Born: August 28, 1935 Primary Instrument: Sax, soprano
Reedman/bandleader Stan McDonald (Blue Horizon Jazz Band), who's especially admired for his soaring soprano sax playing in the Sidney Bechet tradition, recalls his many musical adventures with jazz greats and the years when he helped build the superb musical reputation of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band. Stan is the subject of jazz writer George Borgman’s feature article of the February 2003 issue of the MISSISSIPPI RAG with Stan’s photo on the cover, entitled, Stan McDonald, Soaring Sax in the Bechet Tradition.Lots of photos (historic and current) illustrate the interesting chronicle of this highly talented musician who now leads the excellent, in-demand Blue Horizon Jazz Band.
Stan McDonald and the Blue Horizon Jazz Band have been honored by being featured on JAZZ RHYTHM, Dave Radlauer’s syndicated show heard nationally on public radio stations:
Visiting Stan McDonald:
Musical rarities and reminiscences from a half-century in jazz.
Part 1: Featuring McDonald’s early years Part 2: The genius of Sidney Bechet Part 3: Stan joins the Masters JAZZ RHYTHM has received the 2011 Gabriel award for national release radio programming in Entertainment/Arts during 2010. Excerpts representing the series were submitted from the programs, “Benny Goodman’s Kingdom of Swing” and “Visiting Stan McDonald.”
You can listen to the series at www.jazzhotbigstep.com. The following links will take you directly to the sections about Stan.
Stan McDonald Program http://jazzhotbigstep.com/50401.html
Stan McDonald Biography and Article http://jazzhotbigstep.com/50801.html
Stan McDonald Bonus audio http://jazzhotbigstep.com/53301.html
Awards:MISSISSIPPI RAG: Top 5 on soprano sax. GABRIEL AWARD: JAZZ RHYTHM has received the 2011 Gabriel award for national release radio programming in Entertainment/Arts during 2010 which included music of and interviews with Stan McDonald.
MIDDLESEX NEWS, Framingham, Massachusetts McDonald and the band touched the sky, capping the night with a madcap arrangement of Swanee River that had the place jumping.
ARTS JUBILEE '86, Conway, New Hampshire If you haven't heard the classic jazz of Sidney Bechet or Jelly Roll Morton, by the end of the performance you will know why the blue Horizon lovingly, joyously continues to breathe life into their music.
JAZZ NOTES, Cape Cod Jazz Society The Blue Horizon Jazz Band is notable for its rich and beautiful music that rewards the quiet listener as much as it tends to incite those who prefer to dance...A perfect combination.
NEW YORK TIMES jazz critic John Wilson, on Stan McDonald, in HIGH FIDELITY A superb clarinetist and soprano saxophonist...a gloriously full bodied Bechet stylist. ...A gloriously full-bodied Bechet stylist. John S. Wilson, HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE, 1983
McDonald's soprano sax wails and sails with all the fire and aggressive control of the incomparable Bechet... George Kay (reviewer for the New Orleans Jazz Club 1980)
Among the groups soloist soprano saxophonist Stan McDonald was outstanding in his evocations of Sidney Bechet... Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe Jazz Festival March 1979
McDonald in a mellow Song of Songs was the loveliest moment of the evening Bruce Laird, THE NEWS JOURNAL, Wilmington, Delaware March 24, 1979 (review of concert at the Grand Opera House)
...Stan McDonald is an emotional player. On a strictly musical basis, he is the most impressive member of Black Eagle. If you close your eyes, you could swear that Johnny Dodds, Omer Simeon and Sidney Bechet had come back to life. Charles Guiliano, JAZZ NEW ENGLAND 1975