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Dan Levinson's AmeriCondon Band at Meadville, April 2003
Cast of Thousands (of decibels): Mark Shane, piano; Dan Levinson, Leader/Arranger/reeds/vocalist; Randy Sandke, trumpet/cornet; Vince Giordano, bass sax/brass bass/
string bass/vocalist; Dan Barrett, trombone/vocalist; Kevin Dorn, drums

The main credit for this production should go to Joe Boughton - everything done for these jazz weekends is the result of long, hard labor on his part. Kudos to Joe!

The very next thing to Condon's in the Village is "AmeriCondon's in Meadville!"

The seating is small and cramped (familiar?) but there is no curtain of tobacco smoke, and the great "Chicago Style" (or is it "New York Style") music is at its very best! As Dan Levinson might say, it cannot really be described in a word or phrase. I would tend to describe jazz as an "attitude" or a "euphoric state of mind!"

"Concentratin' Dan" Barrett
Dan Barrett comes all the way from "Californy" to be at Meadville every year! His current recording gig is tromboning, vocalizing and keyboarding in a trio plus bass known as BED! featuring Becky Kilgore and Fast Eddie Erickson.
"C-Melody Dan" Levinson conquers all reeds
Dan Levinson's dry sense of humor belies his seriousness
when it comes to this music. As leader of the AmeriCondons,
It is his arrangements and astute musical feeling which
bring together the wonderful abilities of the group.
"Two-Fisted" Mark Shane
Mark Shane is a peaceful man - until he hits his "stride!" A fixture at many high quality jazz festivals (Atlanta, Chautauqua) his band work and solo capabilities are astounding. He is a fly fisherman, but swollen French Creek, at Meadville, (even if it was trout season) did not feel his light touch.
Randy Sandke
Few current players have the facility AND feel for this music that Randy has. A scholar and admirer of Bix, he is not a copier. He has a nearly complete collection of Bix on 78's. On cornet and trumpet, he led the group with strength. He has recorded with his own groups extensively.
Vince Giordano
Vince is a bass man extraordinaire. Accomplished on brass bass, string bass and bass sax, he will lay down a rhythm you won't believe. Vince is the leader of a nationally known band, the "Nighthawks" which have a regular gig as well as recordings. Vince collects sheet music, and is as knowledgeable as anybody in the "jazz circle."
Randy and Dan
These two guys can do about everything - including a little scat chorus now and then. Their humor is infectious!
Exciting drummer Kevin Dorn
Many compare Kevin to Davey Tough. This may seem a bit much for you who haven't heard Kevin. He has played a lot around New York City, but right now his home is at the Landings on the Riverwalk with the Jim Cullum Band.
Fire Starters!
Dan Levinson's program was sparked by these two albums of Eddie Condon music. They were dedicated to Bix. On Friday night, the music included all but one of the sides on the LP "Bixieland" (1955).

The 1940 78rpm Decca album #133, "Wolverine Jazz", also released under the name "Fashions In Swing" furnished the impetus for Saturday's program.

Vince's Aluminum bass
This bass was made for the changeable weather on board ship. In this case, it was tailor-made for the damp spring weather in upstate Pennsylvania!
Photo of the Original Wolverines
The Original Wolverines photo shown here was part of the
Flyleaf of the 1940 Decca album.

The labels are from a rare take of the recording "Susie" (author's collection)
which was recorded in Richmond, Indiana, May 6, 1924.

A good piano makes a BIG difference!
The donation of a beautiful Mason Hamlin Grand was certainly OK with Mark. One of the beautiful solos he played on it was one of his own compositions, named after a favorite trout lure. A song named after a bug is not new, but this song was! (Can anyone email me the name of that song? - I forgot!)
A tight little band with a big sound
The theme this year was Bix's 100th birthday. Because of some of the well remembered songs Bix performed on record, it required no little expertise in reading scores. Some of the Bix solos were also played in harmony - spectacularly!
The Band Behind the Band!
left to right, top to bottom: John Fox, Sue Black, Carol Hughes, Rob Kightlinger, Renee Kightlinger, Bill Garts, Cindy Ewing, John Koehler and Tricia Smith. Where would we be without these hard-working volunteers? Joe would tell you "NOWHERE!"