of ingenious jazz vocal charts, Karen has just released her debut vocal CD, Craig just finished his 6th jazz CD, and Paul always brings a slew of interesting originals.

Please RSVP at the Storyville Facebook page.

 listen to samples of Storyville’s music here

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