Baby Jools’ Jazzaholics – 29 January 2023: We were thrilled to see the return of this well liked band with leader and on the drums, ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge himself, playing alongside Jim ‘Lord’ Swinnerton on string bass, Warren ‘Lonnie’ James on banjo, guitar & vocals, Karl Hird on reeds, Mike ‘Magic’ Henry on trumpet and Kevin Grenfell on trombone, vocals and jokes!! This popular band has a wide repertoire of traditional jazz music and their opening number was ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’. This was followed, in no particular order, by ‘When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along’, ‘Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream on’, ‘One of These Days’, ‘Sentimental Journey’, ‘The Way I Walk’ and two lovely numbers by Warren and Jim only – ‘Cotton Fields Back Home’ and ‘Midnight Special’. This just whets my appetite for when Warren comes with the Lonnie Donegan Story in April. They rounded up the concert with ‘Going Home’. They received a standing ovation at the conclusion of this number.
New Orleans Hotshots – 22 January 2023: What a treat to have the New Orleans Hotshots with us on 22nd. Leader, Dave Harmer on the trombone and vocals, Dave Leithead on trumpet and vocals, Dave Wood on the clarinet and saxophone, Al Harris on double bass and vocals, Keith Chaplin on drums and Joe Nutman on piano keyboard all gave us a great show of traditionally New-Orleans style jazz. They opened with ‘Muskrat Ramble’ and in no particular order some of the numbers were ‘ What a Wonderful World’, ‘Up A Lazy River’, ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone’, ‘Kitten on the Keys’, ‘You Belong To Me’, ‘Old Rocking Chair’, ‘Marching to Georgia’, ‘Yes Sir That’s My Baby’ and ‘Home in Pasadena’. They finished with ‘Hello Central Give Me Doctor Jazz’. This is the first time we have had a band whose front row are all called Dave – so it’s a first for SJS. Good music, good programme, good presentation – what more to say except please can we have them back soon.
Robin Mason’s Apex Jazz & Swing Band – 15 January 2023: It was good to see Robin Mason’s band again. This consists of Robin (leader) on reeds, Jon Stone on trumpet and vocals, Ron Hills on trombone and vocals, Rod Kelly on keyboard and vocals, Bob Boucher on bass and Jim Harney on drums. They opened with ‘Swinging the Blues’ and went on with ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘ I’ve Found a New Baby’, ‘Mood indigo’, ‘Because I’ve got a Crush My Baby on You’, ‘Rent Party Blues’, ‘You’re Nobody’s Sweetheart Now’, ‘The Sunny Side of the Street’, as great rock number ‘Route 66’, ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’, ‘Skylark’ and finished with ‘Stevedore Stomp’. This band will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Matt Palmer’s Eagle Jazzband – 8 January 2023: What a way to start 2023. This band was something to hear and behold. Leader, Matt Palmer, was on trombone and clarinet, Pete Brown on trumpet and cornet, Richard Slater was on trombone, Brian Mellor was on banjo and guitar, David Deakin on double bass and sousaphone and Jack Amblin on drums (and washboard and … tap dancing!). They opened with ‘When We Were Young Maggie’ and went on to include – in no particular order – ‘The coffee Grinder’, ‘Dinah’, ‘South’, ‘Quincy Street Blues (renamed Blame it on the Blues by Sidney Beshet)’, ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’, ‘There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulder’ and ‘Homeward Bound’. It finished with ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ which they did, for sure. Along the journey we had Richard Slater, complete with hat and tube with funnel on the end, give us a Boys Brigade band rendition of Everyone Likes Ice Cream but with his own words, and Jack Amblin was great on the washboard and also, much to our surprise, on tap dancing. What an amazing variety of things to listen to and see. People went out with big smiles on their faces and thoughts of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Thank you for setting a good standard for this year’s gigs. At the interval Matt Palmer, who was the first to call our little tuck shop the Sunset Café, was happy to formally hang the sign on the official nail(!) and for good measure we also had Dave Rochelle who designed the sign for us.
1 January – No Concert