Do any of you ever get together at Alpine Village in Torrance on Monday nights? During my parents 50th year anniversary it was amazing to find about 80 original swing-era musicians playing together in one of four rotating Monday-night 16-piece orchestras with vocalists (and after rehearsing with one of the orchestras on their rehearsal night even I -- who has mostly only sung at convalescent hospitals and retirement homes -- was allowed to sing a solo with the orchestra blasting those horns behind me to an audience of about 500. I'm sure some of you professional vocalists would be welcome to sing one with these fabulous original musicians of the legendary orchestras of Les Brown, Tex Beneke, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Harry James, Artie Shaw and a few other unknowns like those guys of old.
They have two dance floors at Alpine (one in front of the orchestra that the adults and seniors mainly take for the first couple hours -- and a medium-size floor behind the orchestras that the teens mostly take for the first part of the evening while they rehearse and teach themselves Lindy Hop and Swing steps).
They've been going on Monday nights for some thirty or more years and because they don't advertise (they don't need to) I never knew about them until a few years ago. It is an incredible venue (the acoustics are very warm) and you can get a dinner (for example beef dip) complete with all the trimmings (liver pate and real butter) and salad for under $10! There's a mezzanine that can be danced on if the bottom area gets too full (and it's usually just right).
You should catch this at least once if you're in the Los Angeles area. Or, you can hear a little of the orchestras who play there on a website while Dexter Ray and I were doing some broadcasts demos from the Mezzanine there at the following website (click on ''Listen''): http://www.BigBandsAlive.com
My mother had a major stroke and I've had to leave California to help her and Dad. For those of you who are in the Los Angeles area, you are blessed to be able to catch an evening that goes back to the WW2 years when American Jazz was just about to begin its fabulous explosion. Did I say that well?