Gabel Music: Dan Gabel and the Abletones & The High Society Orchestra
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Gabel Music: Dan Gabel and the Abletones & The High Society Orchestra

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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"Webster's own Dan Gabel will be living a life-long dream when he joins the Jazz at Sunset Series at the EcoTarium in Worcester"


By Ginger Costen Patriot Correspondent

Region - On Friday night, June 24, Dan Gabel and The Abletones will be performing at the EcoTarium in Worcester for the 2011 Jazz at Sunset concert series. This fantastic outdoor venue is now in its 20th season and has become a must-attend event for many Central Massachusetts residents.

The Abletones are a full 18-piece Big Band, including a female vocalist, specializing in an authentic Big Band sound thanks to a high level of musicianship and a library of over 2,000 arrangements. They are under the leadership of Webster's own Dan Gabel, newly returned from a one-year world tour with The Glenn Miller Orchestra as trombone player, band historian, and arranger.

For Gabel, the idea of playing in a Big Band began in 2001 while attending Holy Name High School in Worcester, MA. He'd just started 7th grade when he met fellow student and Dudley resident, drummer Jim Gancarz. "We became instant best friends and would spend our lunch hours talking about becoming musicians in a Big Band," Gabel said.

During the next ten years Gabel and Gancarz, along with band member and manager Bill Doyle, worked on making that dream become a reality.

Gabel couldn't stand the music other kids his age were listening to and would go with his parents to concerts at the EcoTarium. "I heard the White Heat Swing Band out of Boston and after they were done I knew what I wanted to do. I went up and talked with the guys after the show," said Gabel.

Trombonist Steve Piermarini gave him suggestions concerning the best trombone to get for himself. "Piermarini gave me some solid advice, and I now proudly play a 1935 vintage “King Silvertone” trombone," said Gabel. Piermarini was a guest trombonist on The Abletones first CD released last fall.

"Dan Gabel is the most amazing individual," said Alan Glasscock, internationally published writer and arranger and leader of The Alan Glasscock Orchestra in Texas. "Despite his relatively young age [of 22], Dan has amassed an enormous amount of knowledge and experience one would only expect of a person nearing retirement age."

His skill as a trombonist and arranger, as well as the leader of his own successful swing band, can be credited to his touring with The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien, as well as his own independent years of collecting, researching and documenting vintage big band recordings.

Playing in the orchestra helped Gabel to truly learn and understand what made Miller's music so popular and different from many of the other bands at the time. "Having musicians play in a section was what Glenn Miller was all about," Gabel explained. "Each section of musicians, such as the trombones, play together as though they are one person - one instrument. We all know what the guy next to us is going to do before he does it," he said. For Miller it was all about giving the public what they wanted. "Miller knew they wanted harmony over a dance rhythm," Gabel said.

From this, Dan's "ear" is without fault, which is crucial to writing accurate and exciting transcriptions and arrangements. His talent as a trombonist is in demand, and would be a welcome addition to any band or orchestra.

"Notwithstanding, his ability to copy various styles is beyond reproach," Glasscock said. "My only grudge is that Dan Gabel is in Massachusetts, and not in Texas -- as we need somebody with his resume and talent down here!”

Gabel also learned discipline on his tour. "It's more than just sounding musical," he said. "We need to entertain our audiences and give them a show," Gabel said. "I learned the discipline of being a tight regiment and knowing when to stand, or wave or perform with our instruments."

The members of the band are also an interesting and eclectic group of individuals. By day they're lawyers, college students, physicians, professors, music educators and an 85 year-old retired postal worker. But when the stage lights dim and the band begins, they're an extremely talented and professional Big Band that would make any generation sit up, listen and in no time at all get into the “hot jazz” rhythm.

Gabel will complete his final semester at UMass Amherst in the fall. He's currently carrying a dual degree in both Political Science and Jazz History. He plans to go on with his education and obtain a Master's Degree in Musicology.

But he's also enjoying the thought of playing it forward for the future of Jazz as well. "I'm a board member in the American Big Band Preservation Society (www.americanbigband.org)," he said. "It's exciting going into schools such as Holy Name and educate the students about the Big Band sound and Jazz. It's great to have them rush up after a performance and ask us to please come back and play for their prom."

Dan Gabel and members of The Abletones will be appearing on Ed Gardella’s show June 24 at 2 PM on New England's Jazz & Folk Station, WICN 90.5 FM Worcester, to discuss the concert as well as the latest news. You can listen to it live on your computer by clicking the “Play Now” button at WICN's website www.wicn.org after 2:00 PM.

Tickets for the Jazz at Sunset concert on June 24 are available at the door and people are encouraged to bring a picnic meal, blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy Big Band music as the sun goes down. Concert is rain or shine and food is available for purchase. Gates open at 5:30 PM and the concert is 6:30 to 8:30. Tickets and more information are now available on the EcoTarium’s website at: www.ecotarium.org. Visit the Abletones website: www.theabletones.com or on Facebook at: facebook.com/theabletones

Ginger Costen may be reached at 508-943-8784 or by e-mail at gingerc@patriotnewspaper.com.
- The Patriot (Webster, MA)


Discography

"Yes Indeed" - Full Length 20-Track CD.
Released December, 2010. RMI Records

Available on our website, CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon!

Photos

Bio

Dan Gabel leads three different groups - each with similar goals focusing on entertaining the audience, but each with a distinct sound. All groups offer the same package described below, and guarantee a good time!

1) DAN GABEL and THE ABLETONES

Travel back in time with an 18-piece Big Band, led by trombonist Dan Gabel, recently returned from a world tour with The Glenn Miller Orchestra. Fronted by female vocals and sporting a vintage look and a repertoire of more than 2,000 arrangements, the Abletones are the real deal - a Big Band that looks and sounds just like the 1930s and 1940s

2) DAN GABEL'S HIGH SOCIETY ORCHESTRA

The Charleston. Chicago and New York. 1927. The Jazz Age. These are the images this 10-piece ensemble calls to mind as it stomps through known and rare tunes. You are sure to love our "Authentic Jazz from the Roaring 20's!" Perfect for white or black tie events, Great Gatsby parties, social functions, or just a great time with some toe-tapping music!

3) DAN GABEL'S HOT JAZZ COMBO
Have a smaller venue but looking for the same entertainment value and quality music? This group is customizable to fit your needs! We can provide a duo of two talented musicians up through an 8-piece ensemble. We can play soft music conducive to dining or conversation, and vamp up the sound to provide a fun dance set with recognizable tunes from the standard Jazz repertoire.

IN ALL CASES:

•We bring an audio system and sound engineer to each venue to provide consistency and balance.

•We set the stage, literally, with music stand fronts and stand lights.

•We wear quality tuxedos with color-coordinated vests and ties and leave no detail unnoticed, including dress shoes, pocket squares and french cuffs.

We believe that in addition to the ability to re-create an authentic sound, there needs to be a visual that conveys the same ideal.

We believe that you and your guests should come away feeling that at least for a few hours they were in an earlier, care-free time.

We hope you will consider us for your next event!!!