16 October –
Sussex Jazz Kings
This group was well received and it’s New Orleans-style jazz
in a range of styles went down well. The
band consisted of Dave Stradwick on cornet, Bernard Stuit on clarinet, Iain
McAulay on trombone, Pete Lay on drugs, Phil Durell on banjo and Peter Clancy
on double bass and sousaphone. A
beautiful sound – we hope it’s not too long before they are back with us.
9 October – Fret
& Fiddle present “Grappelli Swing”
What can I say! One
of the best concerts this year. Fret
& Fiddle have expanded to include a drummer (Steve Street) and a keyboard
player (Rich Hughes), taking the total of the group to five. Saline, such a talented violinist, narrated
the story of Grappelli’s life, his involvement and long-time work with Django
Reinhardt, and played his music through the decades. The whole show was informative, the music a
delight and intense, and I hope we see them again soon.
2 October – Spats
Langham’s Hot Fingers Jazz Band
Something happened at tonight’s concert. Three musicians melted our hearts with a mix
of music from the 20s and 30s, music moreover not routinely heard. Miss Emily Campbell, vocalist, with the
nickname of ‘The Cotswold Canary’, joined in.
Spats talked knowledgeably about the music the trio played so, like Fret
& Fiddle the show was also educational.
Malcolm Sked played tuba and double bass and Daniel Blythe was
multi-instrumental – indeed playing one of my own personal favourites which is
During the interval of this show Chris and Joan Latham
presented Spats with his award, Musician of the Year, which he gained at the
last concert in May 2016.
25 September –
Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers
Listening to this band it was all too easy to imagine
yourself in a dance hall in New Orleans in the first half of the 20th
century. Brian Carrick, as always,
supplied a steady stream of humour. It
should be noted that he played on the clarinet6 formerly owned by George
Lewis. Along with Brian were Peter
Wright (trumpet), Chas Hudson (trombone), ‘Mac’ MacDonald (banjo, Andrew Hall
(piano), Bill Cole (bass) and Ray Bowden (drums). What a night!
18 September – Old
Fashioned Love Band
Again a blast of harmonica (is it catching on again I
wonder?) from Bill Smith who also played the trumpet and sang. Mike Pemberton
was on the trombone, Jake Reeves on banjo and guitar, Harri Forelius on double
bass and Moe Green on drums. How does
Nick Balmforth do it as we listen to one stunning performance after another.
11 September –
Tame Valley Stompers
Sadly I missed this one due to being in Southport to hear
the Pasadena Roof Orchestra (and yes they were fabulous) and accompanying
bands. However everyone I have spoken to
have said that the Stompers were as on form as ever. Sorry Terry (trombone), Roger (trumpet), Paul
(reeds), Pete (bass guitar), John (banjo and guitar) and Norman on drums. However I am sure you will be back and I will
make sure I am around for that gig.
4 September –
Phoenix Jazzmen with Sheila Fawkes
This was a smashing start to the new season for Stafford
Jazz Society. With drummer Ken Wright on
holiday we had Andy Lowe in his place.
Sheila Fawkes was in fine voice and as in the past we all enjoyed her
singing. Pete Robinson told a beautiful
story about the first time China Boy was played. A Chinese man took offence and reported the
player to the police for racial abuse.
The police arrested the banjo player … in a Chinese restaurant!! Fortunately common sense prevailed and no
further action was taken. It is these
little reminiscences which make sessions so enjoyable.
Sorry there are no pictures for September folks – I thought
I had taken some but … early senility?!?!