16 April –
Willy’s Weepers with Eric “Busker” Newton: A favourite with SJS, this band gave us all a
thoroughly good gig. Terry Brunt,
swathed in long scarf, was on trombone, Jack Cotterill on drums, Peter ‘Pedro’
Robinson on banjo/guitar, Pete Brown on trumpet, John Mascett (apologies if
this is wrong!) on double bass and the whole was led by clarinettist Eric
9 April –
Debonaires Little Big Band: This was the
band’s first appearance at SJS and we were not disappointed. It was lovely to have both male and female
vocals throughout. Max Debon on trumpet
led with Sarah Eastwood (clarinet), Rick Halliwell (alto sax), Anne Holder
(tenor sax), Austin Ralphson (trombone), Peter Wilson (piano), Peter ‘Pedro’
Robinson (bass) and Rob Turner (drums).
Everyone will look forward to them coming back.
2 April –
Kevin Grenfell’s Jazz Giants: No Richard
Leach on this occasion but there was the addition of reeds player, Mike
Wills. Kevin Grenfell (trombone and
trumpet) joked his way through the gig.
Today saw the strangest brolly parade ever with one lone parader (? Sylvia)
but joined half way through by regulars Heather and Nick. Other members of the band included Jack
Cotterill (drums), Wayne Elliott (bass) and Richard Hughes (piano).
26 March –
Frog Island Jazz Band: The room was
festooned in flowers for Mothering Sunday and the band, who are honorary
citizens of New Orleans, played numbers from
the 20s and 30s. John Whitehead
led on cornet, with Jim Hurd (clarinet), John Jeanes (trombone), Rob Fullalove
(brass bass), Brian Lawrence (banjo), Keith Durston I(piano) and Chris Marchant
The room at White
Eagle Club looked lovely with vases of daffodils on the tables to welcome the
19 March –
Sticky Wicket’s Swingtet featuring Chris Gumbley: Sticky Wicket, the drummer, gave SJS a
glimpse of his flashing drumsticks. He
is widely regarded as the UKs number 1 swing drummer. Playing along with him was Stafford’s own top
reedsman, Chris Gumbley, vocals were provided by Linda Morris, piano by Mike
Kemp and Clive Morton was on double bass.
A concert to remember.
12 March –
Steve King Big Band: The room was awash
with music with the coming on Steve King and his bang. The audience was bigger than usual with
standing room only for stragglers. The
20 piece band was joined by the very talented US vocalist, Lynn Dawes.
5 March –
New Orleans Heat: This 7-piece band did
what it says on the label – that is they played old New Orleans. This is one of the hottest bands on the
circuit and play across Europe. All
musicians were hugely talented but I was particularly taken with the trumpeter
– Richard Church – who I understand collects trumpets and has 33 to date! The rest of the band consisted of leader
Barry Grummett on piano, Dave Vickers (trombone), Roger Bird (clarinet &
alto sax), Harry Slater (bass), Colin Bushell (drums) and Alan Birkinhead
– Robin Mason’s Apex Jazz & Swing Band:
A pacy blues number burst into the room and washed over an enthusiastic
audience at the start of the concert.
During the following two hours the music ranged from big band to trad,
with Latin thrown into the mix for good measure. Whatever does it for you, from blues to
swing, was there.