27 January 2019 – The Debonaires Little Big Band: It was good to welcome back this classy and versatile little big bang and their little singer, Sarah Eastwood, with a huge voice. The band consists of Max Debon – leader (trumpet), Austin Ralphson (trombone), Rick Hallwell (alto sax), Peter Robinson (double bass), Rob Turner (drums), Peter Wilson (keyboard) and Anne Holder (saxophone). As well as singing Sarah also plays the clarinet. Some of the tunes were: “Cheek to Cheek”, “You’ve got to see your Moma every night or you ain’t gonna see her at all”, “It don’t mean a Thing if it ain’t got that Swing”, “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”, “Mambo Italiano” and the theme tune to Austen Powers, International Man of Mystery – Soul Bosa Nova.
During the interval there was a presentation of a cheque for £1,000 from Stafford Jazz Society made by Nick Balmforth and Gwen Kenyon in support of a guide dog for the blind. Accepting the cheque was Colin Proudlock with his dog, Oakley, and Helen Stokes, Secretary of the Association. There will be a collecting tin for ongoing support for this project.
20 January 2019 – The Alex Clarke Hot Five: This was a great performance from a fairly young band. The band consists of Alex Clarke (reeds & flute) – leader, Mike Owen (trombone), Tom Kincaid (piano), Richard Vernon (double bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). What seems to happen is they take songs we all know and love and just put their bit of magic into them. Numbers included “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans”, “Sheik of Araby”, “Nobody’s Sweetheart Now”, “Some of These Days”, “I’ll Fly Away” and “The Man I love”. The White Eagle Club was pretty full and the band were well received. I know most people will be delighted to see them back on stage again soon.
13 January 2019 – Matt Palmer’s “Aces of Rhythm”: It was lovely to see Matt, in one of his combination bands, along with Chris Mercer (cornet), Dave Kimmins (banjo + guitar), Al Harris (double bass) and Jo Nutman (not just a keyboard player but a genuine ragtime pianist). Dave, in particular, was able to give much knowledgeable insight into the numbers although Matt was no slouch in that department either. Some of the numbers they played for us included: "Keg Walking Babies", “Candy Lips”, “Got Butter On It”, “Wolverine Blues” and “I Never Knew What a Girl Could do”. Many of these numbers were new to me so as well as enjoying the music it was a learning curve. Matt will be back in March with his “Rhythmic Reeds” and Christine Tyrrell.
6 January 2019 – Chris Pearce & Andy Leggett’s “Sopranos”: It was a lovely way to start the second half of this year’s programme. This band has long been a favourite of Stafford Jazz Society. As well as Chris Pearce (leader) on reeds, Andy Leggett also on reeds, Dave Deakin on trombone and Tony Sharp on double bass we had Dave Andrews on drums and Rachel Haywood on guitar and banjo. A quick flavour of some of the numbers they played: "Way Down Upon the Swanee River"; “Trogs Blues”; “Oh You Beautiful Doll”; “Buddy Bolan Stomp”; “Angel Flying too Close to the Ground”; "Russian Lullabye" and “In my Darkest Hour” there was a fine rendition of “The Mooch”. Terrific jazz all with the unmistakable quips by the two reeds players.