24 February – Arthur Brown & Matt Palmer’s “Jazz Buddies”: These are musicians we know well at SJS. Arthur Brown on trumpet & vocals, Matt Palmer, on reeds and vocals, Mike Owen on trombone, Brian Mellor on guitar & banjo & vocals, Peter Robinson on double bass and Tim Jones on drums. They gave us a good range of music from “As Long as I Live”, to “Georgia”, “When it’s Thursday Night in Egypt”, “Beale Street Blues”, “Dapper Dan” and “I Can’t Believe You’re in Love with Me”. As always the band was well received and their finishing number was “Buddies Habit”.
17 February – Frog & Henry String & Brass Band: This is the first time we have seen this band, formed in 2013, and what a treat. There was Ewan Bleach on reeds, vocals and piano, F.H. Henry on guitar and vocals, Laurin Habert on reeds, David Neigh on the tuba machine and 6-string banjo and Kermane Arken on violin and vocals. At one point I counted at least eleven instruments on stage, meaning each member of the band was playing several different ones. The members of the band come from USA, Canada, Germany and the UK. Their music was essentially their own version of early 1900s dance and street jazz music of New Orleans. Much interest was displayed in getting a closer look at David’s foot-operated tuba which allowed him to play a six-string banjo at the same time. There were numbers like “Hot Tempered Blues”, “Weary Blues”, “In my Little Red Book”, “As you Sew so Shall you Reap”, “Just Another Memory”, and “By the River Sainte Marie”, together with much more. Because they used Electro-voice microphones when singing this added to the 1900s aura. For young men they played brilliantly and give you hope for the future of jazz. I hope we see much more of them in the future.
10 February – No Concert
3 February – Wabash Jazzmen: Sadly I missed this concert as I was up at Lytham St Annes – a lovely place but the weather was really cold that week!! I can however report on a very favourable reception of this band, which is well known to SJS. The atmosphere was said to be good and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves, certainly if the scores they achieved were any indication.